Tape-Free, Target-Free Internal AGV / AGC Navigation
Navigation technology is critical to AGV / AGC system performance. Savant offers unique internal navigation on all of its guided vehicle models. Savant Automation’s virtual path navigation uses a solid state inertial sensor to determine AGV heading and positional information. This is ideal for all environments—especially where magnetic / optic floor tape or laser targets are not feasible or desirable.
Onboard Inertial Sensor
Savant ‘Virtual Path’ navigation maintains sub-inch tracking accuracy. The onboard inertial sensor and virtual path are maintenance-free. Unlike rotational laser navigation sensors or floor tape, Savant’s inertial sensor and virtual path are not subject to costly wear-out or damage replacement. The ‘Smart’ onboard controller performs navigation, path routing and traffic control, communications, drive control, load deck or work piece logic control and safety functions allowing each vehicle to operate with or without a central system controller.
AGV/AGC inertial sensor acts similar to a compass. It maintains a constant heading reference like a compass always pointing North. As vehicle turns the inertial sensor provides a true heading deviation from the constant heading reference. This deviation tells the vehicle where it is pointed which is used to navigate to the desired course.
Benefits of Internal Navigation
- Non-wire, ‘tape & target-free’ autonomy
- Inertial sensor has no moving parts to wear. It’s not a costly navigation wear item
- Eliminates periodic replacement of rotating laser head at ~$8,000 per vehicle every few years
- Operates on uneven, rough floors, and ramps
- No line of sight/blocked target or tape maintenance issues
Savant internal Virtual Path navigation is in its 4th generation. All Savant AGVs and AGCs employ this technology allowing complete intermingling of paths and vehicle types as needed by the user. Savant is a full service AGV system supplier. Manufacturing of vehicles & controls, software, system installation and aftermarket support are executed in-house. Our business dates back to 1954 and our staff averages over 20 years experience in the AGV market.
Comparison of Systems
Benefits of Savant Inertial Navigation vs. Laser/Target
- Immune to bouncing or tipping due to uneven or cracked floors which can lead to missed targets stopping vehicle, also capable of operating on grade changes between buildings (i.e. ramps) and outdoors
- Immune to “line of sight” blocked target issues which stop vehicle, especially in high density aisle storage areas
- Does not require installation of additional target mounting posts in large open areas
- Not susceptible to operator damage or sabotage
Benefits of Savant Inertial Navigation vs. Floor Tape
- Immune to torn/missing tape spots that stop vehicle
- Zero floor maintenance….unlike tape that wears and easily damages requiring costly weekly patching
- No floor code markers (RFID tags, tape, plates) to get damaged
- No limit to size or complexity of the guide path network