AGV stands for Automated Guided Vehicle. AGVs are an ongoing development in the last decades to improve efficiency in logistics. Moving goods around a shop floor can be problematic due to possible mistakes and human limitations in carrying heavy loads.
There are many ways to make the AGV move in a safe and fast way. The most commonly used today is the laser guided AGV, which is able to operate despite poor illumination and able to move without a pre-set path (allowing continued optimization of its route). The only set up needed is the preparation of the room using specific tape to help the AGV identify its position without the need of any GPS or complex algorithms. However, laser guided vehicles are more expensive both in terms of hardware cost and time needed to complete the initial set up. An easier and lower cost implementation instead uses optical tape: a tape that can be followed by the AGV is placed along the shop floor and the guided unit is required to follow a pre-determined path
The latest challenges relate to COVID 19 and the importance of a fully automated solution able to operate with minimum human presence. All of these points underline the fact that AGVs are an application we need to keep watching.