All About Autonomy – AGV, AMR, or mobile robot?
According to the team at MiR, AGVs are being challenged by the more sophisticated, flexible, and cost-effective technology of autonomous mobile robots. While AGVs and AMRs both move materials from one place to another, that’s where the similarities cease.
An AGV is able to navigate, guided by wires, magnetic strips or sensors, a predetermined and fixed route. If an obstacle should come up in its path, the AGV will detect it but be unable to navigate around it.
In contrast, the capability of an AMR’s navigation is comparable to a car with a GPS and a pre-loaded set of maps. When the car is taught the owner’s home and work addresses, it generates the most direct path based on simple positions on the map. This is similar to the way the AMR is taught locations to pick up and drop off parts. Using data from cameras and built-in sensors, laser scanners, as well as sophisticated software for obstacle detection, the AMR focuses on efficiency when finding a route to its target. Working completely autonomously, the AMR will safely maneuver around forklifts, pallets, people or other obstacles – thereby ensuring that material flow stays on schedule and optimizing productivity.
This high margin of flexibility makes AMRs more appealing to companies facing large production bottlenecks, with adaptability key for adding new production cells or processes. Add in that, traditionally, an AMR is typically a less-expensive solution compared to an AGV, the quick deployment with low initial costs and no costly disruption to production key to expansion for businesses.