Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are being incorporated into factory automation, warehouse distribution, and other material-handling environments. AGVs both increase efficiency and help reduce worker injuries, especially in hazardous environments. Though they are rugged machines, they are still susceptible to environmental hazards such as dust, temperature extremes, and general wear and tear, along with issues specific to machines, such as electromagnetic interference (EMI).
This puts the onus on designers and developers to design AGVs to meet the challenges of demanding industrial environments. They must also make them smarter so they can become an integral part of the increasingly connected factory, while operating side by side with workers without failures that could result in injury.
Many of the safety and electronic system reliability issues have already been tackled by the railway industry. Some of the best practices, standards, and technology enhancements can also be applied to AGVs.