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Autocraft, Inc.

Autocraft, Inc. was founded in 1958 and is headquartered in Algonac, Michigan. Autocraft, Inc. also has an additional facility in Marine City, Michigan, located on the St. Clair River. Autocraft, Inc. provides advanced industrial material handling systems and specialized tooling for the largest industrial manufacturers in the world. Autocraft, Inc. products include door and instrument panel carriers and automatic guided carts that safely and efficiently transport material in factory environments. Also known for our patented work brake systems, which optimize the ergonomics and safety of line operators exposed to rotating assembly processes.

Robots Helping Out

Typically when I think of an automated guided vehicle (AGV) I think of a robot that is mobile by the means of wheels. However, wheels do not have to be the only medium of travel for automated guided vehicles. Besides wheels, the conveyance or transportation of the AGV can be by tacks, runners or some other system that the vehicle is guided on or with. Today and growing everyday is the popularity of AGV in a wide variety of industries. There are several types of material handling robots that are designed to take care of whatever requirement your industry needs and those are: unit load vehicles, fork trucks, towing, assembly line and light load vehicles.

Underground Automated Highways

There are many shows, books, movies and cartoons depicting the future and what our transportation systems could potentially evolve into. In the Jetsons, people drive around in little hoover cars to different destinations in sky cities. In the cartoon Futurama, there is an extensive tube network, cars that hoover inches above the ground and spaceships. I’ve noticed most science fiction depicts transportation moving to the skies, but is that actually where we are headed?

The History of Automated Guided Vehicles

As I learn more about AGVs, the movie Wall-E constantly pops into my head. It’s difficult to not fall in love with the adorable little robot left on earth to pick up, compact and stack all the waste left behind on the desolate plain once called earth. I find it amusing that we have had automatic guided vehicles similar to Wall-E, at least in application, since 1953. They may be missing personalities (at least to my knowledge), but AGVs today can lift, load and carry materials for industrial purposes.