RADIO project, robotic system for Assisted Living Environments

Robotnik is responsible for the designing and developing of the mobile platform that will enable the development of a robotic smart home. The aim is to achieve an assistant within the household environment, whose task is to get information, discreetly and undisturbed, to improve the lives of the inhabitants of the house.

The Radio Project is based on the fast growing of life expectancy and the need to assist an increasingly aging population and chronic diseases. The project aims to create an adapted and trained environment, starting with the implementation of technological solutions by integrating robots and domotic sensors that are accepted in daily life as a natural element of the house.

Robotnik's platform is based on the mobile robot TURTLEBOT2. The platform collects and analyses behavioural data in order to attract the doctor‘s attention when necessary, helping to diagnose symptoms early and take timely remedial action.

In the end-users daily activities, RADIO observes activities of daily life and uses these observations to establish patterns and identify deviations. These can range from the time spent out of the house or carrying out a given activity in it, to sleeping patterns, to recognizing whether the end-user has changed clothes, washed, or other indications specified by the doctor.

RADIO official website

 


Robotnik contributes to RAWFIE project with several mobile robots

As the main supplier of mobile robotic platforms that have to be tested under RAWFIE project, Robotnik have just provide various mobile robots: a SUMMIT XL, a TURTLEBOT2 and a TURTLEBOT2 with the new controller NUC for high-performance applications.

RAWFIE is an R & D project which is part of the Horizon 2020 from the European Commission. Robotnik brings to it his vast experience in service robotics, which is a European benchmark.

The main purpose of the project, which was set up in January 2015, is to create a system that allows to work together with different network devices in one common platform, creating new possibilities for experimentation and unique research. Thereby, it will be an open architecture for controlling multiple robots through the network.

 


The importance of data management in Vinbot project

VINBOT is an all-terrain autonomous mobile robot with a set of sensors capable of capturing and analysing vineyard images and 3D data by means of cloud computing applications, to determine the yield of vineyards and to share information with the winegrowers. VINBOT responds to a need to boost the quality of European wines by implementing precision viticulture (PV) to estimate the yield (amount of fruit per square metre of vine area: kg/m2). It is also meant to offer a set of information and maps understandable and useful for the winegrowers.

With this idea in mind, namely, helping winegrowers to take decisions, is important to develop a system able to offer well processed data and don’t make them worry about the technology behind. After all, they have a lot of aspects to deal with when making quality wine and it is know that technology can sometimes be a headache for them.

Mission control and planning for the robotic platform is fundamental to reach this usefulness but even more important is the data management. VINBOT can “translate” the incoming data from sensors like lasers or cameras into 3D maps, upload this maps to a server and then perform precision viticulture analysis to offer the grower real estimations, rates and predictions in a friendly web-based interface.

In the future all this maps and semi-processed data could be shared between growers and analyzed with big data techniques offering precision viticulture new sources of knowledge. Allowing the academy to find new indexes comparing fields, years, varieties…

Robotnik is developing the localization and autonomous navigation for VINBOT and working closely with Ateknea Solutions to integrate both hardware and software in the robot, based on the Summit-XL HL.


Robotnik provides robotic mobile platforms for Horizon 2020 projects

As we know, Horizon 2020 is the biggest EU Research and Innovation programme ever, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of nearly €80 billion, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.

The projects of Horizon 2020 in which Robotnik will form part are RAWFIE, I-SUPPORT and RADIO.

The purpose of the RAWFIE initiative is to create a federation of different network testbeds that will work together to make their resources available under a common framework. Specifically, it aims at delivering a unique, mixed experimentation environment across the space and technology dimensions. The basic idea behind the RAWFIE effort is the automated, remote operation of a large number of robotic devices (UGVs, UAVs, and USVs) for the purpose of assessing the performance of different technologies in the networking, sensing and mobile/autonomic application domains. Robotnik will be the main provider of the Road robotic mobile platforms that will be tested under the RAWFIE remote operation framework.

The I-SUPPORT project envisions the development and integration of an innovative, modular, ICT-supported service robotics system that supports and enhances frail older adults’ motion and force abilities and assists them in successfully, safely and independently completing the entire sequence of bathing tasks, such as properly washing their back, their upper parts, their lower limbs, their buttocks and groin, and to effectively use the towel for drying purposes. Robotnik is the coordinator of the project.

In RADIO, will be developed an integrated smart home/assistant robot system, pursuing a novel approach to acceptance and unobtrusiveness: a system where sensing equipment is not discrete but an obvious and accepted part of the user’s daily life. By using the integrated smart home/assistant robot system as the sensing equipment for health monitoring, we mask the functionality of the sensors rather than the sensors themselves. In this manner, sensors do not need to be discrete and distant or masked and cumbersome to install; they do however need to be perceived as a natural component of the smart home/assistant robot functionalities. Robotnik will be the main responsible for the design and development of the RADIO mobile robotic platform.


End of the successful European Project RUBICON

The 23rd of May took place the final review meeting of the FP7 RUBICON Project.

The RUBICON Project (Robotic UBIquitous COgnitive Network) has developed an architecture that integrates networks of sensors and actuators with robots, with the capabilities of learning and adapting. The project has demonstrated its utility in 4 different scenarios, 3 of them associated with AAL (Ambient Assisted Living) plus one scenario of indoor robotic transport tested in the Hospital Stella Maris in Pisa.

In RUBICON, Robotnik has been responsible of the integration of the different layers of the system architecture (communication, control, learning and cognitive) and responsible for the scenario of robotic indoor transport.

In this proyect have also participated The University College Dublin, Il Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche, The Örebro University, La Fundación Tecnalia Research & Innovation, The University of Ulster, The University of Pisa, Pintal LTD and La Fondazione Stella Maris.

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Robotnik participates in VinBot project

The VinBot technology responds to a need to boost the quality of European wines through the robotics. European Researchers from Spain and Portugal will work on a three-year research to develop the precision viticulture tool in the face of serious market threats worldwide and structural shortcomings within the sector. VinBot is a FP7 project.

Researchers at Robotnik (Valencia), the Higher Institute of Agronomy (Lisbon) and Ateknea Solutions (Barcelona) and will pool their expertise to achieve data-intensive computer vision algorithms to be offloaded to external internet servers. Then VinBot will be able to extend visual leaf and fruit estimation throughout the entire vineyard, and to centralise yield management by providing wine growers with accurate online yield maps of their vineyards. The research will be supported by the technical companies: Cantine d’Alfonso del Sordo (San Severo-Apulia, Italy), Agri-Ciencia Consultores de Engenharia (Lisboa) and Assist Software (Suceava, Romania)

The automatic yield monitoring system VinBot will accurately assess grape yield and relevant phyto-data via a set of sensors, tracking the state and location of the assets, generating maps, capturing sample locations, and sharing such information in a quick, flexible, autonomous and easy-to-use way. By means of this estimating the amount of leaves and grapes on the vine via computer vision and other sensors, VinBot will provide growers with online yield maps of their vineyards.

Thousands of wine producers will benefit of quality wine and an easier decision-making process in terms of harvesting and field monitoring. At the vineyard level, growers will be able to accurately assess yield due to the large amount of terrain to inspect, and use sample-based estimates of smaller production areas to estimate yield, which also negatively affects wine quality.

VinBot will represent a powerful precision viticulture tool, which does not exist today: the cloud-computing agricultural robot. Using the VinBot, Cooperativa Agricola de Granja (Portugal), Orgovanyi Gazdaszovetkezet Szovetket (Hungary) and Bodegas Familiares de Rioja PROVIR (Spain) will benefit of the coordination and optimisation of yield management strategies throughout their thousands of members' vineyards, based on their collective expertise and commercial objectives. They expect to sell their wine for 8%-20% more over a five year period by employing the VinBot system to accurately estimate yield.


SMEs on Horizon 2020

European SMEs represent the 98% of the whole European business sector, employing more than 87 million people (2/3 of the total European employment) and generating the 60% of the European value added. Nevertheless, despite these amazing numbers, only the 25% of the SMEs are internationally active.

As we know, Horizon 2020 is the new financial instrument implementing the Innovation Union, a Europe 2020 flagship initiative aimed at securing Europe’s global competitiveness. Running from 2014 to 2020 with a budget of just over €70 billion, the EU’s new programme for research and innovation is part of the drive to create new growth and jobs in Europe.

More in deep for the industries, Horizon 2020 will:

  • Build leadership in enabling and industrial technologies, with dedicated support for ICT, nanotechnologies, advanced materials, biotechnology, advanced manufacturing and processing, and space, while also providing support for cross-cutting actions to capture the accumulated benefits from combining several Key Enabling Technologies.
  • Facilitate access to risk finance.
  • Provide Union wide support for innovation in SMEs.

In order to achieve such an ambitious objective, Horizon 2020 tackles the participation of the SMEs from three different points of view:

  • As an imperative political objective, assuming at least the 20% of the total budget from the “Leadership in enabling and industrial technologies” and “Societal Challenges” to SMEs. This means basically that at least 7.600M€ must be allocated to SMEs throughout the aforementioned objectives.
  • A close support to SMEs during the complete innovation process, including a dedicated SME Instrument.
  • With financial benefits, facilitating the access to risk finance.

Horizon 2020 SME Instrument

One of the most promising novelties of Horizon 2020 is the SME Instrument. This will address the financing needs of European SMEs in developing high-risk and high-potential innovation ideas. The SME instrument will target all types of innovative SMEs so as to be able to promote growth champions in all sectors.

The intervention logic of the SME instrument will be based on excellent business innovation plans. The scheme will support rather small projects (1 to 3 million euros), bottom-up, and a single company support will be possible.

The SME instrument will be structured according to the next phase scheme:

This instrument expects to cover the complete innovation cycle of the SMEs by providing grants to every SME with the clear ambition to grow and internationalize by means of a European scope innovative project.

Three phases are foreseen:

  • Phase 1: Concept and feasibility assessment: 50k€ funding and duration of 6 months
  • Phase 2: Innovation and R&D activities: 1-3M€ funding (70% of costs) and duration of 1-2 years
  • Phase 3: Commercialisation: no direct funding but supporting actions.

It is expected that calls for Phase 1 and Phase 2 are continuously open, and SMEs with access to this funding (both for Phase 1 and/or Phase 2) will have priority treatment for risk finance. Moreover, SMEs taking part on this Instrument will benefit from a special coaching scheme, still under definition.

Finally, Horizon 2020 will keep supporting the Eurostars programme, with a contribution of 287M€, leaving the rest (1.140M€) at national public level.



A Robot controlled from brain activity

Some researchers at the Miguel Hernández University of Elche, Valencian Community, are working for more than a year in the development of a robot whose movements are controlled from the brain activity of a person.

The aim of this work is to improve the quality of life for people with limited mobility in their hands due to accidents or severe disabilities.

Although research initially focused on making the robot perform everyday activities such as bringing objects or help in feed somebody, the challenge goes beyond marking.

Turn on the light, control television channels, raise or lower a shutter, or call someone only with the thought, are some of the functions that these researchers have been marked for the future.

For over a year a team led by the director of Systems Engineering and Automation of the UMH, José María Azorin, working on the development of this robot to be controlled from the brain activity of the person.

Currently, the development of this work has allowed this robotic device with already two arms and two hands, as Azorin has assured.

The system uses surface electrodes placed on the head of the person, as if it were an EEG, and its sensors are able to detect the activity of neurons.

In this way, the collected information is encoded through algorithms that translate the commands to the robot so that, for example, it can perform daily activities such as picking up a glass of water and drink or help to feed the disabled person.

According to the director of the Biomedical Neuroengineering of UMH, Eduardo Fernandez, it is intended that a person who has a disease, such as multiple sclerosis or spinal cord transaction, he could be  in  somehow "independent ".

The project is still in a development phase, with the intent to understand and validate this technology in healthy people, and then implement it in simpler devices, smallest and affordable for the public, because, Fernandez said, "a robot is expensive and may not be available to everyone ".

This work also involved research groups from all over Europe who have the advice of final users and their families, as well as medical specialists.

The research process is long-lasting and the technology involved is very expensive, so the working team has not marked a deadline, and they have said that it will be necessary a lot of time before a final user will be able to use it.


Robotnik, 10 years of experiencie in the service robotics sector

Robotnik, a leading company in the Service Robotics sector, has just celebrated its 10th anniversary. The company, of 100% Valencian origin and capital, focuses its professional activity on product development and the provision of engineering and R&D services in Robotics.

After ten years of experience, Robotnik has managed to consolidate itself as a reference company both nationally and internationally. Currently, Robotnik exports its own manufactured products, mainly autonomous mobile robots, to several countries in Europe, Asia and America. This commitment to internationalization has resulted in a new milestone for Robotnik: for the first time, export sales have exceeded those made in the domestic market.

Robotnik, 10 years of experiencie in the service robotics sector

Since the start of the company in 2002, there have been several highlights in the company's history. In 2004, Robotnik began a line of collaboration with universities, research centers and European companies thanks to its participation in the 6th EU Framework Programme. The European projects RESCUER and MASMICRO allowed the development of several of the company's first mobile platforms and opened a line of research that continues today.

Within this area, the design and implementation of the AGVS platform is especially noteworthy. Roberto Guzmán, CEO and founding partner of Robotnik, explains "The AGVS autonomous robot is, without a doubt, one of our most ambitious projects. This platform is intended for the autonomous transport of goods in the intra-hospital environment, which is a great help to health personnel in a basically mechanical work".

In 2005, Robotnik takes a new step in the diversification of its business activity by signing collaboration agreements with leading international companies in the robotics sector such as Barrett Technology and Schunk. Subsequently, these agreements will be extended to companies such as Kinova, Shadow and Aldebaran Robotics.

Robotnik is currently participating in six projects of the 7th Framework Programme of the European Union, an area where the company has extensive experience. Rafael López, R&D Director and founding partner of Robotnik, explains that "this collaboration allows us to be in contact with our European partners in the sector, updating our know-how, something absolutely essential in a sector such as technology. In addition, participation in these R&D projects has allowed us to take advantage of this research work to launch new products on the market.

Robotnik's future prospects are for growth and include continuing to evolve in the current markets of activity, as well as reaching new sectors within the Service Robotics, "this market is expected to reach, worldwide, 40,000 million dollars in 2015," says Roberto Guzmán.


Guardian V5

Guardian V5 architecture uses ROS and has new features and adapts to new market needs.

Robotnik presents the new version of its mobile platform Guardian

Robotnik Automation company in the service robotics market, has just launched the new version of its mobile platform Guardian. The new autonomous robot Robotnik, which is already in its fifth version, has new capabilities and features. Of these, include its higher speed and improved combination of wheels and chains in their drive system, which gives greater mobility and versatility. Robotnik's new platform uses the ROS architecture, benefiting from the advantages of open source.

Guardian V5, which also has a completely revamped chassis, thus conforms to the new requirements of the market to which it is directed. Robotnik's mobile platform is primarily directed to the field of research and development of real applications. Among its them, is the indoor and outdoor navigation requiring high mobility; Search and deactivation of improvised weapons IEDD or EOD, surveillance and remote measurement and map generation.

Guardian V5 is undoubtedly an excellent platform for all and that can integrate multiple sensors and accessories such as lasers, cameras, stereovision heads or pan-tilt units, among others. Equally remarkable load capacity that reaches 100 kg.

Roberto Guzman, CEO of Robotnik, explains that "Guardian V5 is the most robust and versatile platform developed by Robotnik so far. It is an autonomous robot that is perfectly suited to the needs of the technology market. "