Autonomous Ground Vehicles & Autonomous Mobile Robots

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.

AGV & AMR Component Providers


AMC has been manufacturing servo drives for over 25 years. They can be found all over the world in the highest performance applications, the harshest environments as well as working reliably in day to day operations.

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Electrocraft offers a new wheel drive featuring a high torque-density brushless DC motor with an integrated single-stage planetary gearbox and wheel

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Harmonic Drive LLC designs and manufactures precision servo actuators, gearheads and gear component sets. They work with  customers and companies to provide standard and custom-engineered solutions. 

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Kollmorgen is a long-trusted partner, designing and manufacturing classic servo motors, direct drive servo motors, stepper motors, drives & amplifiers, gearheads, actuators, or CNC & multi-axis motion controllers.

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Maxon motor combines electric motors, gears, feedback devices and DC motor controls into high-precision, intelligent drive systems that can be custom-made to fit the specific needs of customer applications. 

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AGV & AMR Whitepapers

Motion Controllers for Autonomous Vehicles

Robotic, unmanned vehicles and the associated technology, although advanced, remain limited by their need for a controlling, human source. The US Department of Defense sponsors the DARPA (Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency) Grand Challenge – one that encourages the development of autonomous ground-based vehicles. The purpose of this challenge is to ultimately find vehicles that can be used in place of manned vehicles for dangerous missions. The team whose vehicle can travel the fastest in less than 10 hours across 175 miles of treacherous roads and trails will win a $2 million prize.

AGV & AMR Products

MPW 52 Wheel Drive

Features a high torque-density brushless DC motor with a heavy duty integrated planetary gearbox mounted inside the hub of a lightweight aluminum wheel with custom tread. Designed for mobile robot applications, the MPW combines optimum performance with high-efficiency, quiet operation and long life.

MPW 86  Wheel Drive

ElectroCraft’s MobilePower™ Leap Award winning MPW wheel drive is a compact, high-torque density electric wheel drive. The new MPW86 offers a best in class 500lb per wheel load with speeds of up to 4.3 meters/second. The MPW86 offers powerful starting torque of 35 Nm and 20 Nm continuous.

maxon Wheel Drive

Compact and highly efficient. The new maxon wheel drive system for AGV and AMR.

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