Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) and Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) are the best way to reduce non value-added expenses, such as material transportation costs.
Modern AGVs and AMRs have to meet aggressive speed, positioning accuracy and service life expectations. In addition, many applications require a compact, space-saving design that can handle high loads. AGV / AMR designers and builders have to balance performance and cost when choosing which motor technology to use, what types of bearings, brakes and encoders will work best and what type of gearheads will work best (if any). The final product must be an easily controllable and stable platform that is rugged, economical, easy to install and maintain.
The powered wheelhubs driving these robots come in two main classes; discrete or integrated. Discrete assemblies, called “off-wheel” designs, place the motor and gearhead away from the wheel. Integrated designs, called “in-wheel”, have the motor built into the wheel assembly and often use frameless motor technology. Designers will need to consider load, wheel type, environment and surface, turning radius, shock and vibration, power source, etc. before deciding on which wheelhub class is best for their application.
In addition, many AGVs must operate according to Safety Category 3 standards (EN ISO 13849-1). One requirement is the availability STO (Safe Torque Off) which reliably brings the motor to a no-torque state. STO is typically used to prevent an unexpected startup (EN 1037) or to do an emergency stop, fulfilling stop category 0 (EN 60204-1).
Electromate’s expertise and experience helps designers choose the right motor, gearhead, bearing, encoder and brake technology to optimize wheelhub performance and cost. Whether you are looking for a basic planetary gearhead and housed motor solution, or a a highly customized frameless motor design, we can help. If you would like to learn more about Safety and STO, or just talk about AGV controllability, contact us for details.