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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.


robot safety

All that Robotics brings to Security & Rescue

  • Robotnik is currently involved in 5 projects focused on the security and rescue sectors.

Robotnik focuses a significant part of its work and resources on R&D projects related to the automation and digitalization of industry through robotic applications

Since 2002, Robotnik has been involved in more than 60 projects, most of them at European level and others at local level,

30 projects are currently on progress, each of them of different nature: some of them with objectives oriented to logistics, health sector, or agri-food, among others.

This post compiles 5 of the open robotics projects related to public safety and rescue. 

R&D in Europe

One of Europe's main challenges is to promote research and development within companies, as it is the key to the competitiveness and productivity of each economic sector in the long term. For this reason, there are official funding programmes such as Horizon 2020 that provide support in this regard.

In particular, R&D in robotics technologies has become more important than ever in recent years. There is hardly any country that does not invest - both at company, government and institutional level - in robotics.

This increase in investment is due to several factors, for example, the huge development of some of the catalysts of robotics such as 5G or Artificial Intelligence, which provide an ideal framework, with connections and capabilities that did not exist before.

What are security R&D projects?

Perhaps there is a greater lack of knowledge about research and innovation in this area, but there is much that mobile robotics is contributing to this field. Ministries of Defense, institutions focused on rescue or emergency operations, civil protection, law enforcement and the sectors that work for public safety in general, have their sights set on the advances that this technology represents.

There are different forms of insecurity that can affect citizens, 'be it crime, violence, terrorism, natural or man-made disasters, cyber-attacks or abuses of privacy, and other forms of social and economic disorder'. European Commission.

The projects in which Robotnik is involved aim to understand, detect, prevent, deter, prepare and protect against security threats.

The following points, taken from the European Commission's own website, perfectly summarize the activities that this research framework focuses on:

- Fighting crime, illegal trafficking and terrorism, including understanding and combating terrorist ideas and beliefs;

- Protecting and enhancing the resilience of critical infrastructures, supply chains and transport modes;

- Strengthening security through border management;

- Improve cyber security;

- Increase Europe's resilience to crises and disasters;

- Ensuring privacy and freedom, including on the Internet, and improving society's legal and ethical understanding of all areas of security, risk and management;

- Improve standardization and interoperability of systems, including for emergency purposes;

- Supporting the Union's external security policies, including conflict prevention and peace-building.

Following this contextual framework, the following are the security and rescue projects in which Robotnik is currently involved:

CREST

Fight crime with an autonomous platform with an advanced prediction, prevention, operation and investigation platform leveraging the IoT ecosystem.

Robotnik, as a hardware supplier, is developing a new UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) concept capable of autonomously deploying a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in the field.

  • Threat detection and assessment.
  • Dynamic mission planning and adaptive navigation for improved surveillance based on autonomous systems.
  • Distributed command and control of law enforcement missions.
  • Sharing of information and exchange of digital evidence based on blockchain.
  • Delivery of pertinent information to different stakeholders in an interactive manner tailored to their needs.

RESPOND-A

It aims to develop holistic and user-friendly solutions for first responders. Robotnik is responsible for the development of robots for hazardous environments and support missions and participates in the development of interfaces between emergency robots and the command-and-control application.

  • Equipment tools and mission-critical strategies for First Responders
  • Augmented and Virtual Reality
  • Passive and active localization and tracking
  • Interactive multi-view 360º video streaming.
  • Autonomous robot and unmanned aerial vehicle coordination.

ROBORDER

Border authorities and law enforcement agencies (LEAs) across Europe face significant challenges in the way they patrol and protect borders. ROBORDER aims to develop and demonstrate a fully functional autonomous border surveillance system with unmanned mobile robots including aerial, water surface, underwater and land vehicles.

Robotnik, as a hardware supplier, is developing a new UGV (unmanned ground vehicle) concept capable of autonomously deploying a small UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) in the field.

  • Autonomous swarm of heterogeneous Robots for BORDER surveillance.
  • Fully-functional autonomous border surveillance system with unmanned mobile robots including aerial, water surface, underwater and ground vehicles, capable of functioning both as standalone and in swarms.
  • Detection capabilities for early identification of criminal activities and hazardous incidents.

INTREPID

The aim here is to provide first responders with a new approach to accelerate the exploration and assessment of hazardous sites, enabling a rapid and effective response. To revolutionize first responder operations in the early stages of a disaster when the chances of saving lives are greatest and operations are slowed down by many types of uncertainties.

Robotnik's role in the project is to design and develop an intelligent unmanned ground vehicle (UGV) capable of performing exploration missions through rugged terrain or complex indoor locations.

  • Reconnaissance and Assessment in Perilous Incidents.
  • A quick response is key in order to save lives and minimize environmental damage.
  • Develop a platform that will allow first responders to safely explore the scene, analyze and assess the existing threats and decide, based on reliable information about the situation, on the next steps to take.
  • Use cybernetic assistants (smart autonomous vehicles) to enhance the speed, range and effectiveness of complex site exploration.

FASTER

FASTER will provide innovative, accepted and efficient tools that enhance the capabilities of first responders in terms of situational awareness and communication.

Robotnik is the leader of the project's Work Package 5: "Autonomous Platforms". It involves the development of a new RB-CAR vehicle and also a SUMMIT-XL robot. They will be used by first responders to explore and check the environment and also to transport some heavy materials.

  • Tactical situational awareness providing innovative visualization services for a portable Common Operational Picture for both indoor and outdoor scenarios representation.
  • Data collection providing a secure IoT platform for distributed.
  • Resilient communication at the field level providing haptic communication capabilities, communication with K9s; and at the infrastructure level through 5G technologies and UAVs.

inspection robot