Automated Guided Vehicles, commonly known as AGVs are transportation modules that are used to transport raw materials and finished goods from a warehouse or store. They were first introduced in the 1950s as a simple vehicle that followed a radio-signal transmitting wire. Over the years, the development of AGVs has given them greater navigation power and advanced sensory capabilities that make them safer to operate. Automated Guided Vehicles are classified by the mode of navigation they use. The main navigation types include:
AGVs use wire navigation along with the help of radio signals. They are able to follow the set path of the wire by detecting a radio signal that the wire emits. The constant radio signal emission enables the vehicle to maintain the right route.
Tape navigation is of two types: colored tape and magnetic tape. The advantage of tape navigation is that it can be easily reset to the desired navigation path. Automated vehicles that use either of the said tape navigation have appropriate sensors.
Laser navigation uses reflective tape affixed around the facility along with a laser transmitter and receiver located on the automated vehicle. The vehicle is able to move safely by transmitting and receiving path coordinates from the reflective tapes.
Vehicles fitted with this technology are able to find their way using laser transmission in a natural environment. They are highly sophisticated as they are able to avoid objects while mapping out the best routes.
Vehicles that use vision-guided navigation are fitted with cameras that record the route to be used. This enables them to map out the route and use the recorded route to navigate.
Also known as gyroscopic navigation, the vehicles are controlled by a computer system with the help of transponders on the set path that keep the vehicles on course.
Geo-navigation functions the same way as vision-guided navigation, as the vehicle is able to map out its own path by detecting and avoiding obstacles along its way.