The Pallet Handling Device (PHD) is a five degree‐of‐freedom (dof) robot system under development by Stewart‐Glapat Corporation for autonomous loading of pallets into semi‐truck trailers at loading docks. The fully‐autonomous control is achieved using a programmable logic controller (PLC) and sensors. Ohio University has developed a one‐eighth‐scale prototype hardware system for PHD controls implementation and evaluation. This article describes the design and construction of this system, including the control architecture and PLC programming. The main objective of the scale hardware prototype is to demonstrate the autonomous control feasibility of the proposed full‐scale PHD system; this cannot be adequately performed in simulation.
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