Picking up, securing, and safely transporting cargo is the most important task of any automated guided vehicle (AGV) or autonomous mobile robot (AMR). In order to successfully complete this task, the proper sensors are required. This blog article shows which sensor solution may be suitable based on the cargo type.
Metal Racks or Shelving
If your AMR is tasked with picking up and transporting metal racks, the easiest way to ensure the rack is in the correct position over the AMR is using inductive safety sensors. Inductive sensors are able to sense ferrous and nonferrous metals like aluminum. The range for an inductive sensor is generally smaller than other sensing methods—under 100 millimeters. The small sensing range and detection of only metal help ensure the AMR is in the right position and has the correct cargo.
Securing and transporting metal cargo with inductive safety sensors.
Boxes, Bins, and Totes
Ultrasonic sensors are a great option for detecting boxes, bins, wire mesh crates, and totes. They emit a sound cone that offers a wide angle of detection and is independent of color and material. This means the ultrasonic sensor will be able to accurately sense and detect the cargo regardless of whether the object is black, reflective, solid, or even a slotted bin.
Securing a pallet presents more challenges than a box or a rack. Not only does an AGV or AMR need to detect the pallet, in most cases it needs to be able to navigate the forks into the pallet pocket. One method is to mount ultrasonic sensors on the bottom of the AGV to look for the pallet pocket. This will help guide the forks once they are near the pallet pocket. Another option is to use a multi-layer scanner, like the R2300 3-D LiDAR sensor. The R2300has four planes of coverage that will help navigate to the pockets of the pallet and give a dimension of the cargo, as well.
The R2300 multi-layer scanner with its four planes of coverage helps to securely pick up pallets and other cargo.
Don’t see your cargo type here?
If you need further assistance in deciding on a sensing method, or your cargo is different than the types described above, please let us know. We would be happy to help!