Automated Container Delivery Systems

In an automated container delivery system, containers are locked onto a motorized carriage, which is in turn locked onto the track system. Containers can be moved at 37 meters (120 ft) per minute horizontally or somewhat slower vertically. Containers come in various sizes, and can carry up to 9 kg (20 lb).

The container delivery route may be either a simple point-to-point or loop system with simple controls or a complex system with loops and branches operated by a centralized computer. Automated container delivery systems are easy to retrofit into a building, due to their small size and flexible track layout.

In another variation, floor tapes below the carpet invisibly route robotic battery-powered vehicles. The vehicles can connect to elevators for vertical transport. The sensing, instruction, power, and vehicle control are all on the vehicle. These automated self-propelled vehicles can carry up to a 136-kg (300-lb) load, and can oper ate for an eight-hour day without recharging, at speeds from 6 to 37 meters (20-120 ft) per minute. They are used for pickup and delivery of parts in industrial settings, for food and supplies distribution in hospitals, and for mail and document pickup and delivery in offices.

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