Targeted at automatic guided vehicle (AGV) and other semi-autonomous mobile robotic applications, the MGSW1600 magnetic guide sensor is capable of detecting and reporting the position of a magnetic field along its horizontal axis. It’s aimed at line-following robotic applications, using adhesive magnetic tape to form a track guide on the floor.
While primarily used to steer AGVs moving material on factory floors, the sensor’s sensitivity and accuracy enables its potential use in other applications, says the company, including automatic shelf replenishing in supermarkets, patient transport in hospitals, stage theater props, or rail-less tramways.
Using advanced signal processing, the sensor can accurately measure its lateral distance from the center of the track with millimeter resolution, resulting in nearly 160 points end to end. Tape position information can be output in numerical format on the sensor’s RS232, CANbus, or USB ports.
The position is also reported as a 0 to 3-V analog voltage output and as a variable PWM output. In addition, the sensor supports a dedicated MultiPWM mode allowing seamless communication with all of the company’s motor controllers using only one wire.
The MGSW1600 will detect and manage up to two-way forks and can be instructed to follow the left or right track using commands issued via its ports. All of the sensor’s operating parameters and commands are also accessible via its CAN bus interface.
In addition to detecting a track to follow, the sensor will detect and report the presence of magnetic markers. Markers are pieces of tape of opposite magnetic polarity that may be positioned on the left or right side of the track. The sensor is equipped with four LEDs for easy monitoring and diagnostics.
The MGSW1600 is built into a rugged, watertight, all-metal enclosure measuring 165 x 35 x 35 mm. It uses an 8-pin waterproof M12-type connector for its power supply and IO signals.
The MGSW1600 is available now at $595 in single quantities.