Freight Urban RoBOTic vehicle (FURBOT)
Start date: 01 Nov 2011, End date: 31 Dec 2015 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The project proposes novel concept architectures of light-duty, full-electrical vehicles for efficient sustainable urban freight transport and will develop FURBOT, a vehicle prototype, to factually demonstrate the performances expected.The main paradigms of the new vehicle design are: energy efficiency, sustainability, mobility dexterity, modularity, intelligent automated driving and freight handling robotization. The design approach is oriented to harmonically integrate the new features into the vehicle architectures, based on the knowledge of advanced technologies in the field of the electric power supply and drive trains, in wheel motors, lightweight high strength materials, perceptual systems and intelligent controls.FURBOT will present new frame-platform structure, new efficient power supply and drive train layout including X-by wire transmission, new robotic tools for freights manipulation, new internal state sensorial/monitoring system and new perceptual/automated control functions.The vehicle architecture is conceived modularly. The payload is considered packaged in freights boxes or ISO pallets. Attention will be paid to the modularity and standardization of components as well as to safety issues about crashworthiness and EMI/EMC, radiation health impact issues.A great effort will be devoted to improve the energy efficiency of the system by exploiting different aspects: a new power train layout integrated in the chassis; new battery and energy management system; last generation lightweight, direct drive electric motors; regenerative braking on the four driving wheels; reduced mass; attentive use of power addressed by the driver assistant or operating within the automated driving module.The FURBOT represents a transport agent that can be used by alone but that better exploits its power if used in a fleet offering a new sustainable and very adaptable (evolvable) urban freight transport system. The system will be modeled and a simulator developed.
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