ventajas robots

What are the Benefits & Advantages of Robots in the workplace?

The service robot sector has been developing especially fast in recent years.

The benefits of robotics in workplace can already be seen in various reports such as the International Federation of Robotics ones.
What is a robot in workplace? Work robot’ is a colloquial term that is popularly used and usually refers to an industrial robot or a service robot.

robot móvil RB-VOGUI

The robotisation process is advancing and establishing itself in more and more industrial sectors, although the automotive industry is still at the head, accounting for around 30% of the total demand each year.

At every point in history, humans have developed the necessary tools to carry out their work. Now, mobile robotics is the key to Industry 4.0. It is no longer just about automating industrial processes, but about intelligent automation in which mobile robotics optimises production and profitability, and makes tasks easier for employees.

Robots in the workplace are not here to replace humans at all, but to provide better working conditions.

6 benefits and advantages of working robots

  1. Increased productivity: An Autonomous Mobile Robot, AMR, canperform full shifts so that production runs 24 hours a day without interruption.
  2. Reduced accidents at work: there are tasks that pose a risk to workers. For example, tasks in deteriorated environments with the possibility of collapse, work with toxic substances or handling very heavy loads. Robots can perform these tasks, increasing occupational safety for operators.
  3. Error reduction: it is assumed that in every production line there is a percentage of errors. However, a robotic system has the precision to significantly reduce that percentage. This is one of the main benefits of robots in the workplace: the precision of a robot or mobile manipulator reduces the possibility of production errors and increases the quality of certain processes.
  4. Increased flexibility: there are many types of robots in the workplace, therefore the number of tasks that a robot can do has also increased considerably. Within a single industry, robots can be adapted to various applications, thus increasing flexibility and cost-effectiveness.
  5. New job opportunities: more and more people are required for designing, programming and manufacturing robots, as well as for different areas of research and technological development. Furthermore, as productivity increases, it is logical that the company will grow and require more staff.
  6. Betting on the future: in today’s highly competitive, demanding and globalised industrial landscape. Being at the forefront of technology is a matter of business development. Betting on intelligent automation through robotic systems is equivalent to building a solid foundation for a business to remain profitable, competent and sustainable.

RB-KAIROS+

Many of Robotnik’s customers are opting for more intelligent robots, with more safety guarantees and more intuitive for end users.
It is all about using the possibilities offered by technology to become more competitive.

Examples of robots at work

However, some companies believe that there are obstacles. For example, bringing robots into the workplace requires a large infrastructure as well as a large investment.

On the one hand, collaborative robots such as those manufactured by Robotnik are designed to operate with humans in the same workspace without the need for a safety perimeter, making them easy to deploy in any factory. Moreover, these systems are scalable: they can be tested in a given area and then expand their operating zone thanks to their capacity for mobility. The same goes for the number of units: it can be progressively expanded depending on the results.

RB-KAIROS+

On the other hand, it is common to find new customers who think that if their company is an SME, they cannot afford to incorporate robots into the workplace, but this approach is wrong.
There are currently more than 5 000 Robotnik mobile robots in the market, working in various industries and companies, which have seen how the investment in mobile robotics has had a return in the short-medium term.

Want to see some videos of robots at work?:

  • RB-ROBOUT in an industrial production system.
  • RB-KAIROS+, the Mobile Manipulator for industry.
  • RB-VOGUI for indoor and outdoor logistics.


robotica de servicio

Examples of service robotics

Service robotics is currently emerging as a way for companies to improve their competitiveness, production capacity and innovation.

This article discusses the use of service robots, robot as a service (RaaS) and some interesting facts about the service robot market provided by the IFR Service Robots Group (IFR: International Federation of Robotics).

It also includes an article by Roberto Guzmán, CEO at Robotnik, published on 5 July in Harvard Deusto.

Robotnik’s co-founder provides his vision on current service robotics, the main area of work of the company. This is the case of Artificial Intelligence as an enabler of service robotics and its introduction in the market.

What is a service robot?

A service robot is a robot that “performs useful tasks for people or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications” (IFR).

According to the 2021 World Robotics – Service Robots report, generated and published by the IFR stadistica department, the market for professional service robots grew by 12% in 2020, from a sample turnover of $6 billion to $6.7 billion. The IFR itself classifies AMRs as service robots, often used in industrial environments.

Robotnik has been involved in the development, manufacturing and marketing of service robotics, namely autonomous mobile robots and manipulators, for 20 years.

RB-THERON

Service robots can operate in different sectors and scenarios, depending on their technical specifications: outdoor agriculture, intralogistics in a warehouse, tunnel inspection or logistics in a hospital. Wikipedia gives an example of one of Robotnik’s first service robots working in a public hospital in Valencia.

Did you know that every third professional service robot sold in 2020 was built to transport goods or cargo?

Mobile robotics solutions are already established for transport and logistics. More than 43,500 units were sold in 2020 (+33%).

RaaS – Robot as a Service-
Service robotics is not the same as Robot as a Service – RaaS.

Robot as a service has gained some popularity in recent years. This is a business model in which an end-user pays for the use of the robot for a period of time, but does not purchase it permanently. In other words, they pay for a service – in this case, a robotic service. Despite the recent boom, RaaS represents less than 3% of the 43,500 units named above.

rb-robout

One advantage of RaaS is that it can serve to lower the barrier to entry for task automation in some companies that are more reluctant. A drawback is that, in reality, for most applications, RaaS business models are not offered.

The following article is about service robotics and some of the latest technologies in the sector:

Article by Roberto Guzmán, CEO in Robotnik. Harvard Deusto.

Service robots: towards more complex architectures

Robotics and AI are two distinct areas of knowledge. A robot can function with or without the use of AI, but AI is an enabler for the introduction of service robots, those that perform useful tasks for humans or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications.

The advent of new standards (5G/6G) implies multiple benefits for service robots and the use of services available in the cloud/edge. Among these services will be AI functionalities that will be shared among a large number of robots. These will enhance the knowledge base (fed by multiple robots) and offload computation to the cloud/edge.

Functionalities such as object recognition and grasping (bin picking), human recognition or language processing will run as AI services in the cloud/edge, standardising the functions of service robots and mobile manipulators.

summit-xl

Los sistemas de IA mencionados son verticales y están enfocados hacia un único problema: identificar objetos, identificar palabras y frases, decidir formas de agarrar un objeto, generar trayectorias…

The AI systems mentioned above are vertical and focused on a single problem: identifying objects, identifying words and phrases, deciding how to grasp an object, generating trajectories… These systems will evolve towards systems with more complete architectures, capable of handling more horizontal problems such as opening doors, assembling kits or cleaning rooms. Progressively, these architectures will have sufficient intelligence to achieve a certain degree of autonomy, solve new problems in different domains and develop complex tasks without prior programming.

Over time, these architectures will become smarter than people. It is possible that at a certain level, AI will be beyond our control, but limits could also be set to ensure appropriate and safe use. In the medium term, it will help service robots to relieve us of repetitive, hard or dangerous work.

Roberto Guzmán Diana
CEO of Robotnik

The service robotics market and adjacent technologies are in a constant ‘work in progress’. The development of digitalisation, cloud technologies, 5G and Artificial Intelligence, specifically in machine learning, are a boost for service robotics and specifically, in autonomous and collaborative mobile robotics.

As Roberto Guzmán says, the short and medium term for service robotics is to perform the most tedious, dangerous or repetitive tasks.


The Impact of 5G on Robotics. Robots and 5G

What is the connection of 5G and robotics? How can mobile robotics boost the inspection and maintenance area? How is 5G facilitating this boost?

On 30 and 31 May, Valencia hosted one of the most important events for the 5G industry: V5G DAYS. The theme chosen for this second edition is "5G driving digitalisation".

v5g

The aim of this event is to discuss and demonstrate how 5G technology is becoming a key driver for the modernisation of our industry, presenting recent success stories of its implementation both nationally and internationally.

Robotnik, a pioneer in the use of mobile robotics with integrated 5G technology, participated as a sponsor and exhibitor.

What is a 5G robot?

María Benítez, CMO of Robotnik, shared with the V5G attendees one of the use cases within the 5G PILOTS project, in which Robotnik participates together with other partners such as Orange, iTEAM or Huawei.

v5g

María Benítez: I want to focus my speech on what we are doing with 5G technology in the mobile robotics sector, our field of activity and, specifically, in inspection and maintenance missions.

At Robotnik we are already launching robots with 5G technology. What does that mean, and what is a 5G robot?

For a long time, inspection and maintenance robots were conditioned by the absence of data networks that allowed communication with low latency or sufficient bandwidth.

The absence of data networks with the necessary characteristics for real telepresence meant that robots had to be provided with a high level of autonomy to perform complex maintenance or inspection operations.

5G technology's rise has enabled new operating schemes, in which the robot can perform a large part of the mission autonomously, but can also be teleoperated in certain circumstances for which it has not been programmed.

The batteries that we use in Robotnik allow an autonomy of 8/10 hours, but the 5G in robotics makes this autonomy increase. This is a great advance for robotic inspection.

Here I show some advantages of 5G in robots focused on inspection and maintenance.

 

Specific advantages of 5g in inspection robots

  • Ultra-reliable connections
  • High bandwidth (guaranteed)
    • 35-43 Mbps 4G → 400 Mbps-1.8 Gbps 5G
    • Video streams, point clouds, etc.
    • Remote updates, maintenance
  • Low latency (guaranteed)
    • Teleoperation and telepresence
    • EDGE/CLOUD computing
    • Reduced HW cost and battery life
  • Other 5G services: security, P2P/V2V

 

The specific use case I am going to talk about today is the inspection case we are developing in the 5G PILOTS project. This use case has two aspects: the inspection of electrical substation infrastructure and, on the other hand, the inspection of catenary temperature.

The robot we use in this case is the SUMMIT-XL equipped with a thermal camera, lasers and sensors necessary for this application.

The SUMMIT-XL is a versatile and robust AMR capable of moving in different environments both indoors and outdoors, totally optimal for inspection work.
Is, in fact, a 5G robot.

SUMMIT-XL

In conclusion, the aim is to automate processes that are mechanical and repetitive. This means that operators can focus on more valuable tasks and their safety is guaranteed. The operator no longer has to physically travel to an environment with dangerous elements, but is in the control centre, supervising the robot or fleet of robots.

In addition, it is intended that this operator can handle the robots intuitively, so in Robotnik we have developed a tool aimed at this: the HMI, with which the end user can have full management and control of your robot.

Want to see the rest of the presentation? In this video you can watch the results obtained so far in this use case.

 


futuro de la robotica

What is the future of robotics?

Which are the future applications of robotics? What tasks will robots do in the future? What robotics solution do I need for my specific business?

Every company competing in the framework of Industry 4.0 has questions related to robotics, and while technology is advancing by the minute, this article tries to point out what are the positive future trends in industrial and service robotics.

As Milton Guerry, president of the International Federation of Robotics, says: "The transformation to robotic automation is accelerating in traditional and new industries".
There is a commonality in both the future of industrial robotics and service robotics. In both cases, the key is mobility.

Future of robotics. Trends 2022

  • Collaborative robotics. The change can be seen in factories: the demand for mobile robotics to work autonomously in warehouses, sharing space with operators, has multiplied exponentially.
  • Ease of use. Good news for end users. Simplifying the implementation of industrial robotics is another clear trend for 2022, although for Robotnik, this aspect has always been a priority. Software and hardware architecture work towards intuitive and simple configuration, installation and interface.
  • Artificial Intelligence, 5G, IoT. The maturation of these 3 technologies, among others, allows the development of more intelligent robots that perform more precise tasks.
  • Interoperability. The communication of different robots with each other -fleets of robots- and with other external systems, increases safety and productivity.
  • New industries are rapidly adapting to automation through robotic systems. What will robots do in the future? Fundamentally, they will adapt to the needs of users. There is a new post-pandemic consumer behaviour and therefore companies are addressing new ways of responding. Mobile robotics for last-mile delivery or the rise of e-commerce are examples of this.

With regard to future applications in industrial robotics in particular, there has been an acceleration in the incorporation of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) in logistics environments, with a special trend towards the automation of intralogistics (picking, order preparation or repackaging).

RB-VOGUI

Last March, María Benitez, CMO of Robotnik, spoke about this at the conference organised by Universal Robots. The boost of mobile manipulation for warehouse automation (goods-to-robot) is undoubtedly one of the great advances in robots for the society of the future.

New trends

Robotnik's mobile robots are also increasingly in demand for maintenance tasks in manufacturing processes. AMRs are able to monitor or detect possible errors predictively thanks to sensors or machine vision.
The future of robotics also concerns service robotics. There are also some clear trends in different sectors: agriculture, security, emergency, construction and healthcare.

'Outside manufacturing environments, robotics has a pivotal role to play in addressing some of the key societal challenges or ‘mega trends’ in areas as diverse as demographic change, sustainability, health and well-being, food production, transport and security. Robots are already serving as life-saving tools for surgery, smart rehabilitation trainers for the convalescent, attentive guards and rescuers to protect the environment and safeguard human lives, as well as reliable movers in all kinds of logistics scenarios; that is why their role, impact, and interaction with people will only grow ‘. IFR 2021.

In the agricultural sector, for example, mobile robotics plays a key role in the main challenges of the future.

Economic demands, shortages of skilled labour in agricultural regions, the food and fibre needs of a growing world population and stringent (political) regulations will continue to drive the commercial need for agricultural robots. Innovations in robotics and digitisation rely on advanced and affordable technologies, such as a wide variety of sensors for various applications, related electronics and communication systems.

RB-VOGUI

2022: the time to automate your business

The truth is that the future of robotics starts today. A smart warehouse capable of surviving a changing environment and increasingly specialised demand must start the process of intelligent automation now.
Collaborative mobile robotics is the real challenge of factory or warehouse automation, i.e. it is the mobility of robots that will make the difference in the profitability of a warehouse, whatever the workspace:

Is your facility small? The AMR that interests you.
Is your facility large? The AMR that interests you.
Do you want to automate indoor tasks? The AMR that interests you.
Do you want to automate outdoor tasks? The AMR that interests you.

The future of robotics is mobile, collaborative and intelligent.


What is an industrial robot? Industrial robot definition

The definition of an industrial robot system has evolved considerably in recent years.
In order to determine what an industrial robot is, it is useful to consider the changes from their origin to the present day.
The first robots were precisely industrial robots seen as machines capable of executing certain repetitive and fairly static movements.

Today, as technology advances, it is more complex to differentiate between what is an industrial robot, what is a service robot and how to delimit their working areas.
In the World Robotics 2021 report, it is determined that the classification into industrial robot or service robot is made according to their intended application. Industrial robots are robots "for use in industrial automation applications", while a service robot "performs useful tasks for people or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications".

The truth is that inside the industry there are scenarios where robots and humans have to share space and tasks, and therefore, industrial robots are no longer restricted to a safety zone.

More and more often, we find service robots by definition working in industrial applications.
In fact, in the so-called Industry 4.0, collaborative robots play a key role. Today, we would not be talking about collaborative robotics without the prior development of industrial robots systems and their journey towards intelligent automation solutions based on human interaction.

Industrial robot definition

So, what is an industrial robot? An industrial robot is one that has been developed to automate intensive production tasks such as those required by a constantly moving assembly line. As large, heavy robots, they are placed in fixed positions within an industrial plant and all other worker tasks and processes revolve around them.

The characteristics of industrial robots will vary according to the manufacturers, the needs and the scenario in which they are to be located.

According to the international standard ISO 8373:2012, the industrial robot definition is 'a multifunctional, reprogrammable, automatically controlled manipulator, programmable in three or more axes that can be fixed in one area or mobile for use in industrial automation applications'.
Industrial robots are not usually humanoid in form, although they are capable of reproducing human movements and behaviours but with the strength, precision and speed of a machine.

This following table extracted from the World Robotics 2021 report shows the evolution and forecast of mobile robot installations per year.

grafica

After that, here are some distinctions that are often confused within the industrial robotics sector:

Industrial robot and service robot: The difference here is done according to its intended application. As we read in IFR's 'World Robotics 2021' report: Industrial robots are robots "for use in industrial automation applications" while a service robot "performs useful tasks for people or equipment, excluding industrial automation applications".

According to the same report, the market for professional service robots grew by 12% in 2020, from a sample turnover of $6bn to $6.7bn. In addition, the global pandemic created new opportunities and additional demand for some service robot applications, e.g. cleaning or disinfection applications or other tasks in the healthcare sector such as telecare, transportation of food or supplies, administrative and logistical tasks, etc.

In fact, industrial robot components are increasingly being modified for applications outside the manufacturing environment. The aim is the integration of industrial robot systems into new markets, as in the example of robots in the healthcare sector above.

Industrial robot and autonomous mobile robot: Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMR) are often used in industrial environments, but they do not meet the definition of an industrial robot as such: they have no manipulation capability and no three axes.

Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) and Mobile Manipulator: The IFR classifies AMRs as service robots although, as discussed in the previous point, they are often used in industrial environments. If the AMR platform is equipped with a robotic arm, it becomes a mobile manipulator and would therefore count as an industrial robot.

Robotnik as a manufacturer of mobile robotic systems and as the above IFR classification states, is an expert in the development of AMR and mobile service manipulators, often marketed in industrial environments.

Where are industrial robots used?

Nowadays, it is not only large companies that have access to industrial robots. More and more SMEs are experiencing an increase in profitability and a reduction in production costs by automating certain processes.
One of the objectives of industrial robotics is to optimise production lines making them more agile and adaptable to the specific needs of each customer.

Robotnik has been specialised in the development of industrial robotic applications based on platforms and mobile manipulators for 20 years.
Main areas where Robotnik's industrial robots are integrated:

Robotics in Logistics: autonomous mobile robots for the transport of materials in different areas and mobile manipulators that extend the working area of static collaborative robotic arms. Some logistics tasks where industrial robots are used are pick and place, metrology, packaging, polishing, screwing or drilling or palletising, among others.

rb-vogui

Robotics for inspection and maintenance: integration of robotic systems equipped with sensors or artificial vision in inspection tasks in areas that are difficult to access or dangerous for operators. These robots can operate autonomously or be controlled remotely by an operator.

Where is service robotics used?

Beyond industrial manufacturing environments, the use of mobile robotics has increased significantly in several sectors:

Security and rescue: threat detection and assessment, real-time information gathering and transmission, transportation of goods... Autonomous mobile robotics has a lot to contribute in the area of security, rescue and defense.

Robotics in Agriculture: AMRs are increasingly used for fruit picking, identifying the state of a crop, spraying or sorting to avoid food waste.

Robotics in Construction: Early error detection, automation of hazardous tasks or monitoring and inspection are just some of the tasks that an AMR can perform in the construction sector.

Robotics in Healthcare: as mentioned above, it is already common to see collaborative robots in tasks such as transporting food or supplies, surgical assistance, telecare or administrative tasks.

The following table, elaborated by World Robotics 2021, shows the evolution of service robotics by sector and application:

tabla

 

In conclusion, what exactly do industrial robots look like?
After an approach to what an industrial robot is, these are some of the most demanded mobile robots for use in industrial environments:

RB-THERON is an excellent solution for industrial applications such as factories or warehouses, as it is specially designed for autonomous transport of loads indoors.

RB-ROBOUT the solution for the transport of heavy loads in intralogistics, designed to transport loads weighing up to 1 tonne in industrial environments.

RB-KAIROS+: this mobile manipulator is extremely useful for industrial applications such as pick and place, parts feeding, metrology, quality control, screwing of large parts, packaging, cleaning, polishing, screwing, etc. It is designed to work in industrial environments, sharing the work space with operators without risk.

rb-kairos+

RB-VOGUI+: a versatile mobile manipulator for indoor and outdoor logistics applications. The robot is highly mobile so it is able to follow an operator and navigate autonomously in any industrial environment.


diferencia entre AGV y AMR

What is the difference between AGVs vs. AMR?

Although there are some similarities between a mobile guided vehicle and an autonomous mobile robot, this article shows the differences between AGVs and AMR.

AGVs and AMR have specific characteristics that make them useful for different applications. It cannot be determined that AMRs are better than AGV, but rather that each is suitable for the given production context.

There are certain areas where the terms AMR and traditional AGV are used interchangeably. Although an AGV is not really a robot, but a robotic device, as it lacks the autonomy to determine or redefine its own route. By contrast, an AMR can navigate without external guidance. In other words, the AMR has freedom of navigation and decision making.

For example, if the robot is transporting any material from one point to another and encounters a pallet head-on, it will avoid the obstacle and redefine its route.

SUMMIT-XL STEEL

Main difference

An autonomous mobile robot is not simply a programmed machine. The AMR is one that, in addition to the initial programming, has a certain degree of independence to make decisions in the middle of the work environment, without the need for human intervention.

That is to say, not every industrial machine is an AMR because not every machine has the capacity to make decisions based on the information it perceives (unforeseen obstacles, for example).

The main difference between an AGV and an AMR is that AMRs use free navigation by means of lasers, while AGVs are located with fixed elements: magnetic tapes, magnets, beacons, etc. So, to be effective, they must have a predictable route.

In warehouses and places where the work environment is shared with humans, AMRs work better due to their dynamism and efficiency in sharing tasks. In addition, autonomous mobile robots have much more advanced software and hardware, expanding their possible applications: inspection and surveillance tasks, error detection, transport of materials, storage and distribution...

SUMMIT-XL

And how does it perceive this information? Robotnik integrates in its robots sensors and various components that receive, process and analyse data in real time and act accordingly: elevation system, different cameras, lasers or other components.

The flexibility of AMR to work in different locations means, for example, not changing the layout, easier scalability of the number of units and work zones or a clear definition of ROI (especially measurable in small projects that can be scaled up later). Moreover, AMR does not need a specific infrastructure to move around, but can be implemented in any space.

AGV are the predecessors of AMR and have been evolving since the 1950s. They are typically used for the transport of heavy loads, but run on a rail or belt and with a predetermined route. Another feature of the most advanced AGVs is that they are capable of detecting obstacles, but not of re-routing: when encountering an obstacle, the robot will stop.

Where are AGVs and AMR used?

Industrial environments are complicated, changing and full of obstacles. It is essential to be able to ensure the safety of operators.

Moreover, AMR and AGVs have different navigation systems and therefore behave and interact differently.

AGVs are suitable for workspaces with a large number of fixed tasks, as they require installation of the infrastructure through which they will move.

In collaborative and dynamic environments where both humans and machines are needed, customers often opt for AMRs because of their ability to adapt to a changing environment. A mobile robot receives, understands and manages data from the environment in real time, so it is more flexible and has a wider working area.

AMR

How to determine the best solution for a company?

By evaluating the environment, the scenario in which it will be deployed and the specific tasks to be performed by the AMR.

AGVs and AMRs have different applications. In general, AGVs are more effective for less complex tasks such as transporting raw materials, packaging, sorting or delivery. But always with predetermined tasks and routes.

AMR is the best choice for tasks that require Artificial Intelligence. Precisely, it is AI that makes these robots have infinite applications in different sectors: logistics, inspection and maintenance, agriculture or construction, among others.

In conclusion, Industry 4.0 is moving towards increasingly intelligent automation in which autonomous robots have become a key tool for Smart Factories.


aplicaciones roboticas en agricultura

Robotics applications in agriculture

Innovation in terms of robotics applications in agriculture has advanced considerably in the last 5 years.

The objective of agricultural robotics is to help the sector in its efficiency and in the profitability of the processes. In other words, mobile robotics works in the agricultural sector to improve productivity, specialization and environmental sustainability.

Labor shortages, increased consumer demand and high production costs are some of the factors that have accelerated automation in this sector, with the aim of reducing costs and optimizing harvests.

Did you know that up to 99% of phytosanitary products are currently wasted because they cover the entire field? Agricultural robotics is capable, for example, of spraying pesticides only to the plants that need them. This is just one example of how very concrete benefits can be seen in sectors that are traditionally not very automated.

 

The incorporation of robotics in agriculture improves both productivity and working conditions for farmers and workers. Intelligent systems are becoming the ideal solution to drive precision agriculture. Today, a large number of agricultural operations are already being done autonomously.

Thus, collaborative robots are now commonly used in fruit harvesting or insect grafting and cultivation, where Artificial Intelligence provides predictive data to optimize farms and plantations.

 

Types of robots used in agriculture

These are some applications of robotics in agriculture for which Robotnik robots are used:

  • Crop condition identification and corresponding chemical application, spraying or harvesting, as required by the fruit or plant.
  • Mobile manipulation through collaborative arms (harvesting, fruit handling).
  • Collection and conversion of useful information for the farmer.
  • Selective application of pesticides.
  • Selection to avoid food waste

 

R&D for agricultural robotics

Since 2002, Robotnik has participated in more than 60 research projects, most of them at European level. Currently, some 30 projects of different nature are underway: some with objectives oriented to logistics, others to the health sector or also to the agri-food sector, among others. This makes it possible to use intelligent, autonomous and collaborative mobile robots that enable the creation of more efficient industrial processes with a better use of resources, which translates into higher productivity in general.

Examples of agriculture robotics R&D projects in which Robotnik is involved:

BACCHUS: Mobile Robotic Platforms for Active Inspection and Harvesting in Agricultural Areas.

BACCHUS intelligent mobile robotic system promises to replicate manual harvesting operations, while eliminating manual labor by operating autonomously on four different levels:

  • The robot autonomously navigates to inspect crops and collect data from the agricultural area through its integrated sensor system.
  • The robot performs bi-manual harvesting operations with the finesse required by the environment.
  • Additive manufacturing is employed to adjust the robot gripper to the geometry of different crops.
  • Presentation of advanced cognitive capabilities and decision-making skills.

agriculture robot

This R&D project employs the RB-VOGUI autonomous mobile robot with two fully integrated arms. The platform is used to develop a solution for grape harvesting in vineyards.

AGROBOFOOD: Digital transformation of the European agri-food sector through the adoption of robotic technologies.

Through robotics applications in agriculture, it aims to accelerate the digital transformation of the European agri-food sector. It will consolidate, expand and strengthen the current ecosystem by establishing a sustainable network of DIHs (Digital Innovation Hubs).
Robotnik is leading the experiment based on the SUMMIT-XL outdoor mobile platform, which is equipped with a series of sensors that will be used to collect information from the environment of an olive grove to maximize the olive yield.

 

COROSECT: Cognitive robotic system for digitized insect farms.

Agricultural robotic application to optimize insect production facilities as a possible solution to the environmental impact of high meat consumption.

The project will use state-of-the-art robotic equipment and artificial intelligence technologies to automate production. The project focuses on the idea of setting up dynamic work cells, where a single human worker will be assisted by several robots equipped with artificial intelligence algorithms and intelligent sensors at different stages of insect production.


Aplicaciones roboticas en medicina

Applications of robotics in medicine

The incorporation of robotics in healthcare environments is becoming increasingly common. Currently, task automation is adapted to any sector and robotics in medicine is frequently used thanks, in part, to the evolution of technologies such as 5G, AI or augmented reality.

The use of robots in hospitals has become a mainstay for the healthcare sector, especially in recent times. Robotics applications in medicine, and in hospitals in particular, have experienced a definite boost in the fight against COVID-19.

Mobile robotics applications have also become tools that greatly improve the quality of life and provide autonomy to dependent people.
Mobile robots can even be adapted to robotic or motorized shower systems for people with functional disabilities to enable them to shower on their own by giving commands to the robot.

Collaborative mobile robots can also become excellent hospital assistants, providing support in operating rooms, ICUs or risky areas for the healthcare team

What is the use of robots in hospitals? What kind of robots are being used in medicine?

Collaborative robotics applied to the healthcare sector is an excellent tool that greatly improves the quality of life and provides autonomy to dependent people. Collaborative mobile robots, for example, can be adapted to robotic or motorized shower systems for people with functional disabilities, allowing them to shower on their own by giving commands to the robot.

We are also talking about advantages such as administrative support, early detection of certain diseases, predictive systems or patient monitoring.

Types of robots in hospitals

Some of the tasks in the health sector for which Robotnik robots are used would be:

  • Food transport and supply support.
  • Cleaning or disinfection tasks.
  • Storage and distribution of medicines.
  • Surgical assistance.
  • Administrative and logistical tasks that are routine and burden the healthcare workers.
  • Tele-assistance.

 

robot móvil en hospital

R&D for healthcare robotics

Since 2002, Robotnik has participated in more than 60 research projects, most of them at European level. Currently, some 30 projects of different nature are underway: some with objectives oriented to logistics, others to the health sector or also to the agri-food sector, among others. This makes it possible to use intelligent, autonomous and collaborative mobile robots that enable the creation of more efficient industrial processes with a better use of resources, which translates into higher productivity in general.

Examples of robotics R&D projects in medicine in which Robotnik participates:

PHARAON: Pilots for healthy and active aging.

PHARAON aims to contribute to improving the aging conditions of the European population by creating a set of open and customizable platforms with advanced services, devices and tools including IoT, artificial intelligence, robotics, cloud computing, smart devices, Big Data and intelligent analytics.

Robotnik will provide its mobile platforms so that they can be used in the pilots, in addition to assisting with the integration of the technology developed within the project. These robots will be tested in various hospitals in Europe.

pharaon

 

ENDORSE: Robotic fleet for logistics applications in healthcare and commercial spaces.

Indoor spaces such as hospitals, hotels and offices offer great potential for the commercial exploitation of logistics robotics. Four pillars of innovation are being pursued in this project:

  • Multi-robot navigation without infrastructure, i.e., minimal (if any) installation of sensors and communication buses inside the building for locating robots, targets and docking stations.
  • Advanced HRI to resolve deadlocks and achieve efficient sharing of spatial resources in crowded spaces.
    Implementation of ENDORSE software as a cloud-based service that facilitates integration with corporate software solutions such as ERP, CRM, etc.
  • Reconfigurable and modular hardware architectures so that various modules can be easily interchanged.
  • Robotnik will develop the modular hardware interfaces that will support the Robotnik RB-1 BASE mobile robot, so that different functional modules can be easily interchanged.

rb-1 base

 

ODIN: Transforming the future of healthcare in Europe's hospitals through AI.

This project addresses 11 hospital care challenges by seeking solutions that combine robotics, IoT and AI.
In this case, the application of robotics in hospitals is a support to real problems faced every day by healthcare staff. For example:

  • Autonomous and collaborative robots can reduce the workload of overburdened hospital staff.
  • Optimizing resources through shared data collection.
  • Increased patient and staff safety through tools and robots that avoid exposure to hazardous areas.
  • Reducing unnecessary hospital stays through the latest technologies in IoT support services and rehabilitation robots, increasing hospital planning possibilities.

 


Robotics applications in construction

Robotics applications in construction

The construction sector is one of the largest in the global economy. However, it is one of the slowest to start the path towards automation and digitization and, therefore, the integration of robotics in construction has been late compared to other sectors. This is due to multiple factors such as the cost of labor or the lack of planning in the processes.

Robotnik develops and manufactures AMRs that facilitate automation and the potential of construction robots give the ultimate push towards Industry 4.0.

Autonomous mobile robotics offers multiple benefits and construction robotics are already integrated in several areas: architecture, masonry, demolition, infrastructure... Some of the tasks that demand more AMR is safety and inspection, which uses technology to review and detect possible errors in real time and send the information to the system so that it can be corrected as soon as possible.

Increased accuracy, significantly increased productivity, reduced errors, meeting deadlines, reduced number of accidents and reduced costs are just some of the improvements that robotics brings to the construction industry.

Robotnik is currently working on several R&D projects whose objectives and efforts are aimed at boosting construction through mobile robotics and other cutting-edge technologies, testing real-world applications.

Types of construction robots

These are some applications of robotics in the construction industry for which Robotnik robots are used:

  • Prediction of required tasks.
  • Evaluation of the progress of a project.
  • Early detection of possible errors.
  • Automation of dangerous tasks for the operators.
  • Surveillance and inspection tasks.

R&D for robots in the construction industry

Since 2002, Robotnik has participated in more than 60 research projects, most of them at European level. Currently, some 30 projects of different nature are underway: some with logistics-oriented objectives, others in the health sector or construction, among others. This makes it possible to use intelligent, autonomous and collaborative mobile robots. And so that, the creation of more efficient industrial processes with a better use of resources, which translates into higher productivity in general.

Examples of construction robotics R&D projects in which Robotnik participates

HERON: Enhanced robotic platform for performing road maintenance and improvement works.

The objective is to develop an automated and integrated system to perform road maintenance and improvement tasks such as crack sealing, pothole patching, asphalt rejuvenation, autonomous replacement of CUD elements or marking painting.

It also provides pre- and post-intervention support, including visual inspections and automated and controlled dispensing and removal of traffic cones.

Within the project, Robotnik will design and develop an intelligent unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) capable of performing the necessary inspection and maintenance actions and will make the necessary adaptations to the robotic vehicle, not only those related to road maintenance capabilities with a collaborative arm and different equipment, but also those concerning the integration of other ΗΕRΟΝ developments into the prototype (sensor integration, UAV transport system, etc.).

PILOTING: Robotic solutions for pilots in refineries, bridges/viaducts and tunnels.

The current European refineries and civil infrastructures, such as tunnels and bridges, are undergoing a logical aging process that leads to their gradual deterioration.

PILOTING will set up large scale pilots in real industrial environments to respond directly to the main inspection and maintenance challenges. These demos are focused on improving coverage and enhance, decreasing cost and time of operations, improving inspection quality and increasing operator safety.

Robotnik is responsible for the development of the ground robotic platforms to be used in the refinery and tunneling use cases with the RISING mobile manipulator and the RB-CAR autonomous mobile robot.

inspection robot

BIMPROVE is another case of application of robotics in the construction industry. This H2020 project aims to help European industry embark on the digital transformation, leveraging Digital Twin technology to move construction sites towards Industry 4.0.

Robotnik is responsible for the development of a pioneering new autonomous mobile robot based on the SUMMIT-XL to collect indoor and outdoor environmental information on construction sites. This information will be fed into the BIMsync tool, where it will be processed and transformed into useful decision-making information.
In this way, Robotnik will develop the ground data acquisition system (route planning, localisation and positioning, safety aspects and human-machine interaction).

summit-xl


Success case of Robotnik and its RB-KAIROS+ in a Netherlands company

  • AER publishes in its 2021 yearbook the success story of Robotnik and its RB-KAIROS+ in a gear production company.

AER Automation is the Spanish Association of Robotics and Automation, a non-profit organization that brings together the main players in the automation and industrial, service and educational robotics market: manufacturers, distributors, engineering companies, integrators, technology centers, startups, universities, training centers and user companies.

It is a founding member of the International Federation of Robotics (IFR), has the mission to promote the transformation of the productive fabric in the Spanish territory through robotics and automation technologies, as well as to establish a strategic agenda to meet the challenges of the future. It also aims to provide knowledge to improve competitiveness and business efficiency in all sectors. Finally, the association aims to ensure a fluid access of qualified young talent to Industry 4.0, also promoting the qualification of senior talent.

Robotnik, as a leading Spanish company in mobile robotics, has been a member of AER for years. For this reason, the annual edition of its INSIGHT includes one of Robotnik's recent success stories, based on an industrial implementation in the Netherlands company Hankamp Gears BV. It features the RB-KAIROS+, an autonomous mobile manipulator designed and manufactured by Robotnik specifically for industrial applications such as pick and place.

AER INSIGHT 2021

Robotnik's RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator, designed specifically for pick & place tasks, is incorporated into a gearbox factory.

Pick and place tasks are often among the most tedious, demanding and toughest - physically and mentally - for employees in an industrial environment. And, at the same time, they are indispensable in any manufacturing process. Robotnik has developed the RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator as a solution to automate this process.

During the past year, the Dutch company Hankamp Gears BV decided to incorporate autonomous and collaborative mobile robotics in its factory and thus began a relationship with the Spanish company Robotnik Automation, which has 20 years of experience in the sector.

Hankamp Gears BV carries out the entire production process of high-quality gears in-house, so their goal has always been to minimize the failure rate and potential risks that can occur during production and, in turn, reduce the delivery time and price of the parts they manufacture.

To achieve this goal, they have relied on the RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator as a solution to automate this part of production, since it is not only capable of performing a task without human intervention, but also of self-managing and making decisions, thanks to its ability to access, generate and process information.

¿Why RB-KAIROS +?

The RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator, designed and manufactured by Robotnik, is extremely useful for industrial applications such as pick and place as it is completely autonomous and allows the robotic arm to work in different locations, expanding its work area. In addition, RB-KAIROS+ can be configured with a wide range of sensors and components that are within the UR+ ecosystem, as it is a UR+ certified product. Last but not least, another of its features is its robust steel design, which allows it to carry up to 250 kg of load.

RB-KAIROS+
RB-KAIROS+ will perform pick and place and handling tasks in the metal gear production line of Hankamp Gears BV.

 

For all these reasons, Hankamp Gears BV has included this autonomous and collaborative mobile manipulator as part of its growth strategy. Specifically, RB-KAIROS+ will handle pick and place and handling tasks in the company's metal gear production line. Thanks to the complete integration of the UR16e arm, the robot navigates autonomously between the different points of the industrial hall in a safe way, avoiding any possible obstacles that may appear.

The simplification of processes is one of the major contributions of collaborative mobile handling to industry. A workspace in which humans and robots can work together safely makes the results infinitely more efficient, facilitating the task for operators, optimizing resources, obtaining a reduction in costs and, therefore, more efficient results.

RB-KAIROS+
The robot's robust, steel design allows it to carry up to 250 kg of payload.

Robotnik

Robotnik was founded in 2002 and is currently a reference in mobile robotics in the world. The company designs, manufactures and markets autonomous and collaborative mobile robots and manipulators for industry. Its technology, professionalism and the quality of its products and services have made it present in the main international markets.

Collaborative robotics in Industry 4.0

Collaborative robotics is a reality within Industry 4.0. It demonstrates that the future of industry looks like a workspace where robots and humans work together, each bringing their own strengths to the job.

Robots are well suited to perform repetitive and precision tasks because they apply the same criteria over and over again. Industry professionals, on the other hand, have the creativity and problem-solving skills needed to solve problems. The sum of the two leads to the greatest efficiency in production processes.

In the midst of this new collaborative work environment, the RB-KAIROS+ robot has emerged as a mobile solution to expand the capabilities of Universal Robots' e-Series arms, improving the efficiency of production lines.

The synergy between Robotnik and Universal Robots has allowed the creation of RB-KAIROS+, enhancing the portfolio of Collaborative Mobile Robots (CMR) and meeting the needs of those industries that are committed to collaborative robotics, that are aware of all its advantages and that have started their path towards Industry 4.0.

RB-KAIROS+

RB-KAIROS+ is a mobile robotic platform designed for plug & play integration of Universal Robots' e-Series arms, which increases the flexibility of these arms, allowing them to work in different areas. This means that the robot can perform a greater number of tasks in different spaces.

It has been developed, at hardware and software level, to 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, allowing easy programming.

It is a collaborative mobile manipulator, which means that it can work in different industrial environments safely, sharing the workspace with the operators.

RB-KAIROS+ is officially certified by UR+, which guarantees its compatibility with models: UR3, UR5, UR10, UR3e, UR5e, UR10e, and UR16e.

Benefits of integrating the RB-KAIROS+ in a company

Industries that are automating their lines through collaborative robotics can expand the potential of their arms thanks to the RB-KAIROS+ mobile manipulator. These arms can perform more tasks at a greater number of sites. One of the most important factors in most industrial processes is time, which has been increasingly optimized through process automation.

As was the case in the success story in the previous article with Hankamp Gears BV, this is achieved:

  • Unlimited extension of the working space of the cobots.
  • Increased effectiveness in various industrial tasks.
  • Greater profitability and improvement in production processes due to the versatility of the robotic arms only with the acquisition of a mobile platform compatible with all the arms of the UR e-Series.
  • Since the robot shares workspace with the operators, safer industrial and working environments are created.Providing a mechanical and repetitive, yet precise and constant work rhythm.

RB-KAIROS+ in action: vídeo.