An Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) is a technologically advanced mobile robot that follows wires, markers, invisible UV marks and light in order to navigate. Today, the AGV’s are even more advanced and therefore use magnets, cameras and lasers to move. They were first introduced in the 1950s by Barrett Electronics in Northbrook, Illinois. However the earlier models did not come with built-in cameras or light detectors. They were, in fact, tuggers that followed a rail in the floor. Later, AGV’s followed a preset path along an electrified wire in the floor. The most advanced guidance today is on-board the machine with sensors and software totally autonomous to the individual vehicle and wifi or RF connection for routing.

Automated Guided Vehicles are highly engineered machines that are most commonly used in large factories to move materials from one place to another and have, in many cases, replaced the need for a human work force to perform certain tasks. In the past ten years, a massive increase in the demand of AGV’s has been noticed, as now they are not only used by manufacturing and distributing industries, but also in health care, agriculture, retail and military.

For many industries, AGV’s have proven to be extremely useful and provided a number of advantages, some of which include:

Improved safety

Automated Guided Vehicles come with high tech computers that are connected to the cameras, lasers and sensors on each side. This allows the vehicle to move safely all the time. It is completely safe to walk or stand around AGV’s while they are functioning, they are equipped with advanced navigation systems, which prove to be far better than any human driving the vehicle. They are designed for limitless operations and enhance work-safety.

Can work 24/7

Unlike humans, AGV’s are manufactured for round the clock operation. They are a perfect replacement for manual labor and will result in minimized costs associated with paid leaves, time off, and overtime, etc. They are designed with state of the art materials.

Reduce labor costs and saves time

Replacing the human force with an Automated Guided Vehicle can reduce your company’s costs in many ways. Buying this machine would be a one-time investment the company would have to bear. On the other hand, hiring people would have many expenses entailed including healthcare coverage, vacation leaves, workers comp, etc.

Automated Guided Vehicle – Easy to expand

If you plan on switching to AGV’s, you might think it would cost you a lot of initial investment. In fact, with multiple shifts, standardized pick up / drop off points, and unit load product volume, it is a simple and affordable return on investment and payback.

Enhanced accuracy

Using an Automated Guided Vehicle instead of a human removes the potential for human mistakes. This also reduces product and equipment damage in the distribution center. Reduced errors leads to increased productivity and improved bottom line.