AMRs vs. AGVs: The Difference Between a Robot and a Guided Vehicle-CeMAT ASIA-Smart Logistic
AMRs vs. AGVs. What’s the difference? AGVs (Automated Guided
Vehicles) have been moving things around on behalf of humans for over
half a century. They’ve become a familiar fixture in factories,
warehouses, and anywhere there’s a need for repetitive material
delivery. Their effectiveness, however, is being challenged by a more
technologically sophisticated approach. The past few years have seen the
introduction of a new kind of internal logistics system that’s starting
to take over from AGVs — AMRs, or Autonomous Mobile Robots.
It’s easy to look at both an AGV robot and a collaborative robot like an AMR and just view them as robotic vehicles that move items from place to place, but AMRs are based on new technologies that make them faster, smarter, and more efficient than the AGVs that they’re starting to replace. AMRs are also simpler to set up, easier to use, and more affordable, all of which explains why AMRs are starting to replace AGVs. But, when you understand the ways in which AMRs are different from (and far more advanced than) traditional AGVs, it all makes sense.
AMRs vs. AGVs: The Fundamental Difference
The fundamental difference between AGVs and AMRs can be summed up by the difference noted between a guided vehicle and a robot. A guided vehicle follows fixed routes, usually along wires or magnets embedded in the ground — not unlike the difference between a train and an automobile. An AGV robot is probably clever enough to use simple sensors in order to avoid hitting obstacles that pop up in its way, but it’s not clever enough to go around them. In fact, AGVs aren’t clever at all — without much on-board intelligence, they can only obey simple orders. This means that AGV robots tend to get into trouble when anything isn’t exactly the way they like it. This is in addition to their notorious reputation when it comes to adapting to change. If you want them to expand their work area, for example, it’s an expensive and time-consuming hassle.
A robotic AMR is much more
sophisticated. It’s packed with sensors and powerful on-board computers
that help it to understand its operating environment.
An AMR is much more sophisticated. It’s packed with sensors and powerful on-board computers
that help it to understand its operating environment. Rather than being
restricted to fixed routes, an AMR can instead navigate dynamically
using a map, allowing it to plan its own paths and travel quickly and
efficiently. AMRs are smart enough to recognize and react to people,
cars, forklifts, and more. They safely perform their jobs no matter how
busy the surrounding environment and can even do futuristic things like
following a specific person wherever they need to go, mother duck-like.
AMRs vs. AGVs: The Business Case and The Cost
With all of these advantages, you might think that AMRs are much more
expensive than AGVs, but that’s not the case. While it’s certainly true
that AMRs use sophisticated cameras systems, laser sensors, and
computer hardware, AMRs can be as much as 40 percent less expensive than
AGVs. Because AMRs don’t need wires, magnets, beacons or any other
costly infrastructure modification, getting started with them is fast
and relatively inexpensive. You’ll find that AMRs complete their tasks
much more quickly and reliably, saving you time and money. As your
business expands, your AMRs can seamlessly expand with you. AGVs just
can’t compete. And in the end, that’s the most important difference when
discussing AMRs vs. AGVs — AGV technology represents an earlier
generation of automation that simply can’t keep up with the flexibility
and cost-effectiveness of autonomous mobile robots.
If you would like to learn more about how Fetch Robotics solutions can help you find, track, and move anything in your warehouse, check out the links below. If you would like to speak to one of our solutions experts right now about our material handling and automated data collection solutions, just reach out and schedule a free consultation.
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