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What are AMR and AGV?

What are AMR and AGV?

With the evolution of the industry and the appearance of the 4th industrial revolution, the automation of production processes became a priority for small and large companies. No longer using people to move objects from side to side and relocating operators where they can focus on high-value tasks, optimizing workflows, improving working conditions, and increasing the productivity and efficiency of internal production processes.

For a long time AGVs were the only solution to automate logistical processes, but today they have a more sophisticated, more flexible, and more cost-effective competitor, the AMRs.

What are AMR and AGV?

They are both used to transport objects and goods in industrial environments and are regularly confused, but autonomous mobile robots (AMR) and automated guided vehicles (AGV) are fundamentally different in their autonomy, navigation, and flexibility.

An Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) is an unmanned electric vehicle, controlled by pre-programmed software to transport materials within manufacturing facilities, following predefined fixed routes.

Its navigation is done through the use of additional infrastructures, such as magnetic tapes on the ground, beacons, lasers, or barcodes. When the sensors detect an obstacle in its path, they force the vehicle to stop automatically.

An Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) is a robot capable of transporting materials and goods 100% autonomously from one point to another without the need to implement additional infrastructures, navigating in the most efficient way through on-boarded sensors and cameras with maximum flexibility, without needing any physical guides or any other markers. When an obstacle appears in its path, the robot can get around the obstacle and continue with its task.

NAVIGATION

AGV has a fixed navigation. They follow predefined fixed routes, based on preliminary studies. Its navigation is done through the use of additional infrastructure, through guidance devices such as magnetic lines on the ground, beacons, barcodes, or predefined laser paths.

 

AMR has autonomous natural navigation and does not require the implementation of additional infrastructure for its navigation, using sensors and cameras for guidance, which make the digital mapping of the infrastructures, thus becoming easily readable and easy to install.


FLEXIBILITY

The process of relocating an AGV is similar to the implementation process for the first time, further studies are needed to determine which routes are best, and sometimes these changes require changes to the factory layout.

 

Due to their flexibility, AMRs can easily adapt from one factory layout to another without any changes to existing installations. Its natural and autonomous navigation allows the navigation route to be constantly updated to always use the most efficient available route.


SAFETY

As they follow fixed routes in the event of an obstacle on their way, the sensors force the AGV to stop automatically, requiring human intervention to remove the obstacle so that the vehicle can proceed with the route, causing delays in the production process.

 

When an obstacle appears in its path, the AMR can surround it and continue with its route, not being required to pause the production process, nor human intervention so that it can continue with its function, being able to operate safely with people, forklifts, and other types of material handling equipment.


COST EFFECTIVE

Although in the first instance, AGVs have a lower price, but for their navigation it is necessary to implement additional infrastructures and install physical guiding lines, and it may also be necessary to change the factory layout, costing money, time, and losing productivity.

 

Due to their natural navigation, AMRs do not require changes to existing installations and can be easily implemented without additional costs, making the production process more efficient with low initial investment, resulting in a higher cost-benefit, with a Quick Return on Investment (ROI).

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