Radio Project Eu progresses in Ambient Assisted Living

RADIO Project technical partners hold meeting in Nafpaktos, Greece. Teams are checking progress in the new ambient assisted living lab.

The AAL House is a fully equipped 60m2 residence that serves as a training laboratory for applying, experimenting and evaluating state-of-the-art ambient assisted living technologies.

Photo Gallery

RADIO Concept video.

RADIO Concept from roboskel on Vimeo.


INJEROBOTS for solving horticultural problems in grafting seedlings

INJEROBOTS is an innovative beginning in the automation of grafting seedlings. The european project aims the development of a complete and integrated robotic solution in the horticultural field.

The project forms part of the European Coordination Hub of Open Robotics Development (ECHORD ++) funded under the Seventh Framework Programme for Research and Technological Development (FP7).

Robotnik with the support of Tecnova and Ingro Maquinaria will work together to develop the robotics system. Robotnik is responsable for the communication and extending of the advanced capabilities of ROS software.

The system

The robotic system will undertake automated processes with different species of plants by using an industrial dual arm robot for grafting and machine visión for analytics and quality control of the system operating. The objective is to develop a flexible and universal system for automated graft seedlings, based on anthropomorphic robots.

INJEROBOTS robotic solution

The application

The development will consist of two robots with artificial vision system. They will work independently and in perfect coordination, and the grip will provide an accurate and precise development. Once the rootstock and the stem of the plant are subjected, they will be displaced in a coordinated manner to an area where two automatic knives will rid of non-useful parts, like the bottom in the seedling stem and top of the seedling located on the rootstock. After cutting, each of the robots will accurately move the stem and rootstock to a common point for assembly. Following this and as a final step, one of the robots, or both, will deposited on a new tray.

The aim

INJEROBOTS will be a robotic solution with the introduction of new equipment and techniques to solve horticultural problems and needs of plant nurseries and farmers. This experiment will improve the performance and efficiency and reduce costs and human labour involved.


Robotnik obtains the Innovative SME Seal from the Economy Ministry

This recongnition shows the innovative philosophy of the company

The Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitiveness (MINECO) has awarded to Robotnik with the Innovative SME Seal, a recognition that accredits the innovative imprint of the company. In Robotnik, the innovation is an intrinsic part of our company philosophy, which is reflected in the 15% of the annual investment around this area.

The improvement in work processes, the translation to the market of new products and services and the upgrading and optimization of the existing ones are clearly signs of the innovation presence at Robotnik. Some notable examples are the mobile manipulator RB-1 and the RB-1 BASE platform.

Robotnik is leader in Service Robotics, a sector in constant evolution and in which is essential to be at the forefront of technology.


Robotics in Harsh Environments

In the field of hostile conditions, space is often considered as the harsh environment at its height. However, it’s not necessary to go so far away to find out other situations with such extreme conditions like high temperatures, freezing cold (for example arctic missions), humidity, high pressure level (like in oceanic trench), reduced accessibility (in pipelines for example) or every risk in relation with CBRN field.

To begin with, let’s talk about the CBRN (Chemical – Biological - Radiological - Nuclear) defence, and more precisely, how unmanned defence robotics can be profitable, even essential to human beings. First, it can be used to reduce human labour, because it is too dangerous and/or expensive. Then, a robot can be useful to achieve some tasks just impossible to complete by a human operator. Indeed, this kind of application can take place in an accidentally contaminated scenario (like a nuclear disaster) but also in an intentionally contaminated scenario (like a terrorist act or the use of biologic weapon). In short, the more the environment presents a threat, the more unmanned specialised robots come on stage. The following pictures show the RESCUER CBRN robot developed by Robotnik, in its two kinematic configurations and the tests done in a CBRN intervention mission with real radiological samples for the Spanish UME (Military Emergency Unit). The most remarkable capability of this platform besides its high mobility, is that is has been designed for decontamination, i.e. the complete mobile manipulator is IP67 waterproof.

 

Nevertheless, there are some foreseen and planned events where specialised robots in CBRN environment have their role to play. For example, in case of a nuclear reactor dismantling, to use a robot presents a real interest compared to sending human operators. Assuming that a human would be allowed to operate in such a dangerous environment, without hazard to his life, this option would be very tiring (full protective clothing), time-consuming, poorly performing, dangerous and expensive.

During the European Robotics Forum 2016, Thomas Vögele, from the DFKI Robotics Innovation Center in Bremen, and Joël Vanden Bosch, from Cybernetix, presented some concept strategies and lessons learned to develop a robot well suited for harsh environment. In order to improve the reliability, it is very important to start from scratch with a new simple design concept, with intrinsically robust technologies instead of working from a conventional model without many improvement possibilities. In the same way, the hardware and software, even if it has been tested many times, should not be considered at its peak but a part that must be improved, among other things in order to make the robot more reliable and smarter. Besides, the team has to know what to expect, that is to say, a very long development phase, to reach the commercial stage, where a strong partnership is essential with the end-users, to fully understand the need and to be sure to go on the right track. Furthermore, a big effort is necessary in the test phase, which has to be thorough. Indeed, designing and sizing a robot in the classic way, with common materials or without redundancy for example, can be sufficient for a normal environment, but far too little in harsh conditions. That’s why it can be necessary to develop a full scale model to focus the trials and if possible, to integrate risk management in the development strategy. In fact, the reliability of the robot is even more important due to the high difficulty of a recovery mission in case of system damage in a hazardous environment. And to finish with, another key point in the development success is getting a training centre and a 3D virtual reality simulation room to constantly improve the system.

Robotic intervention in harsh environments is a growing sector with potential health and environmental risks associated and where the improvement is an absolute necessity. Likewise, it requires much more efforts, resources and the environment knowledge to successfully develop a robot for harsh environments, but holding all the cards, there is no reason to hesitate to go with robots where humans don’t go anymore.


BOTS2REC, robotic system for the automated removal of asbestos contamination

Bots2Rec project is a robotic system used for the automated removal of asbestos contamination. It will consist of multiple mobile robotic units that perform the asbestos-removal-tasks autonomously. Each unit consists of a mobile platform and robotic arm with an abrasive tool. The combination of optical and radar sensor systems will allow the environmental perception and local monitoring of the asbestos-removal-tasks.

Bots2ReC

Robotnik contributes to the project with its knowledge and expertise regarding design, integration, control and navigation of mobile platforms and robotic arms, especially for harsh environments.

robot for research

Project's web


SUMMIT XL STEEL: Steel resistance

Robotnik has officially launched its mobile platform SUMMIT-XL STEEL. This is the new member of the family SUMMIT XL, which stands out for having an ultra resistant steel structure capable of supporting up to 75 kg.The new mobile platform uses open architecture and modular control based on ROS and easily allows the integration of a wide list of sensors and manipulators.

The mobile platform has skid-steering and can be configurated with omnidirectional kinematics that provide greater mobility and improve indoors accuracy .

SUMMIT-XL STEEL is conceived for R&D, surveillance, military, access to hazardous areas, among others.

The platform, depending on its end application, can integrate diverse sensorization as GPS, cameras, lasers 2D and 3D, structures, torsos and manipulators. These components allow the robot to navigate autonomously or remotely and perform manipulation tasks.

Find out more about SUMMIT-XL STEEL.

 


ROBO-SPECT, First technological tests at the VSH test tunnels gallery

The first tests of the integrated robotic system, developed in the framework of the European project ROBO-SPECT, were successfully executed on the week 20-24 July 2015, at the Research Infrastructure Tunnels of VSH (VSH Hagerbach Test Gallery Ltd.), at cast in place concrete, damaged and undamaged section of the tunnel network. The testing was performed by ICCS, UC3M, ROBO, CNR, CASSIDIAN and ENPC project partners, responsible for the creation of the different hardware and software components.

Version 1 of the ROBO-SPECT integrated robotic system tested in VSH tunnels network consists of:

  1. The robotic platform of the system which is the main system vehicle that incorporates all hardware and software systems and it’s responsible for the autonomous navigation and positioning of the robotic system as well as crane and robotic arm
  2. The computer vision system which is responsible for the crack and other defects detection on the surface of the tunnels, calculation of the crack coordinates as well as the creation of 3D model of the area of interest.
  3. A 3D laser scanner that is also used to create a 3D representation of the tunnel slice of interest to detect deformations of the tunnel perimeter and shape.
  4. An ultrasonic sensing device that is used to provide very accurate measurements of the identified cracks with a sub-millimeter precision.
  5. And a structural assessment software (not evaluated in this lab test) compiling all sensor results and performing the overall tunnel structural assessment and incorporating the tunnel operator interface.

ROBO-SPECT_02

All system components were tested in semi-integrated and individual scenarios into actual parts of the VSH tunnel network and also over damaged testing concrete slabs that were created by the VSH team. The evaluation and benchmarking included the performance of the navigation and positioning system, the vision system, the ability to control the arm, stability, the sensing system, the inspection speed as a function of damage and the structural assessment models.

The testing of the overall robotic platform followed a waterfall approach starting with the robotic platform that included safety lasers installation under operating circumstances, to allow the collision avoidance tool for the movement of the platform. Tests were performed with the movement and positioning of the crane, the general performance of the movement,  and the communications and, the interfaces for the mission controller within the robotic system and required adjustments’ have been made were needed.

Following that, tests were focused on the evaluation of the robotic arm operation including its proper communication with the other subsystems: the ROBO-SPECT vision system that was developed by ICCS and the mobile vehicle that was created by ROBOTNIK. The test had shown that the system was able to scan the surface of the wall and position the robotic tip at a constant distance to the wall with normal orientation.

The crack and defect detection computer-vision modules were also tested over visible cracks and were able to perform crack (and other defects’) detections even in areas with multiple cracks on the surface.

ROBO-SPECT_Cracks

The 3D laser scanner of the system was also tested and successfully captured slices of the positions of interest inside the tunnel that were locally stored for further processing.

On-field testing of the ultrasonic sensor system for crack characterisation was performed in VSH facility on cracks artificially produced on a two-meter high sample of tunnel lining with length of several meters, suitable for emulating real working conditions for the ultrasonic sensor system. In these tests, the robot arm was brought close to the lining and brought in contact with it using the four-point supports of the ultrasonic sensor module. The procedure was completed successfully and vibrations during arm movement seemed not to interfere with the precision of the placement and the effectiveness of the crack depth measurements.

ROBO-SPECT_01

ROBO-SPECT follow-up activities include the finalisation of the overall system integration and their subsequent testing. In consistence with the ROBO-SPECT development plan, the system will be validated and benchmarked at the actual tunnels of Egnatia Odos (Greece) and London Underground (UK) in the upcoming March 2016 and July 2016 respectively.

Robotnik has prepared the robotic vehicle so it is able to move on a tele-operated way using a joypad, and semi-autonomously given speed and steering references through the software controller. The obstacle avoidance system is done and the ongoing work deals with the achievement of the needed accuracy for the autonomous navigation. The different joints of the crane can be tele-operated and software controlled. A complete model of the crane has been designed and a software simulator has been created.


GoCart, Autonomous Meal-Transport Robot for people with disabilities

GoCart is the autonomous meal-transport robot designed by the South Korean company Yujin Robot with the aim to operate in all elderly and health care facilities. GoCart started as a first prototype with the GoCart V.1 which has been improved to a second version. GoCart V.2 it is based on the feedback received during trade show demonstrations in many countries such as Germany, USA and Sweden during last year in order to develop a stronger version to better meet customers’ needs.

GoCart

During September 2015, Yujin Robot's Innovation Team together with Robotnik Automation S.L.L and the Robotics Institute for Dependency have traveled to Ave Maria Foundation, located in Sitges (Spain), to carry out a field test in their facilities. This place is a care facility for people with intellectual disabilities.

The role of Robotnik will be the implementation and support of these systems in the European territory. Robotnik's CEO declares "GoCart in terms of localization and this new technology provides flexibility and this allows that in can be integrated in hospitals and health care institutions".

Watch a video from the test field in Ave Maria Foundation:

If you need to make use of this platform or you are interested, please contact us.

 


Guardian platform forms part of Beijing University of Technology Project

A research group from the Beijing University of Technology have carried out a project, Intelligent Search And Rescue Teleoperation Robot System, where our mobile platform, GUARDIAN, has taken part of their Mobile Torso.

The torso integrates several products such as two UR5 robot arms, one Shadow hand, one gripper and our mobile base. Also, it includes an stereo camera and a PTZ. All of its components are based on ROS.

This manipulator system can be navigated remotely to an specific location and grasp an object with its hand or gripper.

 

 


Robotnik collaborates in a new robot for radioactive operations to CEA

AREVA has delivered the first in a new generation of robots, known as RIANA (Robot for Investigations and Assessments of Nuclear Areas), to the French Atomic Energy Commission (CEA). This is a robot for radioactive operations and capable to map areas, take samples or to measure radioactivity.

Robotnik and Tecnalia have collaborated in the development of the robot. Robotnik strengthens its range of mobile robots for applications in the nuclear sector, which also includes a robot for underwater cleaning of the reactor vessel 's flange and a robot for cleaning the board of the reactor vessel.

RIANA

RIANA is a motorized platform with interchangeable measurement or sampling modules that can be adapted to the operational situation. Available with four-wheel or caterpillar track drive, this "Swiss army knife" of nuclear robotics is also equipped with 3D and thermal cameras to reconstitute its environment in real time. It also has on-board laser detectors to negotiate its way around obstacles and position itself precisely within a confined space.

RIANA’s Human-Machine Interface (HMI) is based on an innovative technology which facilitates in-zone interventions. Moreover, operations can be executed without necessarily requiring the presence of an operator: an optional guidance program allows the robot to find its own way and to work on a site autonomously. In the event of a signal loss, RIANA is automatically guided back towards its last known location, whether being teleguided by an operator or operating autonomously.

RIANA’s features make it an ideal tool for supporting nuclear dismantling operations, particularly in areas where operator presence is restricted or prohibited.