What Are Autonomous Mobile Robots?

Warehouses, logistical companies, agriculture businesses, and healthcare institutions are all looking for new and innovative ways to improve operational efficiency, enhance speed, ensure precision, and increase safety. Many are turning to autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) for help.

An autonomous mobile robot is a type of robot that can understand and move through its environment independently. AMRs differ from their predecessors, autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), which rely on tracks or predefined paths and often require operator oversight.

AMRs use a sophisticated set of sensors, artificial intelligence, machine learning, and compute for path planning to interpret and navigate through their environment, untethered from wired power. Because AMRs are equipped with cameras and sensors, if they experience an unexpected obstacle while navigating their environments, such as a fallen box or a crowd of people, they will use a navigation technique like collision avoidance to slow, stop, or reroute their path around the object and then continue with their task.

Autonomous Mobile Robot Components and Architecture

Explore the diagram below to learn how system components work together to enable AMRs.

Frequently Asked Questions

An autonomous mobile robot (AMR) is a type of robot that can understand and move through its environment without being overseen directly by an operator or limited to a fixed, predetermined path. All AMRs begin with a mobile platform, and many come with passive or active attachments or manipulators to accomplish an assortment of tasks. Wheeled AMRs, untethered from wired power and data, navigate using cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine vision.

One example of an autonomous mobile robot is a pick-and-place AMR that’s commonly used in warehouses. This AMR uses machine vision technology to identify, grab, and move objects from one location to another while avoiding obstacles. Another example of an AMR is one that transports medicine or supplies in a hospital. This AMR helps automate the distribution of medicine by taking assignments, picking up medications, and delivering them to the correct patients throughout the hospital.

Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) use cameras, sensors, artificial intelligence, and machine vision to independently navigate through uncontrolled environments to complete a variety of tasks. Autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs) follow a track or predefined route to complete automated, repetitive tasks and are often overseen by a human operator. Remotely operated underwater vehicles (ROVs) are deployed to complete deep-water tasks while being tethered to and operated by a crew located on a floating platform or land. ROVs can be fitted with equipment such as a robotic arm, camera, lights, or sensors to enhance its capabilities.