rb-vogui

Use and applications of Artificial Intelligence in robotics

Bringing together the concepts of robotics and Artificial Intelligence, the first image that comes to mind is that of the humanoids of so many films and books. But beyond the Hollywood, AI is a revolution for the industry.

AI is changing the way almost everything is done in almost every sector. From the film industry or finance to e-commerce and manufacturing processes.

What are its limits, what is its stage of development and what is the relationship between robotics and artificial intelligence?

Although there is still some way to go, the applications of Artificial Intelligence in robotics has already passed the pilot phase and is at a relatively solid point of maturity. In other words, this technology is expected to experience a peak in the coming years.

AI in robotics

Artificial intelligence is one thing, robotics is another, and the use of artificial intelligence in robotics is another. But, a mobile robot with artificial intelligence is another.

AI is one of the technologies that has given mobile robotics and automation the biggest boost. It is about an AMR being able to make efficient and flexible decisions in real time.

Artificial intelligence applied to robotics offers a new way for robots (software) to execute commands or tasks given to them.

AI software is not the same as a computer programme or application. With a program, the robot does not think for itself, but carries out certain commands by combining a set of instructions that have been previously defined.

Introduction to AI robotics. How does an AI robot work?

When a robot integrates AI algorithms, it does not need to receive orders to make a decision, but is able to work on its own after a 'training' or trial-and-error phase. Thanks to Machine Learning, the robot is able to learn, solve, understand, reason or react optically.

Most robots are not intelligent, but in 2022, companies are no longer just looking to automate certain processes, but are also looking for intelligent automation. In many cases, a robot capable of carrying weight is no longer enough: there is a clear trend towards mobile, autonomous robots capable of intelligently collecting, processing and managing data, and making the best decisions in terms of manufacturing or production.

Certainly, this explains the increase of use of artificial intelligence in robotics: AMRs working in new environments such as construction or medicine, and performing new tasks such as inspection, maintenance or rescue.

Example application of Artificial Intelligence in robotics

The benefits of the marriage of artificial intelligence and robots for industrial applications are already being seen in many factories.

A warehouse is a dynamic, changing space. Robotnik's mobile robots and manipulators, by integrating AI algorithms, are able to navigate autonomously and make decisions in real time, adapting to unforeseen events.

The AMR has automated learning, 'pre-trained' to acquire knowledge and patterns that allow it to predict and recalculate functions, tasks or routes.

Robotics, Artificial Intelligence and SMEs

It is a fact that large corporations are already investing in robotics and Artificial Intelligence. But what is the situation of SMEs in relation to this technology?

Medium-sized factories and industries are using artificial intelligence mainly to manage the supply chain, to optimise certain manufacturing processes, to integrate predictive maintenance or to streamline inventory.

However, there are still challenges to overcome in this regard. One of the main problems is undoubtedly that integrating AI into industry requires specialised personnel. There is still a gap between the specialised AI community and the working personnel in the industry.

Robotnik is involved in several R&D projects related to robotics and Artificial Intelligence that work to bridge this gap and bring profiles together, so that SMEs can also benefit from this technology, without the need to have specialised personnel on staff. For instance, INMERBOT, a project that combines AI and multi-robotic systems for inspection and maintenance applications in immersive environments.

Decentralised AI

AI requires a complicated architecture. Therefore, devices with adequate computing power are required.
This has brought a natural process of transition towards decentralised models for many emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence.

This is AI running on a local device, blockchain networks or Kubernetes, so that the processing of data and resources is more agile, faster and more secure.

The importance of decentralised AI systems lies in the increased protection of data and bandwidth.

In conclusion, decentralised AI has great potential in terms of the autonomy of AMRs and the improvements this implies for production in an automated logistics environment.

Artificial Intelligence is far from being at its peak, but the joint work between the academic, engineering and business sectors means that the state-of-the-art of this technology is advancing rapidly.

You can contact the Robotnik team to find out what mobile robotics with Artificial Intelligence can do for your business.


manipuladores móviles autónomos

Mobile manipulators: the intelligent production for your factory

What exactly is a robot manipulator and what are the real benefits of mobile manipulators?

Robotics and mobile manipulation are on an ever-spinning wheel, advancing to better adapt to the needs of users. Robotnik has been a pioneer in the design and development of autonomous mobile manipulators which, in short, are a natural evolution arising from the union of cobots and AMR.

This article clarifies questions such as what is a manipulator in robotics, what are the advantages of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators and other questions of interest.

What were fixed robots a few years ago, evolved into collaborative robots and now Robotnik is already designing and manufacturing more cognitive, responsive and safer flexible mobile robots that lead the industry hand in hand towards the fourth industrial revolution.

As a robotics company founded in 2002, Robotnik has extensive experience in autonomous mobile manipulation and maintains business relationships with leading companies such as Universal Robots, Schunk, Kinova or Senserbot.

An example of mobile manipulation integration in industry is one of Robotnik’s recent success stories, based on an industrial implementation at the Dutch gear production company Hankamp Gears BV. It features Robotnik’s best-selling autonomous mobile manipulator, the RB-KAIROS+, which is discussed in more detail below.

RB-KAIROS+
RB-KAIROS+

What is an autonomous mobile manipulator robot?

A robot manipulator is basically a robot that integrates a robotic manipulator arm into a mobile platform, combining in a single product the advantages offered by both systems: the precision, dexterity and flexibility of one, and the autonomy and mobility of the other.

Collaborative mobile manipulation is now a reality available to all companies competing in the Industry 4.0 framework. These are autonomous mobile manipulators prepared to work safely in environments where people are present. Their capacity to carry out mechanical and repetitive tasks, covering complete work shifts, make them essential tools for any industry that wishes to position itself at the technological forefront and occupy a relevant position in today’s market.

 

Mobile Manipulator applications in industry

  • Handling – Pick & Place
  • Loading / positioning
  • Assembly
  • Screwing, drilling…
  • Inspection and testing
manipulador movil atornillado
RB-VULCANO

Advantages of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators

The company’s portfolio includes mobile manipulation robots for industrial and R&D applications such as the RB-VOGUI+, XL-GEN or the RB-KAIROS+.

Some of the advantages of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators:

  • Easy configuration and installation, adapting to the needs of each customer, with open software and hardware.
  • Collaborative: collaborative mobile manipulators are perfect for sharing workspace with people in total safety.
  • FMS (Fleet Management System) to make it possible to coordinate a fleet of robots sharing the same workspace and resources.
  • HMI (Advanced User Interface) to generate maps and redefine routes and waypoints.
  • Autonomy: its activity complements or replaces, if necessary, the activity carried out by any worker during 1 or more shifts.
  • Omnidirectional movement that allows time reduction, making it 1/5 times faster than a differential one.
  • Free navigation as opposed to the fixed routes of traditional AGVS.
  • Advanced intelligent functions such as people tracking, coupling to machinery or voice communication, among others.

Within Robotnik’s portfolio of mobile manipulators, there is a model that stands out.

RB-KAIROS+: Robotnik’s most requested mobile manipulator
This innovative collaborative mobile manipulator is specially designed for the development of industrial applications. RB-KAIROS+ is the robot for logistics and industrial mobile manipulation, for Pick&Place, Fetch & Carry, Machine Tending or operations on large parts, among others.

RB-KAIROS+
RB-KAIROS+

Competitive advantages of the RB-KAIROS+:

As well as having all the advantages mentioned in the previous point, common to all mobile manipulators in Robotnik’s portfolio, these are some of the benefits that customers of the RB-KAIROS+ have highlighted after its use:

  • Versatility, increased profitability and improved production processes due to the possibilities of integrating the entirety of UR’s e-Series arms with the autonomous mobile platform.
    The AMR is UR+ certified, ready for the integration of a UR e-Series arm.
    Universal Robots is one of the giants in collaborative robotic arm manufacturing. Its cobots are safe, flexible and easy to use, so the synergy between the two companies has allowed the development of Robotnik’s most demanded mobile manipulator: the RB-KAIROS+.
  • Easy to configure and adaptable: The open software and hardware in ROS, implies a much simpler set-up than other mobile manipulators. This turns the robotic arm into a mobile manipulator in an intuitive way.
  • Increased efficiency in tasks such as pick&place. With a payload of up to 250 kg, it adds value in handling heavy loads and automating storage tasks.
  • Collaborative: This mobile manipulator is completely autonomous and allows the robotic arm to work in different locations, extending its work area, making it perfect for sharing workspace and tasks with humans.
rb-kairos
RB-KAIROS+

 

Incorporating mobile manipulation into your industrial plant?

In recent years, the number of industries automating their production lines by incorporating one or more mobile manipulators into their plant has grown considerably.

To find the solution that best suits your specific needs, Robotnik offers a free consultation service without compromise, in which the professionals will advise you personally.

In any case, there are some key aspects that you can take into account to assess the feasibility before deciding:

  1. What is your environment like?
    A working environment can be structured or unstructured.
    Structured means that the robot will not encounter many unexpected obstacles around it, i.e., there will be no modifications to the layout so that the robot maintains the landmarks that allow it to position itself.
    If it is unstructured, the robot will only be able to avoid dynamic, i.e. unexpected, obstacles if it maintains around 20% of the reference points. When it detects them, it will intelligently re-route its path, ensuring safety and cost-effective working time.
  2. What features does the building need to have?
    The floor is a very important aspect to take into account, as uneven floors affect the accuracy of the odometry and the vibrations generated by the laser measurement. In addition, mechanical wheels may have some limitations in some environments: oily or greasy floors, very dirty, gritty or rough floors.
    Walls and shelves are important for the robot to navigate the floor, locating and mapping simultaneously. Robotnik’s mobile manipulators will take these as a reference and a variation of no more than 20% from the original layout will not affect the robot’s performance.
    On the first day, the robot is walked around the site, moving it in a teleoperated way with a remote control and generating a real route that will be the basis for the future navigation of the robot.
    Aspects such as the dimensions of the corridors or the height of the doors must be adapted to the robot’s footprint. The omni-directional wheels are another great advantage of Robotnik’s mobile manipulator because of their 360° versatility, especially for industrial applications where the robot can easily move in small aisles, for example.
  3. How much precision does your application require?
    By default, the positional accuracy provided by LiDAR for SLAM navigation is about 5 to 10 cm. This accuracy may be sufficient for a normal application where the robot simply transits from point A to point B or goes to several waiting points. But for specific applications such as Pick&Place or interaction with other machinery, this accuracy can be improved up to 1 mm.
    This is achieved by adding sensors or QR codes. This is done, for example, for docking: we add a code that the camera recognises and is able to relocate.
  4. How much payload do you need to carry?
    Each Robotnik mobile manipulator has a different payload capacity, so you can find the best robot option depending on the payload you require.
    Specifically, the standard configuration of RB-KAIROS+ has a payload of up to 250 kg. Other versions are also available with collaborative arms with payloads of 3 kg, 5 kg and 16 kg.
  5. How are work shifts set up?
    One of the great benefits of Robotnik’s mobile manipulators is that, with the right fleet of robots – optimised in number of units – it is possible to work full 24-hour shifts. The robots will perform automatic battery charging when necessary. The robot is equipped with a charging station to which it can be connected autonomously. It is possible to command the robot to perform a charging action, to launch a terminal, to launch wirelessly, to launch an industrial protocol as a rest or also to launch the Universal Robots poliscope interface.

 

Mobile manipulation is a definite boost on the way to Industry 4.0, also known as connected industry.
The use of mobile manipulators promotes flexible and intelligent industrial automation that increases the competitiveness of a factory by making better use of its resources.

Robotnik is not only committed to automation, but also to intelligent automation, which involves developing mobile robots capable of self-managing and making decisions without human intervention.


dissasembly area

How to use MoveIT to develop a robotic manipulation application

European Commission funded HR-Recycler project aims at developing a hybrid human-robot collaborative environment for the disassembly of electronic waste. Humans and robots will be working collaboratively sharing different manipulation tasks. One of these tasks takes place in the disassembly area where electronic components are sorted by type into their corresponding boxes. 

An easy-to-use robotic manipulation platform

To speed up the component sorting task Robotnik is developing a mobile robotic manipulator that needs to pick boxes filled with disassembled components from the workbenches and transport them either to their final destination or to further processing areas. MoveIt is an open-source robotic manipulation platform that allows you to develop complex manipulation applications using ROS. 

Here, a brief summary showing how we used MoveIt functionalities to develop a pick and place application will be presented.

Features and benefits of MoveIT

We found MoveIt to be very useful in the early stages of developing a robotic manipulation application. It allowed us to decide on the environment setup, whether our robot is capable of performing the manipulation actions we need it to perform in that setup, how to arrange the setup for the best performance, how to design the components of the workspace the robot has to interact with so that they allow for the correct completion of the manipulation actions needed in the application. 

Workspace layout

MoveIt allows you to build the planning scene environment using mesh objects previously designed in any cad program and allows your robot to interact with them. 

With MoveIt you can plan towards any goal position not only taking into account the environment scene by avoiding objects but also interacting with it by grabbing objects and including them in the planning process. Any MoveIt scene Collision Object can be attached to the desired robot link, MoveIt will then allow collisions between that link and the object, once attached the object will move together with the robot’s link. 

Figure 2: MoveIt Planning Scene with collision objects (green) and attached objects (purple).

This functionality helped us determine from the very beginning whether our robot arm was able to reach objects in a table with a certain height, how far away from the table should the robot position to reach the objects properly, is there enough space to perform the arm movements it needs to perform to manipulate objects around the workspace area. It also helped us design the boxes needed for the task, allowing us to decide on the correct box size that will allow the robot arm to perform the necessary manipulation movements given the restricted working area.  

Motion Planning

MoveIt includes various tools that allow you to perform motion planning to the desired pose with high flexibility, you can adjust the motion planning algorithm to your application to obtain the best performance. This is very useful because it allows you to restrict your robot’s allowed motion to fit very specific criteria, which is an application like ours, with a restricted working space where the robot needs to manipulate objects precisely in an environment shared with humans is very important.

Figure 3: Planning to the desired goal taking into account collisions with the scene.

One of the biggest motion requirements we have is the need for the robot arm to maintain the boxes parallel to the ground when manipulating them as they will be filled with objects that need to be carried between work stations. To plan using constraints can be easily done with MoveIt.

There are various constraints that can be applied, the ones we found more useful for our application are joint constraints and orientation constraints. 

  • With Orientation constraints you can restrict the desired orientation of a robot link, they are very useful to maintain the robot’s end-effector parallel to the ground, needed to manipulate the boxes properly. 
  • Joint constraints limit the position of a joint to be within a certain bound, they are very useful to shape the way you want your robot to move, in our application it allowed us to move the arm maintaining a relative position between the elbow and shoulder, performing more natural movements and avoiding potentially dangerous motions.
Figure 4: Motion Planning with joint and orientation constraints vs without.

Another useful MoveIt motion planning tool is to plan movements to a goal position both in Cartesian and in Joint Space, allowing you to switch between these two options for different desired trajectory outcomes.

  • Cartesian Space planning is used whenever you want to follow a very precise motion with the end effector link. In our application, we made use of these functions when moving down from the box approach position to the grab position and back again. Our robot has to carry the boxes with it, and due to limited space on its base area, all of the boxes are quite close together, using Cartesian planning we could assure we are maintaining verticality while raising the box from its holder avoiding latching between boxes and unnecessary stops. 
  • Joint Space planning is however useful to obtain more natural trajectories when the arm is moving between different grabbing positions making movement smoother. 
Figure 5: Motion Planning in Cartesian Space vs Joint Space.

This is just a brief summary of how we used MoveIt to develop a preliminary robotic pick and place manipulation application, there are still lots of different tools that MoveIt has to offer. Some of MoveIt’s most advanced applications include integrating 3D sensors to build a perception layer used for object recognition in pick and place tasks or using deep learning algorithms for grasp pose generation, areas that will be explored in the next steps. 

Stay tuned for future updates in the development of a robotic manipulation application using MoveIt’s latest implementations. 

Down below you will find a short demonstration of the currently developed application running on a Robotnik’s RB-KAIROS mobile manipulator.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgyDB57xjDw


collaborative robots

RB-KAIROS+ : Mobile robot to expand Universal Robots e-Series arms applications

Collaborative robotics is one of the great advances in the world of Industry 4.0 and shows us that our industrial future is a workspace where robots and humans operate together, each of them working to their own particular strengths.

While robots are experts in repetitive tasks, accuracy, and consistency in applying the same criteria in a task over and over again, industry professionals have the creativity and problem-solving skills to make the most of collaborative robotics and expand its applications.

In the midst of this new collaborative work environment, RB-KAIROS+ has emerged as a mobile solution to expand the possibilities of Universal Robots e-Series arms and improve production line efficiency.

What is RB-KAIROS+?

RB-KAIROS+ is a mobile robotic platform designed for the plug & play integration of Universal Robots e-Series arms, enabling them to move efficiently around the work floor.

This robot base provides mobility and autonomy to the URe arms, enhancing and expanding their applications.

RB-KAIROS+ has been developed with hardware and software that will facilitate the installation of the robotic arm, thus obtaining a powerful and easy to use collaborative mobile manipulator. The robot software is integrated in Polyscope, thus allowing easy programming and a combination of arm and base commands.

RB-KAIROS+ is a collaborative mobile manipulator because it can work in different industry environments, sharing the workspace with operators in a safe way.

Features of the RB-KAIROS+ collaborative mobile manipulator

RB-KAIROS+ has been designed to be used in conjunction with Universal Robots robotic arms, and this mobile manipulator boasts the UR+ certificate that guarantees its compatibility with the models: UR3, UR5, UR10, UR3 e, UR5 e, UR10 e, and UR16 e.

The RB-KAIROS+ design consists of a mobile platform with omnidirectional and sliding kinematics, and 4 driving wheels. It is a robust steel platform capable of transporting up to 250 kg payload.

Robotnik allows a wide range of configurations of the RB-KAIROS+, with sensors and components that create an integral, autonomous, and fully adapted collaborative mobile manipulator for the UR+ ecosystem.

How does my company benefit from integrating RB-KAIROS+?

Industries that are automating their lines through collaborative robotics will be able to expand the potential of their cobots, due to the increase of the number and types of areas they can work in, thus accomplishing:

  • The extension of the use of cobots to a wider range of applications enabled by the unlimited workspace capability.
  • Wider potential in the application of diverse industrial tasks.
  • Greater profitability and improvement in the processes due to the versatility of the cobots with an investment centred on a single mobile platform compatible with the entire Universal Robots e-Series.
  • An increase in productivity due to the automation of manual
  • A mobile platform that can share the workspace with human operators, thus creating safer and more flexible industrial and working environments.
  • A mobile platform that enables a repetitive, yet precise, and consistent, mechanical work rate, in the same way as with the Universal Robots e-Series arms.

The qualitative improvement that RB-KAIROS+ provides

Another great advantage of RB-KAIROS+ is that it increases the working potential of the robotic arms, thus expanding their industrial applications with exact and precise movements.

This is how a robotic arm can improve its efficiency when performing pick & place or part feeding applications, and thus provide a better supply to assembly lines.

The increased movement capacity, together with the rotation of the cobot, allows faster and more accurate quality control and metrology tasks.

The RB-KAIROS+ can support up to 250 kg payload, which helps the robotic arm to improve the way it handles large packages and the automation of storage tasks, with better use of space and an improved response time.

Its repeatability and precision in its movements help a cobot to perform constant and repetitive mechanical tasks, such as polishing, screwing, drilling, cleaning etc.

The synergy between Robotnik and Universal Robots has enabled us to create RB-KAIROS+ and improve our Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMR) portfolio, meeting the needs of automated industries that are committed to the advantages of collaborative robotics.


RB-KAIROS+, the first mobile robot fully prepared to integrate URe arms

Designed for all types of industrial applications, it is presented as a solution for Universal Robots e-Series users.

Thanks to its mobility, it extends the cobot  workspace unlimitedly.

RB-KAIROS+ is a robotic platform designed for the plug&play integration of Universal Robots e-Series arms. Its software and hardware are fully prepared to mount the arm and thus turn the robotic arm into a mobile manipulator. This allows unlimited expansion of the cobot workspace because the collaborative mobile manipulator can work in different locations. In this sense, it is a great complement for current URe arm users.

RB-KAIROS+ is extremely useful for industrial applications such as pick and place, part feeding, metrology, quality control, bolting of large parts or packaging. Without a doubt, it is an excellent way to improve the productivity of any factory.

robot manipulator

In addition, it is designed to work in industrial environments, where safety lasers are generally used, which allow the robot to safely share the workspace with the operators.

RB-KAIROS+ has a robust steel design and can carry up to 250 Kg. The mobile platform has omnidirectional / skid-steering kinematics based on 4 high power motor wheels.

RB-KAIROS+ can navigate autonomously and can be configured with a wide range of sensors and components found within the UR + ecosystem.

RB-KAIROS+ is a certificate product from UR+

More information: RB-KAIROS +

Do not miss our video.

 


ROS Control: the key to consolidate ROS in the robotics industry

ROS has been one of the greatest advances of the robotics industry in the past years. Its development began as a way to help the development of robot applications, easing the communication between sensors and algorithms, following the paradigm of “program once, test everywhere”. 

This has been the pattern of the last years, and ROS has performed extremely good in that way. 

For example, you could code an algorithm to take an image as its input, without caring about which model, resolution or connection type, as long as it was supported by ROS and adopted its API.

But this focusing on the high-level layer of application development led to an unthinkable oblivion: How was the access to actuators managed? How were the references of the actuators calculated? 

As in the case of high level applications, where the end user shouldn’t care about the source and destination of the data used and produced by him, in the case of robot control the user shouldn’t care about which type of actuators are used by a robot. But today, this is not the situation anymore thanks to ROS Control.

Why ROS Control?

ROS Control is the API that has been developed by the ROS community to allow simple access to different actuators. Using this standard API, the controller code is separated from the actuator code. For example, one could write a new controller implementing a fancy control strategy and test it on different hardware without changing a single line of code. Or one could test different control algorithm with same hardware to find the most suitable for its needs.

ROS Control has different features that make it really appealing: 

  • Real time capabilities, that allows to run control loops at hundreds of hertz.
  • A simple manager interface, that gives access to the actuators and handles resource conflicts.
  • A safety interface, that knows the hardware limitation of the joints and ensures that the commands sent to the actuators are between their limits.
  • A set off-the-shelf controllers that are ready to be used.

Have you ever thought about the mapping between joint and actuator space? ROS Control already did it. 

Normally this mapping is one-to-one, i.e. one actuator controls one joint, and their movement is related by a gearbox, so you don’t need to do messy calculations. However, in case of more complex scenarios, e.g. when a differential transmission is used, ROS Control gives us an elegant solution through its transmission interface to cope with this problem. 

This solution is used by the differential (RB-1 Base and RB-2 Base) and skid-steering (Summit-XL) robots from Robotnik, robotics company. These platforms are very similar, but they have different number of wheels: two for a differential configuration and four in the case of skid-steering. Thanks to the transmissions interface in ROS Control, they share the same control algorithm with no additional software effort.

ROS Control

One more step

What about mixing different robot components into one? This is a trend nowadays, where robot components are autonomous and usable on their own but can also be assembled into a single functional system. In those cases, ROS provides high level coordination between the components, but with ROS Control this coordination is also achieved at the low level, extending the control possibilities to far and beyond.

For example, with a more coupled control between a robotic arm and the tool attached to it. Or, as is the case of RB-Kairos, smooth and coordinated movements between the robotic arm and the mobile base are easy to program, leading to high complex operations and maneuvers that include logistic operations, picking items from narrow spaces and interactions with humans in a safe and confident manner.

RB-KAIROS+

Finally, the separation between controllers and actuators allows an interesting option: simulation. Gazebo, the standard robot simulator used by ROS, implements simulated ROS Control actuators, and one can write and test a controller even before it has the real robot available. This feature of ROS Control is used at Robotnik to test new kinematic configurations for its most edgy robots, allowing for quick prototype delivery. 

This is the case of RB-Vulcano, a platform with 4 steerable wheels in a swerve-configuration thanks to them is able to move in an omnidirectional way. 

However, they have to be coordinated in different modes, such as parking or navigation, to effectively follow the reference of movement that is sent to the robot. Switching between modes must be a compromise between the smoothness of the movement and the precision required for each operation. Thanks to ROS Control, Robotnik was able to replicate the full platform in a simulated environment to find the best strategies for motor control.

mobile manipulator

ROS Control is one of the key parts for the domination of the robotic world by ROS. As a world leading company in the ROS community, Robotnik makes an extensive use of ROS Control to give its customers the best products available on the market.

If you are interested in collaborative mobile robotics, don’t forget to subscribe to our blog!


Top robotics companies: Robotnik

Top robotics companies: why Robotnik is between them?

Today, robotics is part of our day to day, helping to optimize and automate tasks and making life easier for people. Like many others, this has been a natural process that we have reached due to numerous factors such as, for example, labour shortages in some sectors; the decrease in the world labour force (due to the low birth rate and aging); the search for automations that avoid human error and also the automation of those heavy, repetitive or simple jobs. If you want to know why Robotnik is between the top robotics companies, just keep reading!

The importance of human and robots 

What is collaborative robotics and what does it contribute?

In relation to this last aspect, we find collaborative robotics, which t is presented as one more working tool, as an aid for workers and operators. These are robots that can work safely in environments where there are people, without physical barriers. This has undoubtedly been the definitive step and made by the top robotics companies. Robots can be as just another co-worker. If we add to this the simplicity of its installation, its ease of use and that they can perform a wide number of tasks, it is understood that collaborative robots are present in any company that is in the so-called industry 4.0.

 

How the ​best robotics companies help create jobs

If we put into focus the idea that collaborative robots often perform repetitive, heavy and sometimes even dangerous tasks, we can go beyond the hackneyed concept that robots replace traditional labour and frame it in a new concept about processes improvement. That is, seeing collaborative robotics as one more aid to produce better, so that the company/industry is as efficient as possible.

Milton Guerry, President of the International Federation of Robotics, assures that: “Productivity increases and competitive advantages of automation don´t replace jobs – they will automate tasks, augment jobs and create new ones.”

Companies around the world are increasing their use of industrial robots: in five years, the global operating stock increased by approximately 65% ​​to 2.4 million units (2013-2018).

 

And which are the top robotics companies in the market? Robotnik is one of them

Robotnik is specialized in mobile robotics. Since 2002, the year of its foundation, it designs, manufactures, and markets robots and mobile manipulators.

Currently, our robots are present in numerous sectors: R&D, defense, inspection and maintenance, etc. The strongest in the industrial market is undoubtedly the logistics sector.

 

Best robotics companies uses robots in logistic sector 

Why choose Robotnik?

Nowadays, anyone with a general knowledge of the industry knows the use of mobile robots to transport goods in environments such as warehouses or even outdoor environments, such as those with large companies made up of several buildings that need to share merchandise with each other. The uses are very wide and in the end what it is about is to automate a process that is simple and repetitive, what a robot does best.

This, which is already so accepted in the market, was not so accepted in 2008, when Robotnik launched its first Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMR) on the market for autonomous transport in hospital environments. That experience is what has helped our company to be one of the best companies in the robotics sector. Since then, our logistics solution has been expanded adapting to the different environments of factories, warehouses or industries in general.

Our indoor logistics system is a comprehensive solution that includes robot fleet, location systems, user interface (HMI) and Fleet Management System (FMS). All this is a specific development from Robotnik.

 

What are the advantages of robotics and mobile handling in the logistics sector?

That collaborative mobile robotics has been making its way in sectors such as logistics makes a lot of sense. What would be the advantages it provides? We can cite the following:

  • Easy setup and installation.
  • Appropriate to share the workspace with people.
  • Automation of repetitive or unsafe processes.
  • Different localization solutions available.
  • Flexible routes vs fixed routes of traditional AGVs.
  • Advanced intelligent functions: person following, docking to machinery, voice communication, etc.
  • Advanced user interface (HMI) that allows to generate maps and define localization (waypoints) and routes in a simple and interactive way.
  • FMS (Fleet Management System) for the optimal coordination of a fleet of robots that share a workspace and a set of resources.

Top robotics companies share space between humans and robots

Success factors or how to try to be among the best robotics companies

Among the companies that have managed to consolidate over time, and especially the technology companies, several factors tend to coincide. Among those who define Robotnik like a top robotics company we could mention:

  • Market: when a company is in a booming sector, it is normal for it to progress. From 2020 to 2022 almost 2 million new units of industrial robots are expected to be installed in factories around the world. Europe is the region with the highest robot density, with an average value of 114 units per 10,000 employees in the manufacturing industry.
  • Innovation: any technology company must innovate if it wants to have a benchmark in the market. At Robotnik we have tried to launch products that add value to the market, and we have tried to improve the processes of our industrial customers. There is another way of doing things and mobile robotics has a lot to say about it.
  • Customization: one of the things that defines us the most is our ability to create, and to develop new prototypes that adapt to the needs of our clients. If there is a robot or a mobile manipulator at the base of a project, we can make it happen.
  • Vision: over 18 years there have been some setbacks, but also many successes such as the commitment to certain sectors and countries or specialization in certain types of products (such as, for example, right now in the field of mobile handling) .
  • Alliances: all our business partners have helped us. Our distributors, strategic allies for certain projects... are the ones who have helped us establishing ourselves in the international market or in certain sectors. The path is not usually successful if you travel alone.

 

The list of top robotics companies that are doing interesting things in the world is extensive. We hope Robotnik will continue to be one of them for a long time.

 

Top robotics companies: Robotnik

Now that you know more about us, we encourage you to follow us on social media if you want have the latest news about us:


Robotnik, premium sponsor of 3rd ROS Developers Day

Robotnik is going to sponsor the 3rd ROS Developers Day (*formerly named “ROS Developers Conference“), which is a hands-on online event for robot operating system developers. The event aims to connect ROS developers around the world without geographical restrictions and to share and learn the latest ROS applications through real-time practice.

At this conference, the world’s top ROS developers will bring their latest results through a webcast. They will demonstrate their ROS projects in real-time, and the public will practice at the same time.

It's the case of our colleague Alejandro Arnal, software developer from Robotnik. He will make a speech about 'Working with mobile manipulators'. Mobile manipulators are robots composed of a mobile base and a robotic arm. By combining these two, robots are able to interact in human environments, being collaborative robots. Our colleague will teach the audience how to program a mobile manipulator and they will practice using Robotnik’s mobile manipulator RB-KAIROS.


Robotnik shares the advantages of Collaborative Mobile Manipulators at ‘We Are Cobots’

‘Applications of Collaborative Mobile Robots’ is the title of the Robotnik’s webinar in the first edition of the ‘We Are Cobots’ virtual fair organized by our partner Universal Robots. The webinar, which will take place on June 17, aims to share Robotnik's experience as a leading company in mobile robotics.

Collaborative Mobile Manipulation is now a reality within the reach of all companies competing within the framework of Industry 4.0. These are autonomous mobile manipulators fully prepared to work safely in environments where there are people. Their ability to perform mechanical and repetitive tasks, covering complete work shifts, make them a fundamental tool for an any industry that wants to position itself at the forefront of technology and occupy a position of relevance in today's market.

The webinar shows the keys to know how to approach the implantation of mobile manipulation within the productive processes of a company.

If you are interested in Collaborative Mobile Manipulation, be sure to attend.


UNO Logistics Organization shares our robotics solutions for the sector

UNO Logistics, the Logistics and Transport Business Organization, dedicates a complete article to us in the analysis of the different industrial solutions of our company for the logistics industry. Robotnik has been carrying robotic mobile robots for different industrial sectors since its origin, with special dedication to the transport of goods and industrial mobile manipulation since 2008, when we started to implement our robots and our Fleet Management System (SGF) in hospitals.

Would you like to read the full article? We leave it here.