Introduction to Autonomous Robotics

Successful Integration of Automation
May 23, 2023
Intralogistics Software
May 23, 2023
Successful Integration of Automation
May 23, 2023
Intralogistics Software
May 23, 2023

The Future of Manufacturing and Warehousing with Autonomous Robotics

Autonomous robotics are revolutionizing the manufacturing and warehousing industries by providing efficient, safe, and reliable material handling solutions. There are many types of autonomous robotics equipment in the marketplace with the two most popular being Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). LD Systems has seen an uptick in requests for both AGVs and AMRs. In this blog post, we will explore the differences between AGVs and AMRs, their most common usage in factories and warehouses, and recent case studies demonstrating their efficiency improvements.

Let’s start with a brief description of each – 

 

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)

AGVs are driverless vehicles that follow a pre-programmed path using sensors or magnetic strips embedded in the floor. They are used in factories and warehouses to transport materials, pallets, or products from one location to another. AGVs can increase efficiency and reduce labor costs by automating material handling tasks.

 

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)

AMRs are autonomous vehicles equipped with sensors and cameras that enable them to navigate and avoid obstacles in dynamic environments. Unlike AGVs, AMRs can adapt to changes in the environment, such as the introduction of new obstacles or the repositioning of goods. They are used in factories and warehouses to perform tasks such as picking and placing items, transporting materials, and conducting inventory checks.

While similar be design, there are distinct differences between AMRs and AGVs.

The main difference between Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) is how they navigate their environment.

AMRs use sensors such as lidar, cameras, and laser scanners, as well as mapping software, to autonomously navigate through an environment. As mentioned above, they can adapt to changing environments, avoid obstacles, and dynamically reroute themselves to optimize their path to complete tasks such as material handling, order picking, or inventory management.

In contrast, AGVs use predefined paths to navigate around an environment, following either a magnetic tape, wires or markers, and rely on sensor systems such as lasers, sonars or cameras to detect any obstacles on the path. They are typically programmed to follow a specific path, stop at designated locations, and perform a task, such as picking up or dropping off materials or products.

Another key difference is their flexibility. AMRs are more adaptable than AGVs as they can work in an environment with more uncertainty, be more agile and adjust to changes in the layout or configuration of a facility or interact with people more easily than AGVs.

Overall, both AMRs and AGVs are useful tools for automating material handling and transportation tasks in manufacturing and warehousing operations, but their navigation methods and flexibility make them more suited for different use cases.

 

Common Usage in Factories and Warehouses

AGVs and AMRs are used in various applications in factories and warehouses, including:

  • Material handling: transporting materials, pallets, or products from one location to another
  • Picking and placing: picking up and placing items in designated locations
  • Inventory management: conducting inventory checks and cycle counting
  • Assembly: transporting parts to assembly stations
  • Recent Efficiency Improvements

Recent case studies have demonstrated significant efficiency improvements in factories and warehouses that have implemented autonomous robotics. For example, a major electronics manufacturer implemented AMRs to transport materials in their warehouse and achieved a 25% increase in productivity. In another case study, a food and beverage company implemented AGVs for material handling tasks and reduced the time spent on those tasks by 80%.

 

Conclusion:

Autonomous robotics are transforming the manufacturing and warehousing industries by providing efficient, safe, and reliable material handling solutions. AGVs and AMRs have different capabilities and applications, but both can increase efficiency and reduce labor costs in factories and warehouses. Recent case studies demonstrate the significant efficiency improvements that can be achieved through the implementation of autonomous robotics. As technology continues to evolve, we can expect to see even more advancements in this field in the years to come.

To learn more about Autonomous Mobile Robots and Automated Guided Vehicles, contact LD Systems. We’ve been automating distribution centers for over 26 years!