AGV’s and AMR’s both move materials from one place to another. They have many similar advantages in that they save laborers from carrying out tedious tasks and allow your workers to instead focus on higher-value activities.
AMR’s and AGV’s work quickly, effectively, continuously…and, that’s pretty much where the similarities stop. In this article, we will break down the differences between AGV’s and AMR’s to help you better understand their various applications for your industry and facility.
What is an AGV?
AGV stands for Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV). An AGV follows markers or wires in the floor to transport materials around a warehouse or factory. AGV’s are also called Self-Guided Vehicles (SGV’s).
What is an AMR?
AMR stands for Autonomous Mobile Robots. AMR’s automatically move materials from one place to another within a storage location, such as a rack or zone. For example, an AMR can shuffle products from zone 1 to zone 2 ensuring products sit in zone 2 until a downstream process requests them for production.
AGV Movements vs. AMR Movement
One of the most significant differences between AMR’s and AGV’s is how they maneuver around objects and people.
AGV’s typically move in straight lines or predetermined paths at a constant speed. On the contrary, AMR’s can move in straight lines or in complex closed-loop paths around obstacles, and they constantly change their speed and direction. They can also detect when an obstacle suddenly appears in its path and recalculate movements accordingly.
Some argue AMR’s allow for higher levels of flexibility in movement than AGV’s, because AMR’s can travel without rails or tracks and go directly to the location.
“An AGV is more like a bus route, or a closed circuit– whereas an AMR is more like an Uber where it can adjust and reroute based on a predetermined goal or directions.”
-Pete Vaca, Robot Sales Specialist, OMRON.
Common Applications for AMR’s vs. AGV’s
Both automated systems can be used in a variety of applications.
AGVs are currently being used in a wide range of applications, like transporting raw materials that include (but are not limited to) metal, paper, plastic, and rubber. One example of this is the transporting of raw materials from a receiving dock to a warehouse or even directly to the production line. AGV’s are also used in picking and handling, and moving materials from long-term storage locations to a forward-picking location.
While AMR’s also operate in distribution centers and warehouses, the AMR’s flexibility in movement can allow for more diverse applications. In a distribution center, AMR’s load, unload, transport, stack and retrieve palletized and other large loads. In offices and hospital settings, AMR’s are also deployed for cleaning and disinfecting. See our HAI Robotics case study for a more in-depth look at the latest AMR applications.
Benefits of Integrating AGV’s or AMR’s into Your Operations
Having both AGV’s and AMR’s as part of your operation can be effective. AGV’s typically carry smaller loads over shorter distances, which are great for moving materials around the outside of your facility or building, while AMR’s can move larger items that would be difficult to transport with an AGV.
Both systems save time because you do not have to walk between locations within a facility carrying materials by hand. These two systems also help increase safety in the workplace because employees are not walking on foot between storage locations, but they are driving vehicles instead.
I’d Like to Learn More about AMR’s and AGV’s for My Operation
Whatever type of automated storage and retrieval system you’re looking for, McMurray Stern offers a range of ASRS products designed to help you store and retrieve items and materials with improved accuracy and speed. Let’s talk.