An automated guided vehicle is a self-drive portable robot that follows a fixed path or uses laser, magnet or vision for navigation control. They are used to transport goods around a manufacturing facility or a warehouse without the help of an operator. An AGV connects different warehousing and material handling systems within the warehouse which is helpful in saving time, energy and space within the logistics company.
The first AGV was introduced by Barrett Electronics of Northbrook Illinois in the 1950s, it was a simple tow truck which followed a wire in the floor. Over the years more advanced and sophisticated technology is applied and today AGV are mainly laser navigated or LGV (Laser Guided Vehicle). AGVs are programmed in such a way that they can easily communicate with the other robots to ensure goods are moved securely and smoothly within a warehouse.
Advantages of AGVs
- Shipping Accuracy: Reduction in product-loss, Zero destination errors and just in time delivery.
- Safety: Elimination of fork truck-related accidents.
- Saving: Low running and maintenance costs and excellent price/quality ratio.
- Possibility of 24/7 operation without human intervention, and reduced turnover and overtime costs.
- Capable of interfacing to a variety of automation and manufacturing operations.
- No conventional material handling infrastructure required.