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Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV)

There is an increase in the popularity and application of AGVs for automation, primarily driven by the availability of vision-based technologies, that enable 3D imaging for object recognition and avoidance applications, delivering increased autonomy and navigation outside controlled environments. The sensors in these applications are specially designed cameras that create a complete 3D environment map using imaging techniques for object recognition and avoidance. Applications can be equipped with stereoscopic imaging or time-of-flight technologies, both requiring VCSEL illuminators for optimized system performance. Sensors must overcome specific challenges such as varying outdoor light conditions. 

ams has significant experience in 3D imaging techniques, and an innovative portfolio of components ranging from VCSEL based emitting flood and dot pattern illuminators to receiving image sensors. Optical- and power efficiency are key differentiators for our VCSEL illuminators. High Quantum Efficiency, and enabling power efficient systems are key differentiators for our global shutter imaging products. Precision time-of-flight modules can be added to complement other technologies, adding additional detection capabilities to the collision avoidance system. Challenges for the AGV motor drive, such as powerful and accurate performance, low power consumption and reliability can be overcome using ams' contactless, and ultra-reliable magnetic position sensors that are immune to disturbing stray fields and ensuring control in difficult environments. 


Industrial Robots

Industrial robots accelerate and execute manufacturing tasks in production such as welding and assembly. With the help of more advanced vision-based solutions, robots can perform more complex tasks providing greater flexibility, rendering them useful for different jobs. Cobots are robots that collaborate with humans without the need for clear isolating shields. The uptick of cobots in manufacturing requires vision to ensure safe interactions with humans. One example is ‘pick-and-place’ robots for components, where size, location, and orientation of the objects are variable factors.

Advanced image processing combined with 2D or 3D camera solutions achieve the required precision and quality. Key sensor challenges include acquiring high quality images without movement artifacts. Global shutter pixels with high quantum efficiency, low power consumption and having a small footprint are important specifications for the image sensor. Focus free and high contrast illuminators enable 3D solutions that deliver best in class system performance. Time-of-Flight modules can complement these solutions enabling presence detection, helping to maintain a safe operation should a human enter the active work area.

Position sensing is key to control the position, orientation and motion of the robot. ams’ contactless position sensors offer a high-resolution IC solution that is ideally suited for sensing and controlling the position of the industrial robots’ joint systems. Additionally, the position sensors help motor drives to control the torque and speed more precisely increasing power and reducing the motor size.