Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) may look like something from a sci-fi film, but the truth is, these industrial mobile robots are relevant now more than ever, and their use is booming in intralogistics and manufacturing applications.
AGVs have been around for more than 50 years. According to this Dematic article, entrepreneur Arthur Barret of Barrett Electronics invented the world’s first driverless vehicle in 1954 in Northbrook, Illinois. Barret dubbed the vehicle the “Guide-O-Matic,” but it wasn’t until 1980 that it was renamed the Automated Guided Vehicle, or AGV.
AGVs are driverless, wheel-based load carriers used to transport heavy loads in industrial warehouse and manufacturing environments. AGVs follow a prescribed route, moving materials from point to point, increasing efficiency and productivity. AGVs are the “work horses” of the warehouse.
AMRs, on the other hand, are more nimble robots, seen jetting around the warehouse. An AGV may detect an obstacle on its path but cannot navigate around it. AMRs can move around objects, which makes them infinitely flexible. Have you ever seen a fleet of AMRs used in parcel sortation? It’s like watching a well-choreographed dance.
The intralogistics market has exploded in the past two years, and companies are accelerating automation plans to leverage this stratospheric growth. Many are adding AGVs and AMRs to their fleets to increase efficiency and flexibility in high performance operations.
And this is where Accerion’s localization system for mobile robots is helping accelerate growth across industries.
Accerion manufactures a camera-based positioning module called Triton for indoor localization of mobile robots in logistics and manufacturing environments.
Triton enables AGVs and AMRs to navigate in the most accurate, robust way without infrastructure.
It is based on Accerion’s proprietary Texture Vision Technology, which uses unique microstructures of a floor to determine the location. Triton uses the “signatures” or nuances of the existing warehouse floor as a map.
Accerion uses computer vision so mobile robots operate accurately and reliably in intralogistics and manufacturing operations. Once a warehouse floor is mapped using SLAM, the Triton sensor can do pure localization and provide pose corrections out of the box … using only the floor.
Triton is proving to be one of the most reliable and robust localization systems on the market. There is no need for infrastructure, which saves significant time and costs during commissioning of mobile robots. And there is a high level of flexibility and ease when optimizing routes or making changes to a layout after installation.
Triton was designed for easy and fast integration into the most common AMR and AGV vehicles on the market. Triton is compact, measuring only 110 x 110 x 40 mm and is easily mounted at a central position underneath the mobile robot. This makes Triton an easy add-on with no need to change the vehicle design. It works with ROS, C++ and UDP and common navigation of fleet software such as Navitec or Bluebotics.
How Triton powers AGVs
Triton enables precise docking and line following of heavy vehicles and forklifts that can’t be easily solved with alternative solutions such as lidar SLAM.
How Triton powers AMRs
Triton enables the use of AMRs in environments that were previously impossible or very challenging. With its sub-millimeter accuracy, Triton is the world’s most precise localization solution for operations that demand high flexibility of scaling, such as sorting or distribution capacity.
For the end-user, Triton’s positioning system is used effectively in applications such as inbound logistics, replenishment of picking stock, Goods to Person, Person to Goods, load consolidation/marshalling and further in the supply chain, parcel sortation. For all applications, Triton’s sub-millimeter repeat accuracy results in faster driving, faster docking and more effective fleet operation.
For AGVs and AMRs, Triton provides the most cost-effective and fast-to-commission solution on the market.