AGV is an acronym for automated guided vehicle. The term also stands for other, similar phrases, such as automated guidance vehicle, automatic guided vehicle, or auto guided vehicle. Ultimately, an AGV is a self-driving, robotic transport vehicle that moves materials inside a facility. Different types of AGVs can be found here.
Used to power most AGVs. Lead acid, sealed lead acid, and nickel cadmium (NiCad) batteries are most common. Other battery types such as Lithium Ion, Hydrogen Fuel Cells are also available.
All AGV batteries require periodic charging for continued AGV operation. The primary battery charging methods include Swap Out where the discharged battery is exchanged for a fully charged battery, and Opportunity Charging where the AGV automatically reports to a charger during short intervals that are available when the AGV is not busy making material deliveries. With opportunity charging the vehicle makes an electrical connection with a fixed mounted plate (charge shoe) connected to the charger and the battery is charged on board the vehicle.
Also referred to as road paths, guide paths are software-based routes on which individual AGVs travel.
Software which typically controls processes in the entire facility and can interface with and provide direction to lower level systems that control individual pieces of equipment. Examples of higher level software include enterprise resource planning (ERP), press control systems (PCS), and warehouse management systems (WMS).
External devices that interface with the AGV System to provide safe, automated material movement. Input devices direct the AGV system to perform certain actions, such as load detection photo eye sensors on a conveyor to indicate when a load is ready for pick up by an AGV. The output devices allow the AGV system to command certain actions, such as running the actuator to open an automatic door to allow the AGV to pass through it.
The most common form of guidance for AGVs. On each vehicle a rotating laser, complete with a sender (source) and receiver (detector), strobes the plant and receives feedback from reflectors that are mounted on walls, columns and adjacent equipment. This feedback is used to calculate the exact vehicle position in the facility.
Software tool used to configure the guide path (road system) for the vehicles and optimize reflector target positions to achieve the desired level of vehicle positional accuracy. A user-friendly toolbar provides quick, easy initial system design as well as modification of existing systems. Provides flexibility to respond quickly to facility changes which are wirelessly downloaded to the vehicles.
The collection of guide paths throughout the entire AGV system.
Host control software for the AGV system. Communicates with I/O, higher level software and the vehicles to coordinate movements and provide efficient material movement. Optimizes assignment of tasks to vehicles, controls vehicle traffic and tracks all material movement.
Used by personnel to interact with the system (can be PC based, handheld, etc). Provides quick, easy access to monitor system operation and optimize performance. Real time 3D graphics allows intuitive interaction with unmatched flexibility and scaleability.
A computer network in which some of the links between nodes are carried by open connections or virtual circuits in some larger networks, such as the Internet, as opposed to running across a single private network.
A local area network typically using CAT 5/Ethernet cabling to provide from communication between SGV Manager, Higher Level Software and I/O.
A network using RF to provide communication between AGVs, SGV Manager, and/or other remote I/O. The system typically meets the standard IEEE 802.11 a, b or g. Often customers already have a wireless network installed in their facility and the AGV system can utilize available bandwidth within that existing network.