Let’s start with understanding what exactly an AGV or automated guided vehicle is. AGV is a mobile robot (automated self-driving vehicle) that will follow a set path of markers or wires in order to carry goods, raw materials and other hardware from point A to point B.
Other technologies that AGVs uses are lasers, GPS navigation and magnets which more or less help the computer chip running the AGV in determining the set path laid ahead of it. You can easily see an AGV in action by visiting a large manufacturing unit.
So what happens when more than one AGVs is running around in the warehouse? Think about a train system. There are many trains that are moving at high speeds and often, on the same tracks. They are all controlled using computers and complex algorithms where the distance between two trains are measured and controlled.
Instead of using train tracks, AGV uses magnetic tapes, GPS and lasers to determine the path they are supposed to follow. Their speeds are set and paths are laid out for them in advance. Using complex algorithms and computing power, it is made sure that no two AGVs are on a collision path. This way, all the heavy goods are delivered to their respective areas and sectors without meeting any accidents.
In order to steer, instead of using human intervention as in case of trains, AGVs uses steering control which are of three different types, the most commonly used among them being differential speed control. AGV is supported by two independent drive wheels which are capable of rolling at different speeds, and hence helping the AGV to make turns on their chosen pathway.
The second one is very similar to a car steering wheel which is much more precise in following the chosen path laid out in front of it. The third one is a combination of the first two and is less common and more complex.