AGV automatic guided vehicle, also known as automatic guided transport vehicles, is an industrial vehicle that automatically or manually loads goods and travels on a set route, or hauls a cargo trolley to a designated location, and then automatically or manually loads and unloads the cargo. According to the definition of Japanese JISD6801: AGV is an industrial vehicle that is driven by a battery as a power source. AGV automatic guided vehicle can be well-functioned only if operating under the requirements of automatic, flexible and punctual material handling, forming an automated guided vehicle system (AGVS) together with automatic steering systems, automatic handling systems, communication systems, safety systems, and management systems. The continuous development of computer hardware technology, parallel and distributed processing technology, automatic control technology, sensor technology and software development environment provides the necessary technical basis for the research and application of AGV automatic guided vehicle. The development of artificial intelligence technologies such as understanding and search, task and path planning, and fuzzy and neural network control technologies has made AGV develop towards intelligence and autonomy. The research and development of AGV automatic guided vehicle integrate artificial intelligence, information processing, and image processing, and involves many disciplines such as a computer, automatic control, information communication, mechanical design and electronic technology, which have become one of the hotspots of logistics automation research.
Here are some general characteristics of AGV automatic guided vehicle.
The running path and destination can be controlled by the management program and have strong maneuverability. Moreover, the route changes of some guiding methods are very convenient and flexible with a low installation cost. What’s more, the station identification ability and positioning accuracy are high, and it has the ability to coordinate work with various processing equipment. Flexible control of logistics can be achieved under the support of the communication system and the management system. Besides, the loading platform can adopt different mounting structures and loading and unloading methods to meet the needs of different product transportation and processing. Therefore, the logistics system has strong adaptability.
AGV automatic guided vehicle, equipped with a variety of sound and light alarm system, can automatically stop before the collision of obstacles through the vehicle obstacle detection system. When they are lined up or cross-operating in a certain area, they have the ability to avoid collisions with each other, and there is no human error and therefore, are safer than other material handling systems. The logistics system consisting of AGV is not permanent, but is set in a given area. Compared with the traditional material conveying system fixed in the workshop and difficult to change, the logistics system is flexible and can make full use of the pedestrian passage and forklift passage to improve the floor utilization of the workshop. Compared with other material transportation methods, the initial investment is large, but the operating cost can be greatly reduced, especially when there are many product types and workstations. The reason why AGV automatic guided vehicle restricts development in China is that the price is too expensive and the general industry cannot accept it.
Although the research on AGV has been taken on for many years, there are still many key technologies that need to be improved and broken to further improve the performance of AGV and to reduce manufacturing costs and reduce the cost of use.