Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) vs Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) – What’s the difference?

AMRs and AGVs are automation essentials in many sectors. Why rely on employees to transport materials when you can automate these tasks and have employees focus on higher-value activities? The e-commerce boom has driven industries like logistics, warehousing, and fulfillment centers to implement AMRs and AGVs to meet the increased demand. In manufacturing and healthcare, companies are embracing automation for critical workflows like the picking up of hospital supplies and making deliveries.

So how are AMRs different from AGVs? Why should you consider an autonomous mobile robot over an automated guided vehicle for your facility? While they both move materials from one place to another, that is where the similarities end. Let’s understand the key differences.  


Fundamental differences between AGVs and AMRs

Until recently, AGVs have been the traditional option for intralogistics deliveries. They have been around for over half a century.

However, AGVs can only follow fixed routes, usually along magnetic tapes or QR codes on the ground. This makes it difficult to modify the initial setup, as new physical guides have to be installed to create new delivery routes. In contrast, AMRs do not require any physical infrastructure such as markers, wires, magnetic strips or laser targets. Using SLAM technology to produce accurate maps of their environment, AMRs self-navigate to reach their destination.

In addition, what stands out when it comes to AMRs is obstacle avoidance. They can detect an obstacle and adjust its route to complete its designated task. AGVs, on the other hand, can sense an obstacle but will stop and wait till the obstacle is removed by someone, delaying delivery time.

These days, organizations are leaning on AMRs to automate workflows. AMRs are a sophisticated, flexible and cost-effective way to automate internal logistics.

Comparison table showing the distinct benefits of AMRs.

AMRs can adapt to different workflows, accommodate changes in factory processes, and allow for integration with various top modules to meet your payload requirements. This enables smart, reliable deliveries and optimises overall processes. As a result, AMRs are superior to AGVs in terms of return on investment and productivity optimization.   Ultimately, the key distinction between AMRs and AGVs is the flexibility and cost-effectiveness of AMR technology. This is crucial for modern manufacturing environments requiring agility and flexibility.

At some point, companies will have to consider whether they can afford not to use AMRs. To learn more about AMR solutions and how they are essential for smart logistics, please contact us here.