Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) Expert

Automated Guided Vehicles Expert

Automated Guided Vehicles, also known as Guided Industrial Vehicles, Automatic Guided Vehicles or AGVs, are robotic vehicles used to move materials and products in factories, warehouses and shipping ports. AGVs are sometimes classified according to how they carry their loads. Fork-type automatic guided vehicles carry their loads with fork lifts; burden carrier-type automatic guided vehicles carry their loads in integrated beds and towing-type AGVs carry their loads in one or more trailers.

The first AGV was introduced to market in the 1950’s. At the time they were called driverless trucks. Because they don’t have drivers, the automatic guided vehicles must have a way to navigate on their own within their operating environment. Early automated guided vehicles used wires embedded in the floor for their navigation. Current flowing through the wires generated electro-magnetic fields the automatic guided vehicle could sense. Though wires in the floor can still be used, newer AGVs typically use laser, inertial or computer vision technologies for their navigation.

The concept of a bumper is a central component of automatic industrial vehicle safety systems. The bumper senses obstructions in the vehicle’s path and issues a stop command to the control system. Early AGVs used compliant materials that physically projected beyond the perimeter of the vehicle. This method is still used, but virtual bumpers based on scanning laser technology are becoming more common. The bumper must sense the obstruction beyond the body of the automatic guided vehicle so there is time to stop before the collision. The vehicle’s stopping distance depends on a variety of factors including: vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic, clearances, condition of the floor and stability of the load. When the load extends beyond the body of the automated guided vehicle, it must be considered in the stopping distance calculations.

I have experience designing control and simulation systems for automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) and can support your litigation efforts as an automated guided vehicle (AGV) expert witness. My qualifications include numerous peer-reviewed publications and over thirty years of engineering experience with software, robotics, instrumentation, medical devices, computer-controlled machines and factory automation.

I accept a small number of litigation support engagements to complement my regular employment as a professional engineer designing automation and robotic systems.

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