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``Follow-the-Leader''

This idea is to have a train of off-rail vehicles follow the path, taken by the leader, as precisely as required. Such a system is of use as an automated mining excavator followed by a train of ore pass-back units, supporting, say, a conveyor belt. Each element is connected to the one in front with an instrumented articulated drawbar. The motion of a neighbouring follower is dictated by the inverse kinematics of the drawback displacements, in a backward sense, that occured in the forward sense when the leader made a previous move. No known vehicle system exists which uses this sort of autosurveying. Furthermore the drawbar need not be a mechanical connection. It is virtually ``there'' as long as the follower can reliably measure the leader's trajectory, by remote sensing or other means. As long as at least one train element is ``belayed'' the others can compute their absolute position, not withstanding ground instability or slip at the contact of tracks, wheels, legs or whatever supports and/or propels a vehicle.

V. Guenov, V. Krovi, P. O'Leary (MU-Leoben), P.J. Zsombor-Murray
 


Annual Report

Mon Jun 26 21:22:20 GMT 2000