1 The development of guidance technology with preset reference media is becoming more mature and stable
Guidance technology is one of the core and key technologies of AGV. Guidance technology solves the positioning problem of AGV. The guidance technologies with preset reference media include magnetic strip guidance, magnetic dot guidance, two-dimensional code guidance, RFID guidance, and laser reflector guidance technology. Its common feature is to preset the reference medium on the AGV's planned walking path or associate the reference medium with the AGV's walking path. During the work of the AGV, it is necessary to confirm whether the current walking position of the AGV is normal by reading the information of these reference media on the walking path. In recent years, these guidance technologies have been widely used in domestic and foreign manufacturers' AGV products, and the gap between domestic and foreign technological levels is gradually narrowing. In particular, magnetic guidance and two-dimensional code guidance have become the mainstream of current AGV guidance technology. The level of technological development is becoming more mature and stable, and the cost is gradually falling, laying a solid foundation for the promotion and application of AGV products in different industries.
2. SLAM guidance technology without preset reference media is a current research hotspot
Compared to the widespread application of guidance technology with preset reference media, the current market size of SLAM guidance technology without preset reference media is far from comparable. The AGV applying SLAM guidance technology can not only achieve autonomous obstacle avoidance, but also realize autonomous path planning. For AGV companies, AGV applying SLAM guidance technology does not need to set reference markers on the customer's site, and does not need to worry about the reference markers on the AGV path being blocked by the scene's complex environment. It can also shorten the AGV field installation and commissioning time Can significantly increase the profit level of AGV companies.
At present, there are three main branches of SLAM guidance technology without a preset reference medium: lidar type, laser scanning contour type, and machine vision type. The lidar type is mainly used in the field of unmanned vehicles in outdoor environments. At present, there are demo products at home and abroad that are actually being demonstrated. The market potential and product maturity remain to be seen. Laser scanning contour type is mainly used for indoor AGV products, and it is a relatively mature branch of SLAM guidance technology application. Many domestic AGV companies have corresponding products. The development of AGV guided by machine vision SLAM is slower than the former two, and there are fewer application cases. But with the further development of 5G technology and AI technology, the development potential of SLAM guided by machine vision cannot be ignored.
The functional complexity of AGV models has further increased
AGV is a typical mechatronics complex product. Only advanced and stable guidance technology cannot achieve an AGV product that meets customer needs. In recent years, the complexity of AGV products has increased significantly, which has brought great challenges to developers of AGV companies. In the past, the AGV simply completed the handling and stacking functions of standard pallets, bins or shelves, which could meet the owner's requirements.
Nowadays, more and more AGVs must be combined with the owner's process, and the adaptability, functional requirements, positioning accuracy, and bearing capacity of AGV products are also getting higher and higher. Taking the carrying capacity as an example, the general product carrying capacity of domestic AGV companies is below 3 tons. At present, there is a certain demand for AGVs with a handling capacity of more than 10 tons and even dozens of tons. Since the development of foreign AGVs is earlier and the industrial applications of AGVs are more extensive, there is still a certain gap between domestic and foreign countries in terms of model function complexity.
Taken as a whole, there is not much difference at home and abroad in the core technology research and application of AGV products. Domestic AGV products are the mainstream of the domestic AGV market, and there are also some domestic AGV products that are exported to all over the world. However, in terms of the production of core technologies, there are slightly larger differences at home and abroad. For example, domestic magnetic guidance, two-dimensional code guidance technology has a small gap compared with similar foreign products, and domestic laser guidance products still have some gaps compared with similar foreign products. In the field of complex AGV products, there are large differences at home and abroad. Solving this problem depends on the understanding and promotion of AGV by other domestic industries on the one hand, and on the other hand, the continuous improvement and progress of domestic AGV companies' development capabilities.