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Why Automated Guided Vehicles Are the Future

agvsIf all the big names are out there do it, there must be something very practical about it. BMW, Volkswagen, Mercedes Benz, Ford, Nissan and Tesla are investing big amounts of money and research to improve self driving cars. Countless of hours of tweaking and reprogramming are spent in order to make them not only safer but also more reliable in hazardous situations. Not much to wonder there, I thought at the beginning, feeling that it’s just another step on the ladder of progress.

But what about automated guided vehicles in general? They do not reach media’s attention and are barely talked about, even though they’ve been around since the 1950ies and are the precursors of the automotive automobile industry.

The multiple faces of an AGV

The technology for today’s self-driving cars basically stems from there. The robots, mostly used in the industry right now, function by following a track on the floor. This track can either be delimited by wiring or has been programmed into the robot’s memory. AGVs can use cams, lasers or magnets in order to orientated themselves through space. Since they can be used to carry or lift heavy weights and do not need human assistance anymore, it makes warehouse work safer, faster and more reliable.

When I watched “The Martian”, Andy Weir’s brilliant book adaptation, with Matt Damon it dawned on me once again, that those automated vehicles are constantly being used on Mars or for Space exploration purposes, providing valuable data but also a helping hand where no human could carry through with maintenance work.

There are down to earth aspects of these practical automatic helpers as well. You can find them in almost every niche and branch out there:

  • pharmaceutical
  • medical
  • chemical
  • food and beverage sector
  • in hospitals and so on and so forth

I have to confess, that I am a little late on realizing the many benefits this sort of technology offers to us. Think of people with motor disabilities or elderly people in need of some home-assistance. They can experience a comfortable life – all made possible through AVG.

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