Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs)
& Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs)

RLS is a leading manufacturer and supplier of magnetic encoders for the AGV & AMR industry. With a wide range of design variants, industry standard output options, RLS encoders offer easy installation and reliable operation for years.

In logistic AGV/AMR sector, magnetic encoders provide excellent position feedback. Due to their non-contact operation they are extremely reliable and thanks to IP68 protection they can also be used in dusty environments.

AGV- automated guided vehicle is a portable robot that follows along marked long lines or wires on the floor, or uses radio waves, vision cameras, magnets, or lasers for navigation.

AMR - Autonomous Mobile Robot is a robot (vehicle) that uses on-board sensors and processors to autonomously move materials without the need for physical guides or markers.

AGVs & AMRs are used for moving large quantities of material repeatedly in a variety of applications in the automotive industry, logistics, smart warehouses, food and beverage, pharmaceutical and printing industries. They are designed to work in narrow aisles, reach high shelves and increase warehouse storage capacity. AGV/AMR bring considerable added value and enable flexible logistics for companies in all sectors, especially in these times when logistical bottlenecks are increasing.

Challenges of AGVs

Accuracy of 0.5°

In order for the AGV/AMR to be able to determine the exact position of the wheel an encoder has to give accurate position. To control speed and direction, encoders are critical to ensure precise and safe operation.

Compact design and easy installation

The encoders need to be compact. Many AGV / AMRs are compactly designed to meet the requirements of smart warehousing. Easy installation in the drive system is also an advantage.

Shock and vibration resistance

When AGV or AMR operate in the plant or warehouse, they inevitably cause certain shocks and impacts due to uneven floors and messy objects. Therefore, the selected encoder must be highly resistant to shock and vibration to maintain its accuracy in the complicated environment.

How they work?

AGV & AMR drive units typically consist of a servo motor, a speed reducer, brake and tires and require an encoder to control the movement, steering and stopping of the vehicle. In speed monitoring, especially in combination with safety laser scanners for safeguarding danger points, the encoders are an essential component of a vehicle with a safety function.

Each axle/wheel of the AGV is steered around its axis by the torque difference between two motors. Closed loop control is achieved by angular position feedback from each axle drive.

AGV how they work

Why RLS magnetic encoders?


  • Best-in-class quality and reliability achieved through superior design and manufacturing processes.
  • Sine/cosine feedback is available as a standard type of motor position feedback.
  • Robust design, suitable for demanding AGV / AMR environments.
  • Encoder protected to IP68, against possible ingress of dust and water.
  • Compact size and high performance make RLS encoders easy to install even in confined spaces.


  • Speed control – incremental encoder
  • Steering/direction control of wheels – absolute encoder
  • Mast height and fork positioning