Robótica móvil y 5G

Increasing potential in industry: 5G robots

  • Fermax and FORVIA/Faurecia host two demos at their facilities to test how 5G technology improves the management of fleets of robots for transporting goods within the industry.
  • Robotnik, a Valencian company and pioneer in the use of mobile autonomous 5G robots is responsible for these two pilot tests.
  • Both demonstrations are part of the National 5G Plan, the programme for the development of 5G technology pilot projects implemented by Red.es.

 

FERMAX and FORVIA /Faurecia are the two industrial manufacturing plants where the possibilities offered by a 5G robot for indoor and outdoor goods transport have been demonstrated.
Robotnik, in collaboration with Orange and Fivecomm, has been responsible for the execution of these pilot tests, which are part of the final result of the

PILOTOS 5G project, part of the National 5G Plan, a programme for the development of 5G technology pilot projects carried out by the public business entity Red.es, promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (FEDER).

In both demonstrations, Robotnik's RB-VOGUI mobile robot performed autonomous and collaborative logistics tasks in transport and material provisioning. It was shown how 5G connectivity optimises the management and performance of a robot fleet in industrial environments thanks to the benefits it brings. These include speed of response, as it increases the speed of information transmission; increased precision and speed in operations; improved connectivity: the reduction in network latency of 5G solves the limitations of wired logic technologies (Bluetooth, WiFi...); and cost reduction due to the reduction of possible operational errors and increased productivity.

RB-VOGUI

5G robots for logistics

At the FORVIA/Faurecia site, the RB-VOGUI mobile robot has demonstrated its capability to perform both indoor and outdoor trolley-driven transport of materials. The aim is to automate last-mile logistics, thereby reducing processes and costs.
At Fermax, the mobile robot with 5G, autonomously transports missing parts from one point of the production line to another, thus avoiding downtime in the manufacturing process.

In both cases, while the robots carry out the various tasks, the operators receive streaming from the cameras and information from the 3D point cloud, and can also take control remotely at any time.

RB-VOGUI

Robotnik's managers of use case 6, to which both pilots belong, state that 'the main objective of this use case has been achieved: the development of remotely controlled transport robots that allow, both outdoors and indoors, to automate logistic tasks in a manufacturing environment where further integration, robotisation and optimisation of the load distribution chain is required'.

Project partners

This use case is being developed as part of Red.es' PILOTOS 5G Valencia project, within the National 5G Plan and the National Plan for Intelligent Territories. Both are promoted by the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Digital Transformation and co-financed with FEDER funds. This Plan aims to stimulate the definition and implementation of multiple use cases of this technology through the constitution of an ecosystem of technological partners, who will join forces to accelerate the process in order to make the so-called "digital economy" a reality in the near future.

Pilotos 5g

PILOTOS 5G is driven by a Joint Venture (JV) involving, besides Robotnik, companies such as Orange, Visyon (MEDIAPRO Group), Robotnik, CFZ Cobots, Elewit (Red Eléctrica Group), Aracnocoptero, Idrica, ETRA and other collaborating entities.

 


alessandro di fava

What's new with robotics R&D? Alessandro di Fava give us the keys

One of the competitive values of Robotnik is its long trajectory not only as a manufacturer of mobile robotics, but also as part of more than 60 European research and development projects in robotics.

The Spanish company’s mobile robots and manipulators play a leading role in various projects focused on different sectors: inspection, logistics, agriculture, health or emergency and rescue among others.
Alessandro di Fava, project manager at Robotnik, talks about technological innovation, what these projects bring to the robotics sector and other developments in this interview.

R&D robotics projects are a particular field.
Why we as Robotnik are involved in R&D projects? Let’s see what R & D projects like the European projects can bring into the robotics sector and for society in general.


ADF:  My name is Alessandro Di Fava, I’m project manager in Robotnik.

Alessandro Di Fava

Currently I’m involved in 4 European projects that are part of the Horizon 2020 program: 5G-ERA, ODIN, BACCHUS and PROMEN-AID.

Inside those projects, our goal is to provide mobile robots and also develop some improved technologies that increase our AMR applications. I’m talking, for example, about the use of artificial intelligence in robotics or about robots and 5G.

5G and robotics

ADF: 5G brings some features that enhance the communications among different devices. One of the good things of 5G is that on the network you can run some specific functions reducing problems like delayed or latency.

I know it sounds like very technical terms but it can actually be understood with simple examples. 5G and robotics bring many new possibilities.

I know it sounds like very technical terms but it can actually be understood with simple examples. 5G and robotics bring many new possibilities.

Until now, when you have to communicate between devices with existing communications (wireless, 4G, etc.), in many cases the information doesn’t arrive in time.
Imagine a team of firefighters having to control a robot in real time in an emergency situation, for example. They need fast information to make quick decisions, as the success of the mission depends in part on there being no communication delays.

I can also tell you that Robotnik is already marketing the first 5G robots.

What does 5G imply for robots?

As Alessandro says, for collaborative robots, 5G offers a framework that will allow us to make significant advances based mainly on 3 aspects: low latency, massive M2M (mass communication between remote machines) and IoT.
All disruptive technologies – AI, IoT or augmented reality – are now empowered by the implementation of a 5G connection.

5G robots:

  • High bandwidth: required for data, video and audio streams, both for telecontrol and for cloud or edge processing.
  • Low latency and guaranteed latency: this opens up the possibility of teleoperation (and telepresence) to previously impossible levels. It also enables centralised fleet control, reducing computational needs on robots.
  • Cloud computing: the robot does not have to have large processing capabilities, it can rely on AI algorithms or sensor processing in the cloud, allowing for a cheaper, more versatile and easier to install product, cheaper and with lower energy consumption..
  • Much fluid and higher quality teleoperation.

This development is a major boost for intelligent automation. On the road to Smart Factories, the 5G connection integrated into our mobile platforms opens up an unprecedented range of possibilities in production environments: interconnection between robots and replicas with the digital twin, greater personalisation of applications, cloud computing or greater use of Artificial Intelligence systems.

What do you think is the main benefit for a robotics company of participating in R&D projects?

ADF: We manufacture indoor or outdoor mobile robots that can be used in different sectors: agriculture, healthcare, inspection and surveillance, logistics… and we as a company with 20 years of experience in the sector, must ensure certain guarantees to our customers. Guarantees that our mobile robots have indeed been tested and will perform as expected in a specific environment, often sharing tasks with humans.

In that European R&D robotics projects we can test some applications with all the scenarios and infrastructure that a big project offers you and then, after the 2, 3 or more years of duration of each project, you can go to the customer and say: okey, that mobile robot is available to this or that applications in this or that sectors.

That’s why, the participation in this kind of projects brings benefits for the robotic providers but also for the final customers and ender users.

Imagine a hospital use case. Until now, the nurses are doing many general time-consuming jobs like bringing material, papers, documents from one side to another inside the hospital, that means less time to do their real work.

Robontik AMR working on R&D projects

We have some of our AMR like RB-1 BASE or RB-THERON, working in hospitals and doing that kind of logistics tasks.

But, how have we come to verify that these robots are safe to work with people inside a hospital?

Robotnik as a company has to prove that it is possible and reliable for our AMRs to work safely inside hospitals… okey, we develop the necessary mobile robots, integrate the required technology, etc. But we don’t have a hospital with patients to make the necessary demos.

So H2020 gives us the opportunity to validate and improve applications in real-life scenarios.
This is one of the main advantages of participating in big R&D projects: we work with several partners and each of us contributes in a different way, thus making possible a real experimental framework that would otherwise be impossible.

 

Alessandro di Fava has more than 10 years of experience in the field of robotics. He started his PhD at the Scuola Superiore Sant’Anna, based in Pisa, Italy, and continued with work experiences at two robotics service platform providers in Spain. I have participated in several EU-funded research and innovation projects in collaboration with a consortium of European universities and industrial partners. Currently, he is R&D project manager at Robotnik.


5g valencia

The spanish Vice-president Nadia Calviño visits Valencia to learn first-hand about the Pilotos 5G project

  • Valencia has been the location to show the advances in 5G technology within the Pilotos 5G project, in which Robotnik, Orange, Elewit, Vysion or CFZ Cobots, among other partners that make up the UTE, have joined forces to develop new applications of this technological standar,

The First Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation, Nadia Calviño, attended one of the most important events of this 2021 in Valencia on Thursday 9 September to see, first-hand, some of the demonstrations that are being developed around 5G technology in different areas.

One of the pilots that took place live at La Marina de Valencia was Remote Inspection and Maintenance with Robots. In this use case, Robotnik collaborates with Orange and Huawei to carry out inspection and maintenance of electrical and railway infrastructures, using robots remotely controlled thanks to the 5G network for the Generalitat Valenciana and the electricity company Viesgo. Remote control of robots in complicated terrain requires high information transmission capacity (high quality images) and ultra-low latency.

summit-xl

Roberto Guzmán, CEO of Robotnik, showed the media and the various authorities who attended the event, the benefits of 5G technology in the field of mobile robotics and how the company is working on the 5G Pilots project through two use cases.

This work will translate into great opportunities for development and a sustainable future that will benefit different productive sectors and the business fabric in Spain.

After taking an interest in the evolution of each of the use cases, the minister said that "this is probably the most pleasant event of my week", and expressed her satisfaction at seeing how much progress the project has made in such a short time "what was a list of projects a year and a half ago is now a reality".

There is no doubt that this project brings great advances for both industry and other sectors, which will result in significant progress and benefits for society.

rb-vogui
Below is a compilation of some of the information published about the event:

Una UTE liderada por Orange presenta las aplicaciones del 5G , Las Provincias

Calviño asiste en València a demostraciones sobre el uso de tecnología 5G , Agencia EFE

València, como nunca se ha visto , Levante-emv

Calviño supervisa los avances del 5G en València , Levante-emv

Nadia Calviño asiste en València a experiencias 5G que avanzan el futuro del turismo, la telemedicina, la agricultura y el mantenimiento de infraestructuras críticas , Orange

Valencia, nodo clave para el desarrollo del 5G en España , Nobbot

 


5G

5G and Robotics use cases in Spain

Robotnik is one of the partners that are carrying out the development of different pilot tests around 5G technology and robotics in Spain.

Robotnik, Orange, CFZ Cobots, Elewit, Visyon, Aracnocóptero or Etra, are some of the partners that are carrying out the development of different pilot tests around 5G uses in Valencia, Spain as part of the 5G PILOTS project. The aim is to boost the automation of different industrial sectors by integrating 5G technology in collaborative mobile robots.

5G PILOTS is part of the National 5G Plan, a programme for the development of 5G technology pilot projects run by the public entity Red.es, promoted by the Ministry of Economic Affairs and Digital Transformation and co-financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), with a budget of 10 M€.

The project includes a total of 15 use cases developed by the different members of the joint venture, including Robotnik. In the institutional event held last Monday 14th, all of them were presented and 3 specific demonstrations were carried out, including the two use cases in which Robotnik participates.

Mobile robotics and 5G in Spain

The two cases using 5G and robotics technology in Spain, in which Robotnik participates are:

1. Use Case 6: Robotics - Remote Fleet Management of AGVs.

This 5G and Robotic technology case is implemented in two pilots in industrial manufacturing plants (both indoor and outdoor). The first one is FERMAX, where the RB-VOGUI robots will perform a task of supplying production points from the warehouse (indoor transport) and the second one is FAURECIA, where the robot will perform a task of transporting airbag racks. Up to now, work is being carried out on the design of the transport trolleys and the robot-to-trolley docking system to carry out the transport, on the indoor and outdoor location and navigation system (3D SLAM), on the user interface and on the implementation of a fleet manager in the cloud, which will later be tested on the edge.

robot móvil

As soon as 5G connectivity is available on the UPV Campus, the first communication, fleet management and telecontrol tests of both use cases will begin, as well as preliminary operational and validation tests prior to the implementation of the pilots.

2. Use Case 7: Robotics - Remote Inspection.

The inspection robotics use case focuses on the autonomous inspection of electrical substations and catenary for FGV (Ferrocarrils of the Generalitat Valenciana). Work is currently underway on the configuration of sensors and manufacture of the robot, on the programming and configuration of the robot for this application, on the organisation of a platform for data storage and on the integration of the 5G communications system with the remote inspection robot.

Partners in use cases 6 and 7

Robotnik provides robotic technology at hardware and software level for both use cases. Specifically, Robotnik provides a SUMMIT-XL robot (inspection) and a fleet of RB-VOGUI robots (Fleet Management System), as well as the software that includes among other modules such as the fleet manager, on-board software for localisation, navigation, mission management, HMI, etc.
Iteam is responsible for the development and integration of the 5G communications system based on Robotnik's hardware and software.

5G

Intel is Orange's partner in use case 6 (Fleet Management - AGVs) and provides cloud computing algorithms that process data obtained from its sensors.

Finally, Orange is the network provider and Huawei is the infrastructure hardware provider.

5G marks the future of collaborative mobile robotics and is a major breakthrough for the industry. Indeed, as discussed last year, 'the European Commission published a Recommendation calling on Member States to boost investment in very high capacity broadband connectivity infrastructure, including 5G, which is the cornerstone of the digital transformation and an essential pillar of the recovery. The timely deployment of 5G networks will offer significant economic opportunities in the coming years as it is a crucial asset for European competitiveness and sustainability, as well as an important enabler of future digital services.' As the official website reads.

What does 5G bring to mobile robotics? 

The inspection robotics and fleet management pilots are very representative examples where the introduction of 5G will play a disruptive role. It is an unbeatable framework to validate and test the capabilities of this new technology, which undoubtedly brings innumerable advantages for collaborative mobile robotics.

What 5G technology brings to autonomous service robots:

  • High bandwidth: required for data, video and audio streams, both for telecontrol and for cloud or edge processing.
  • Low latency and guaranteed latency: this opens up the possibility of teleoperation (and remote presence) to levels previously impossible. It also enables centralised fleet control, reducing computational needs on robots.
  • Cloud computing: the robot does not have to have large processing capabilities, it can rely on AI algorithms or sensor processing in the cloud, allowing for a cheaper, more versatile and easier to install, cheaper and less energy consuming product.
  • Much smoother and higher quality teleoperation:

With the pilots being developed, the aim is to validate the above advantages and measure the performance in real use cases.