AGV vs. AMR: Exploring the Differences and Similarities

Published on 19.05.2023

The world of robotics has witnessed significant advancements in recent years, particularly in the realm of mobile robots. Two prominent types of mobile robots that have gained traction are Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs). While they may appear similar at first glance, there are distinct differences and commonalities between AGVs and AMRs. This article aims to shed light on these differences and highlight how the choice between them depends on the specific autonomy requirements and customer needs.
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1) Defining AGVs and AMRs

Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) are robotic systems that operate within predefined paths or tracks, often guided by markers or magnetic tapes on the floor. AGVs are commonly used for material handling and transportation tasks in industrial settings. They rely on external infrastructure, such as sensors or markers, to navigate their environment.

On the other hand, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) possess a higher level of autonomy. AMRs can navigate and perceive their surroundings without the need for predefined paths or markers. These robots leverage advanced technologies like simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) and obstacle avoidance algorithms to autonomously navigate in dynamic and unstructured environments.

2) The primary distinction between AGVs and AMRs lies in their autonomy levels

AGVs operate within a more controlled environment, following predefined routes and relying on external guidance systems. They excel in repetitive tasks and environments with well-defined paths.

AMRs, on the other hand, offer a higher degree of autonomy. They possess the capability to adapt and navigate in complex and changing environments, making them well-suited for scenarios that require flexibility and adaptability. AMRs can handle tasks that involve interacting with the environment and making real-time decisions, such as material delivery, inventory management, or collaborative operations.

3) Specific customer requirements and the nature of the application

Some customers may prioritize cost-effective solutions for simple and repetitive tasks, where AGVs prove to be a suitable option. AGVs offer reliability, precision, and lower implementation costs due to their reliance on predefined paths and simpler navigation systems.

However, for customers with evolving operational needs or dynamic environments, AMRs provide a more versatile solution. AMRs can efficiently navigate complex layouts, handle obstacles, and adapt to changing conditions without requiring modifications to the infrastructure. Their ability to make autonomous decisions and handle diverse tasks offers greater operational flexibility.

4) Commonalities of AGVs and AMRs

Despite their differences, AGVs and AMRs also share commonalities. Both types of robots aim to optimize material handling and improve operational efficiency. They can be integrated into existing warehouse management systems (WMS) or enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems to enhance overall logistics processes.

Moreover, both AGVs and AMRs rely on advanced sensor technologies, such as LiDAR, cameras, and proximity sensors, to perceive their surroundings and avoid obstacles. They utilize onboard computing power and algorithms to plan and execute their tasks autonomously.


The choice between AGVs and AMRs depends on the specific autonomy requirements and customer needs. AGVs offer a cost-effective solution for repetitive tasks in controlled environments, while AMRs provide greater autonomy and adaptability for dynamic operations. By understanding these differences and considering the specific application requirements, businesses can make informed decisions to optimize their material handling and logistics operations. Ultimately, both AGVs and AMRs contribute to the advancement of automation in various industries, driving efficiency and productivity in the evolving world of robotics.

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