Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs), sometimes referred to as Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), provide manufacturing, production, and logistics facilities with added flexibility to increase throughputs and increase overall speed of production. These AGVs or AMRs are always properly outfitted with the appropriate safety equipment and sensors to make them safe to be around human workers.
However, a common problem with some indoor AGVs is that sometimes using just a safety-rated sensor, like a safety laser scanner, doesn’t provide enough coverage, particularly above the laser scan plane. But SICK has the perfect solution to solve for this.
In addition to a safety-rated sensor, like a safety laser scanner, manufacturers can attach a Visionary-T sensor to the top of an AGV to provide additional protection.
The Visionary-T is a 3D camera that provides a snapshot of the surrounding space. Streaming cameras like the Visionary-T supply 3D data that can be used and processed in different ways. Each snapshot provides an in-depth image composed of distance, intensity, and confidence values.
The camera provides a large vertical opening and gapless 3D detection so you’ll be able to see things a safety laser scanner cannot, like forklift arms, objects sticking out of a rack, or other objects higher than the laser scanner’s field of view.
For example, if forklift arms are up high and sticking out, the Visionary-T will detect it and tell the system when it is approaching an obstacle to slow down, navigate around, or stop the AGV.
In the past, many manufacturers used multiple safety laser scanners to gain better coverage. But with the Visionary-T used at the top of the AGV and a single safety laser scanner used at the bottom of the AGV, you can have even better coverage.
It also eliminates the need to sweep the area with a safety laser scanner to see the full view of what’s around your AGV. With a 3D image snapshot, you can see exactly what obstacle may be about to interact with your AGV.
The Visionary-T can also be used on manned forklifts, using warning lights and sounds to alert the driver when an obstacle is detected. This allows the person driving the forklift to have more information of what’s around them while driving a vehicle known for having blind spots.
If you’d like to track how often your AGV encounters obstacles, other systems from SICK can be implemented to provide this data.
Overall, the use of a safety-rated sensor, like a safety laser scanner, and the Visionary-T 3D camera can provide you the best overall protection in your manufacturing processes.