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Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs), are they all the same?

3 minutes to read

Are all AMRs built the same? What makes them different and what is the best solution for your operation?
In this post we will attempt to group together what we see as the bulk of most AMRs we see in the market today. 

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Goods to Person AMR (high frame):

Typically we see these as high framed with multiple shelves on one side with a moving picking station on the other. They are able to pick multiple totes and deliver multiple totes in one trip, and the same goes for the reverse, in replenishing. 

These systems are capable of delivering high picking numbers and great for applications where access to 100% of goods is needed. In order to get the most out of these systems, a good level of data analysis needs to be performed to understand SKU velocity, to place the totes in optimal locations. 

Goods to Person AMR (shelf movers):

Very much like the high frame AMR solution above, these shelf moving AMRs have the potential to produce very high picking speeds. Particularly when items are grouped in such a way that an operator can pick multiple orders from a single presentation of a shelf.  In order to get the most out of these systems, a good level of data analysis needs to be performed to understand SKU velocity and how to group them together most efficiently for the system.


Sortation AMR:

Usually seen with either a belt on top or a tilt try on top. This type of system is often seen in a large swarm and is used to transport items placed on top to a drop off location. Typically these systems have few input locations and many output locations and work best in very fast paced environments.


Pick to Me AMR or Meet Me AMR:

These robots drive to operators, where operators are given small sections of pick face to look after. The robot will present itself and display on a screen what item is needed and the quantity. Once the task has been completed, the robot will either go to the next picking zone/operator or to packing to complete the order.

With this system, operators will walk less through the warehouse and will see a modest increase in order throughput as a result. On the plus side, these are highly flexible systems and can be deployed with low investment and easily scalable. 

Tote Retrieving AMR:

This type of AMR retrieves totes stored in standard looking racking. It is able to scale up, across and down the racking. It can handle single totes on each trip and delivers them to a goods to person station.

As with any system that is designed for GTP applications it is capable of delivering high pick rates as it builds a queue of AMRs in the predetermined wave. 

Pallet AMR:

These type of AMR are suited for moving pallets typically along frequently travelled routes and from one station to another. 

Autonomous Forklift AMR:

As above with the pallet AMRs, these are effectively driverless forklift trucks, they are counterbalanced so they can pick up palletised loads from the floor and move and lift them to a position on a rack. 

Get in touch:

If you are looking at assessing if AMRs are suitable for your application, and which type of AMR would the best suited for your operation, we can support you. 

Contact a Toyota expert