What is the difference between AGVs and AMRs?

AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) and AMRs (Autonomous Mobile Robots) are both utilised for material handling and transportation within industrial and warehouse settings, but they differ in design, capabilities, and operational behaviour.


  • Guidance and Operation: AGVs are typically guided by physical systems installed on the floor, such as magnetic tape, wires, markers, or some of the most advanced systems use laser measuring systems. They follow predetermined paths or routes, often with fixed endpoints. AGVs are well-suited for repetitive tasks along fixed routes and are ideal for environments with well-defined pathways. They rely on collision avoidance systems to stop (or take a different pre-programmed route if available) when encountering obstacles, ensuring predictable behaviour and safe operation.
  • Benefits: AGVs offer efficiency and predictability in operations, ensuring consistent material handling. They generally require lower initial investment costs compared to AMRs due to their simpler navigation systems. AGVs are suitable for environments with stable layouts where repetitive tasks are prevalent.

Watch an AGV in operation…


  • Guidance and Operation: AMRs are typically equipped with laser sensors or other sensing systems and onboard intelligence that enable them to navigate autonomously without the need for physical guidance systems. They can dynamically adapt to changes in their environment and navigate around obstacles in their path automatically. AMRs are more flexible and versatile than AGVs, capable of handling complex tasks and environments. They continuously operate, navigating around obstacles while maintaining workflow efficiency.
  • Benefits: AMRs offer flexibility and scalability, adapting to changing environments and tasks without requiring significant modifications. They enhance workplace safety by autonomously navigating around obstacles and avoiding collisions. AMRs are suitable for dynamic workplaces where layouts may change frequently or where tasks require adaptability and agility.

Watch an AMR in operation…

Choosing Between AGVs and AMRs:

  • Predictable vs. Adaptive: AGVs offer predictability and efficiency in repetitive tasks along fixed routes, while AMRs provide adaptability and versatility in dynamic environments with changing layouts.
  • Cost and Complexity: AGVs may have lower initial investment costs but require infrastructure modifications for guidance, whereas AMRs offer greater flexibility and scalability without the need for extensive infrastructure changes.
  • Safety and Continuous Operation: AGVs rely on collision avoidance systems to stop or reroute to a different pre-programmed path when obstacles are detected, ensuring safety and predictable behaviour. AMRs autonomously navigate around obstacles, maintaining continuous operation and workflow efficiency. Some companies prefer AGV’s in terms of safety as people know exactly where they will run and there is less chance of coming head-to-head with one in an unexpected location.
  • Speed of operation: AMRs advanced navigation software can significantly improve the speed of operation by navigating around obstacles rather than stopping in dynamic environments, however an AGV system on pre-defined predictable routes that are kept clear can be very fast and efficient and give more speed. With both systems, as operators and those working in the area get used to the paths they take and keep the routes clear they increase in speed and efficiency.

In reality the line between an AMR and AGV is getting blurred with advances in technology and it is advisable to look at the technology of each available system and see how well it is suited to your specific application. Some examples of crossovers between AGV and AMR technology are as follows:

  • Some AGV technology has advanced laser measurement systems that dynamically map where they are, similar to AMR’s, and although they follow a pre-defined route, they will also use sensors to adapt their route e.g. for block stacking products.
  • Some AMR technology has pre-set paths available in the software and the AMR can be set to run just like an AGV on a set path only.

Consideration of these factors, aligned with specific operational needs and long-term goals, can guide the decision-making process when choosing between AGVs and AMRs for material handling applications. If you do not have prior experience with both AMR’s and AGV’s it’s advisable to get a specialist automation company who offers both technologies to come and look at your application and give you a technical recommendation for which technology is best suited to your requirements.

If you would like to know more about AGVs and AMRs, then please do get in touch on 01223 499488 or contact us at helpline@granta-automation.co.uk.  We will be very happy to help.

Bag PalletiserBag Palletiser
Barrel PalletiserBarrel Palletiser
Box PalletiserBox Palletiser
Crate PalletiserCrate Palletiser
Tray PalletiserTray Palletiser
This entry was posted in AGVs, AMRs, Automated Palletising, Palletising, Robotic Palletising and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.