AGV - Automatic guided vehicle

The Comau AGV called AGILE 1500 is a serious, robust and industrial machine engineered in a great way with regard to batteries and loads.

Its sophisticated software enables the centralized management of an entire fleet of AGV from a common PC monitor. In particular, it is possible to manage transport orders, allocate vehicles and choose the best routes for the different transport, control the traffic flow into the AGV system, perform a simulation with the AGVs.

The AGILE 1500 is a high-performance vehicle, human-robot collaborative (in term of safety) and its complete reconfigurability allows to protects ROI (Return On Investment).

The Agile can move in very narrow corridors and, being an "autonomous" vehicle, thanks to its multiple navigation systems.

The AGILE 1500 system operates through several functionality ways: laser guide, reflector and magnetic guide.

  • Laser Guide (called also "natural navigation"): thanks to its 2 laser range sensors (one on the front and one on the rear), the AGV is able to recognize the landmarks such as walls and other surfaces. This model constitutes a versatile choice for moving in different environments and the constant position updating of the vehicle is based on odometry (encoder data) that keeps the tracking of the vehicle movements. The position is updated using measurements of walls and objects and navigation is always on. This makes the production facility completely free of any reference installations including mirrors, reflectors, magnetic or colored elements.

  • Reflector navigation: it is used when the environment is not static enough for natural navigation or there are few fixed natural landmarks. This navigation uses measurement from the laser range sensor to recognize reflective tapes stick on walls and other surfaces.

  • Magnetic Guide (it is an optional type of navigation): the AGV moves using a magnetic strip or spot applied on the floor. Identification plates are used to update the distance along with the tape of the AGV. The magnetic system has also the laser as this remains as a collision and safety device. This system is generally used for pallet aisles, corridors.

Moreover, multipurpose applications can be implemented as options (see below).

For example, it is possible the pallets handling from floor to floor and from roller conveyor to floor: as the AGV has been designed as a shuttle (this is not a modified forklift) it is not foreseen the pallet management from the floor through forks but only from rollers. The shuttle can go under the pallet/rack or cabinet structure and hook as a tow to move them. The type of customization mounted on the base of the device and enslaved is what makes the difference in terms of functionality as it has been designed for heavy-duty applications in the automotive industry (it is a solid and flexible machine).

Lithium batteries allow multiple shifts applications, recharging time is 4-5 times shorter than lead,  opportunity charging is allowed and lifecycle is up to 2000 cycles.

Finally, the AGILE 1500 can have the following options:

  • Manual charging-battery charger: the battery charger can be plugged either to the vehicle or to the additional battery pack.

  • Automatic charging + docking station: is composed of a battery charger, a docking station and contact plates on the vehicle side. These make it possible for the vehicle to autonomously approach the docking station and go to charge when the battery level is low.

  • Additional battery pack + battery adapter: it is a useful option in case the charging strategy will be the battery swap. The battery adapter is a connector to directly plug batteries and chargers.

  • Battery trolley: this makes it easier to drag the battery pack and to replace it in the vehicle (highly recommended).

  • Manual control device: to make the vehicle move manually. It is similar to a robot teach pendant but one single device could be used for multiple vehicles. It also has the dead man functionality.