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Review of Research for Docking Automatic Guided Vehicles and Mobile Robots



Roger V. Bostelman, Tsai H. Hong


This survey provides a literature review of docking research, an area that has relatively few research articles as compared to generic automatic guided vehicle (AGV) or mobile robot research. Docking refers to the arrival and act of a vehicle stopping at a position relative to another object. The survey is expected to be useful to ASTM Committee F45 for development of docking and navigation standards and to industrial vehicle research communities as basis to further docking research. Sections on docking research on vehicle control and sensors combined with intelligent vehicle control are included. Docking can include positioning the vehicle or the equipment onboard the vehicle relative to another object, for example a tray or a refuse station, trailer, or pallet. As such, docking research on AGV or mobile robots with onboard robot arms is also included. Other related research are also included on flexible cells and docking of other than ground vehicles, e.g., unmanned surface vehicles. Closing the survey are several patents related to docking and an extensive list of references for further information to the reader.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 8140
Report Number


survey, dock, docking, AGV, mobile robot, docking patents, standards


Bostelman, R. and Hong, T. (2016), Review of Research for Docking Automatic Guided Vehicles and Mobile Robots, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed June 16, 2024)


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Created October 13, 2016, Updated November 10, 2018