AGV and Robotic Systems in Manufacturing

Wondering how Automated Guided Vehicles (AGV), Automated Lift Trucks (ALT) or other Robotic systems could transform your manufacturing or distribution operations? A few years ago it may have been hard to envision a self-driving robot working in everyday life, but consider something so common as the iRobot Roomba. These mobile, self-propelled, and self-navigating vacuum cleaners use sensors and microprocessors to navigate around furniture and household items. This technology, operating in more complex environments, now helps guide AGVs, ALTs and other robotic technology in manufacturing and distribution.


The International Federation of Robotics predicts that the mobile robot industry, including AGVs and ALTs, will reach well over 14,000 units sold, at a cost of $20 billion by next year. Manufacturing and distribution industries have begun to embrace these automated mobile robots that have the capability to move and transport items within production, warehouse, and distribution environments. Newer robots have the capability of including:

  • Built-in scanning sensors
  • 3D cameras
  • Ultrasound to navigate around a facility
  • The ability to carry over 220-lbs. and tow over 660-lbs. in small capacity units (AGV)
  • The ability to carry full pallets with 6,000 to 8,000-lbs. in large pallet capacity units (ALT)
  • Modules that can be customized for hauling requirements and logistical purposes
  • Intuitive interfaces that can be accessed remotely
  • Robots that can not only haul and navigate, but can also recognize safe movement around people and objects


The benefits of these AGVs and ALTs include:

  • Better use of labor and potential reduction of overtime hours
  • Elimination of damage caused by forklifts and other heavy equipment
  • Picking and shipping accuracy can be increased as mobile robots create a hands-free work environment, working together with employees
  • Energy savings associated with lights-out operations
  • Elimination of heavy machinery accidents, reduced strains from moving and lifting, as well as an increase in safety  
  • Better flexibility in that these robots are capable of interfacing with a variety of stands, automation, and manufacturing operations


Interested in how Boston Industrial Consulting can integrate AGVs, ALTs and other robotic technology into your manufacturing or distribution facility? Call us at (978) 739-0399 or visit our website at BIC to find out more.