Introduction To AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) | Types Of AGV

Introduction To AGV (Automated Guided Vehicles) | Types

Automated Guided Vehicle System (AGVS) Material
handling in manufacturing system is becoming easier as the
automated machine technology has improved. One of the
material handling methods that has been widely used in most
industry now a days is the Automated Guided Vehicle System or
better known as the AGVS. It has become one of the fastest
growing classes of equipment in the material handling
industry (Tanchoco and Bilge, 1997). Until today there are
many researchers that have shown interests in improving the
system in order to achieve more productivity and flexibility
in manufacturing environments. According to (Groover, 1987)
an Automated Guided Vehicle System (AGVS) is a materials
handling system that uses independently operated, self
propelled vehicles known as the automated guided vehicle or
AGV that moves along defined pathways between delivery points
or stations. A typical AGV will consist of the frame,
batteries, electrical system, drive unit, steering, on board
controller and work platform.

AGV (Automated Guided Vehicle)
Fig. AGV (Automated Guided
Modern AGV systems differ from the classic ones.
Rather than using fixed paths, many modern AGV are ranging,
which means the path of the vehicle are so programmed and can
be change relatively easy when new stations or even flows are
added. Modern technology also allows the vehicle to make
decisions on its own compare to the past when control was
perform by the central controllers. This leads to adaptive,
self-learning system of the AGV (Tuan Le-Anh and De Koster).
In this section, AGVS according to the journal by Peters et
a1 will be described. According to the journal, the automated
guided vehicle system can be divided into three basic levels
such as below:
Components of AGV
Fig. Components of AGV 

·  1.
Guide-path determination

   2.  Vehicle

·  3.
Vehicle addressing mechanism


  1. Modern AGVs are computer-controlled vehicles with
    onboard microprocessors.
  2. Position feedback system to correct path
  3. Communication between vehicles via system
  4. System management computers
  5. Optimising the AGV utilisation
  6. Tracking the material in transfer and directing the
    AGV traffic.

Types of AGVSs

  1. AGVS towing vehicle
  2. AGVS unit load carriers
  3. AGVS pallet trucks
  4. AGVS forklift trucks
  5. AGVS light-load transporters
  6. AGVS assembly-line vehicles

AGVS Guidance system

  • The goal of an AGVS guidance system keep the AGV on
    track/predefined path
  • One of the major advantage of AGV is ease in
    modification given by the guidance system for changing
    the guide path at low cost compare to conveyors,
    chains, etc.
  • Another benefit is: guide path is flexible which
    means intersection of path is possible.
  • Generally, guide path does not obstruct another
  • The guidance systems can be selected based on the
    type of AGV selected, its application, requirement and
    environmental limitation.
  1. Wire-guided –An energized
    wire is rooted along the guide
    The antenna of the AGV
    follows the rooted wire.
  2. Optical-Colorless
    florescent particles are painted on the
    concrete/tiled floor.
    Photosensors are
    used to track these particles.
  3. Inertial-The guide path is
    programmed on a microprocessor which is fixed on the
    Sonar system is incorporated
    for finding obstacles.
  4. Infrared-Infrared light
    transmitters are used to detect the position of the
    Reflectors are affixed on
    the top of vehicle to reflect the light.
  5. Laser-Laser beam is used to
    scan wall-mounted 
    Accurate positioning
    can be obtained
  6. Teaching type-AGV learns
    the guide path by moving the required
    Sends the information to the
    host computer

AGVS Routing

  • A routing system is used to select the
    vehicle which is positioned with the optimum
  • A network controller gives the destination,
    while the on-board controller navigates the
  • Commonly used methods:
  1. Frequency select
  2. Path-switch select
AGVS Routing