RoboCup Leipzig: Von kleinen Robotern für die großen lernen

Meistens kennt man Roboter als Maschinen, die vorher festgelegte Abläufe exakt ausführen. Ihr Vorteil gegenüber anderen Industriegeräten besteht darin, dass sie aufgrund ihrer hohen Flexibilität vielfältig einsetzbar sind. Um diese Flexibilität noch weiter zu steigern, setzt der Augsburger Automatisierungsspezialist KUKA auf den intensiven Austausch mit der weltweiten Robotik-Community. Über Wett-bewerbe wie den RoboCup werden Aufgabenstellungen aus der Fabrik der Zukunft in wissenschaftliche Herausforderungen für die Forscher überführt. So entstehen im Wettstreit der Teams innovative Lösungen, die zur Weiterentwicklung der Pro-duktion in Richtung Industrie 4.0 gebraucht werden. Auf der Leipziger Messe wer-den diese Ansätze im RoboCup vom 30. Juni bis zum 3. Juli live zu erleben sein.

Die dritte Hand des Menschen

Schon jetzt leisten immer intelligenter werdende Roboter einen wichtigen Beitrag in mo-dernen Fabriken. Der demografische Wandel und der stetig steigende Bedarf nach höhe-rer Produktivität und Qualität bei sinkenden Kosten lässt die Anforderungen an zukünftige roboterbasierte Automatisierung vor allem im Bereich der Montage steigen. Eine älter werdende Belegschaft soll vom Kollegen Roboter unterstützt werden, und so kommt es zunehmend auf eine sichere Co-Existenz von Werker und Roboter sowie das entspre-chende Feingefühl des robotischen Assistenten an.

Dass genau bei diesen Herausforderungen der Wissenstransfer von Forschung und Wettbewerben wie dem RoboCup bis hin zur tatsächlichen Produktion funktioniert, zeigt der Leichtbauroboter LBR iiwa (intelligent industrial work assistant) von KUKA. Der Robo-terarm ist aufgrund seiner Feinfühligkeit optimal für diese Aufgabenstellung geeignet und wird so zur dritten Hand des Menschen. Der Roboter kann mit zerbrechlichen und emp-findlichen Objekten umgehen, erkennt die Lage der zu verwendeten Bauteile und montiert diese mit dem dafür benötigten Kraftaufwand. Auf diese Weise wird Produktionsausschuss oder eine Kollision vermieden. „In der heutigen Produktionslandschaft sind aufgrund stetig zunehmender Produkt- und Variantenvielfalt größtmögliche Flexibilität und Wandlungsfähigkeit gefragt. Der LBR iiwa bringt diese Voraussetzungen mit und ermög-licht so Prozesse, die bisher in der Automatisierung nicht denkbar waren“, sagt Dr. Rainer Bischoff, Leiter der KUKA Konzernforschung und erläutert: „Seine Sensorik und Steue-rungstechnik machen ihn darüber hinaus so sicher, dass Mensch und Roboter miteinander arbeiten können, ohne von Schutzzäunen getrennt zu sein.“

Was flexibel sein soll, braucht Mobilität

Die hohen Anforderungen an die Nutzungsmöglichkeiten von Robotern zeigen sich auch vor allem im Bereich der Mobilität. Denn genau dabei geraten Roboter mit einem festen Standort schnell an ihre Grenzen. Dr. Bischoff: „Die industrielle Fertigung der Zukunft be-nötigt neue, modulare, vielseitige und allem voran mobile Fertigungskonzepte.“ KUKA hat aus diesem Grund seinen LBR iiwa mit einer autonom navigierenden Plattform vereint und so mit dem KMR iiwa (KMR steht dabei für KUKA Mobile Robotik) einen neuen, intel-ligenten und mobilen Helfer geschaffen, der die direkte, autonome und flexible Zusam-menarbeit von Mensch und Roboter ermöglicht. Mit seinen Hochleistungsakkus, einer autonomen Navigation, der millimetergenauen Positionierfähigkeit und dem modularen Aufbau ist der KMR iiwa ein industrieller Produktionshelfer für zahlreiche Logistik- und Fertigungsprozesse.

Schnittstelle für die Zukunft der Robotik

Da jede Entwicklung stets mit einem ersten, kleinen Schritt beginnt, bringt KUKA den y-ouBot mit zum RoboCup auf die Leipziger Messe. Der Roboter ist eine omnidirektionale, mobile Plattform, auf die ein fünfachsiger Roboterarm mit Zweifinger-Greifer montiert ist. Das Gerät ermöglicht es, eigene Steuerungen und Applikationsideen zu verwirklichen. Sein größter Vorteil: Der youBot lässt sich mit einer Vielzahl an Open-Source Softwarepa-keten sowie weiterer Software (C++ API, ROS, Orocos, LabView und viele mehr) ansteu-ern. „Der KUKA youBot bietet Forschern, Lehrenden und Studierenden sowie Forschungs- und Entwicklungsabteilungen der Industrie die Hardware-Basis, um Neues auszuprobieren und Erkenntnisse auf andere Anwendungen zu skalieren. Mit dem KUKA youBot kann so im kleinen Maßstab an wichtigen Themen der Fabrik der Zukunft auf dem Weg zu Industrie 4.0 geforscht werden“, erklärt Dr. Bischoff.

Apropos Industrie 4.0: Den aktuellen Stand der Forschung für die Fabrik der Zukunft kön-nen die Besucher bei den RoboCup-Wettbewerben in der maßgeblich von KUKA mit initi-ierten [email protected] live erleben. Anders als bei den fußballspielenden und ser-vicerobotik-orientierten Wettbewerben befassen sich die Teilnehmer dieses Wettbewerbs mit der Erforschung und Entwicklung des Einsatzes von Robotern im industriellen Kontext. Hierbei sollen Roboter komplexe Aufgaben in Zusammenarbeit mit Menschen erfüllen, beispielsweise bei der Fertigung, Automatisierung oder der allgemeinen Logistik. Reale industrielle Herausforderungen sollen die Grundlage bilden für eine robuste mobile Manipulation, die skalierbar, also in weitaus größerem Maßstab einsetzbar, sein soll.

Um in Zukunft eine noch bessere Vergleichbarkeit der Wettbewerbsteilnehmer zu errei-chen und die Wettbewerbe analog zur Champions League im Fußball in mehreren räum-lich und zeitlich getrennten Runden ablaufen lassen zu können, hat KUKA die Gründung der European Robotics League mit weiteren Partnern aus der Wissenschaft und mit Hilfe von Fördergeldern der Europäischen Kommission initiiert. Der RoboCup in Leipzig markiert den offiziellen Startpunkt für diese europäische Liga, die in den drei gesellschaftlich relevanten Robotik-Bereichen Industrie, Dienstleistung und Rettung für bahnbrechende Entwicklungen, eine noch bessere Ausbildung der Ingenieure und Informatiker von morgen und eine höhere Akzeptanz der Bevölkerung für die Unterstützung mit Robotertechnologie sorgen wird. Dr. Bischoff: „Steter Wettbewerb ist eine Grundvoraussetzung für Innovation. Der RoboCup in Leipzig ist die perfekte Schnittstelle zwischen dem gegenwärtigen Entwicklungsstand und wegweisenden Lösungen für die Herausforderungen der Zukunft.“

Über den RoboCup

Der RoboCup ist der führende und vielseitigste Wettbewerb für intelligente Roboter und eines der international bedeutendsten Technologieevents in Forschung und Ausbildung. Die Weltmeister-schaft der Roboter vereint interdisziplinäre Problemstellungen – unter anderem aus den Themen-bereichen Robotik, Künstliche Intelligenz, Informatik, Elektrotechnik sowie Maschinenbau. Als zent-rale Disziplin spielen Roboter in verschiedenen Ligen Fußball. In den letzten Jahren sind weitere visionäre Anwendungsdisziplinen wie intelligente Roboter als vielseitige Helfer bei Rettungseinsät-zen, im Haushalt und in der industriellen Produktion hinzugekommen. Die Vision der RoboCup Federation: 2050 sollen autonome humanoide Roboter den amtierenden Fußball-Weltmeister schlagen. Der 20. RoboCup wird von 30. Juni bis 4. Juli 2016 in Leipzig ausgetragen. Es werden mehr als 3.500 Teilnehmer in 500 Teams aus 40 Ländern erwartet. Neben den Globalen Sponsoren des RoboCup (SoftBank Robotics, Festo, Flower Robotics, MathWorks) wird die Weltmeister-schaft 2016 durch Siemens (Goldsponsor), Amazon Robotics, Festo, KUKA (Silbersponsoren), Schenker, TUXEDO Computers (Hardware Partner), HARTING, Arbeitgeberverband Gesamtmetall / think ING, S&P Sahlmann (Bronzesponsoren), DHL (Logistikpartner) sowie arvato, Donaubauer, Flughafen Leipzig/Halle, Metropolregion Mitteldeutschland und Micro-Epsilon (Freunde) unterstützt.

AUTOMATICA 2016: Robotics – Introducing a new robot generation

For the first time this year, all renowned robotics manufacturers with innovations across the board will be at AUTOMATICA in Munich from June 21 to 24. Gone are the days when progress was defined by improvements in details. This time solutions are signaling a new era of automation with new approaches that do justice to the demands of human-robot collaboration (MRC) and Industry 4.0.

The robotics business around the world is booming. The World Robot Association IFR reported a global sales record of eight percent in 2015 in the industrial robot sector. The number of industrial robots sold worldwide reached the mark of 240,000 units for the first time.

„The worldwide sales of industrial robots in 2015 confirmed that we are in very exciting times for the robot industry,“ Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director at ABB Robotics, stated. „With the start into 2016, the traditional drivers in our industry are being complemented by a huge demand for solutions in the Internet of Things (IoT) as well as the services & people areas. I believe that this development will result in a new record year.“

MRC: A new generation of robots is ready for the market
Collaborating robots are paving a revolutionary new way for SMEs to automate their production on an optimum technical level and consequently secure their competitive position while cutting costs. Manufacturers are taking different approaches in developing their collaborative robots. While one faction, including ABB, Kuka, Universal Robots, Yaskawa and Co. relies on special machines for MRC, Stäubli and Fanuc design their standard robots for MRC applications. A big advantage for AUTOMATICA visitors: All major robot manufacturers are represented at the trade fair, which enables a direct comparison of these solutions.

Per Vegard Nerseth, Managing Director of ABB Robotics, expects a new record year for robotics.

Photo: ABB


Industry 4.0 and MRC

Stäubli will highlight the performance of his new TX2 six-axle series in a variety of demonstration applications at its largest ever AUTOMATICA booth. In a realistic smart factory, different TX2 models in several linked cells put their Industry 4.0 compatibility as well as their collaborative skills to the test. The mobile, autonomous robot system HelMo will be employed for the first time, which makes mobile use possible for the TX2 six-axle robot.

AUTOMATICA is the most important trade fair event this year for Gerald Vogt, Managing Director of Stäubli Robotics.

Photo: Stäubli

You can also see the major trends in robotics of highly flexible and tightly networked I4.0 production concepts, intuitive operation of robots and MRC solutions at Kuka. In networked production installed at its booth, Kuka is linking its products designed for Industry 4.0, including the mobile KMR iiwa and the Swisslog shelving system Cyclone Carrier, a prime example of a modern production concept. Via the Swisslog software Warehouse Manager WM 6, all components of the smart factory are able to communicate with each other and provide information about the respective order status.

In addition to solutions for networked production, Kuka is exhibit-ing new six-axis robots, including the small robot KR 3 Agilus.

Photo: Kuka Roboter


Green „CR World“ on the „Yellow Highway“

With 24 system partners, Fanuc is exhibiting the full range of robotics on the „Yellow Highway”. New features include the collaborative robot CR 7iA and the heavyweight M-2000iA with a payload of 2,300 kg. Another highlight is the „Green CR World“, in which simple application examples as well as unusual use ideas for collaborative robots can be seen. There is also plenty of space for the ideas and solutions of system integrators on the 3,000 square meter booth. New integrators have joined the partners of the first AUTOMATICA fairs. „As a result, we expect a record number of participants this year,“ Olaf Kramm, Managing Director of Fanuc Germany, stated with obvious pleasure; he will be accompanied by his international team at AUTOMATICA.

The importance of AUTOMATICA as platform for the robot market and the outstanding success of FANUC Germany have aroused the curiosity of Dr. Yoshiharu Inaba. The President and CEO of FANUC Corporation wants to get a direct overview of the German and European markets, as well as meet customers and system integrators at the „Yellow Highway”. For this reason the top management of FANUC Corporation will visit the AUTOMATICA in Munich for the first time.

The basis of the new collaborative Fanuc CR 7iA is an LR Mate 200iD with 7 kg carrying load.

Photo: Fanuc

Yaskawa is also betting on the known fashionable topics, but it also has new robot on board. Bruno Schnekenburger, Division Director Robotics at Yaskawa Europe, stated: “We are going to introduce a newly developed model for MRC applications for the first time in Europe at AUTOMATICA with the Motoman HC10. The robot is extremely slim, so it can be integrated optimally into cramped spaces.“  The new GP series with the Motoman GP7 and GP8 also has a similar slim design. These robots will score with speed, ranges and interfaces for integration into automation environments on the Industry 4.0 level.

The collaborative robot Motoman HC10 from Yaskawa is celebrating its European premiere.

Photo: Yaskawa


AUTOMATICA shows the complete range of automation

In line with current requirements in the digital manufacturing era, Fraunhofer IPA is presenting different exhibits covering the fields of people at the workplace, products and automation as well as IT infrastructure and networking. Consequently, they demonstrate the added value of production in the sense of Industry 4.0.

In addition to the hot topics, AUTOMATICA is also showing the world of conventional robotics from vision sensors to spot welding guns and all the way to heavy-duty robots. „AUTOMATICA illuminates all facets of automation, and all major exhibitors of the industry are represented. Consequently, this fair is the most important event this year for many exhibitors. It will show the extent to which visions of future automation have become reality,“ Gerald Vogt, Managing Director of Stäubli Robotics, stated.

Industry 4.0 and MRK solutions will be the focus at the booth of the Fraunhofer IPA.

Photo: IPA

Old and new VEX IQ Chickens

Here are pictures and videos of the VEX IQ Chickens I built some time ago for VEX Worlds. You can see the progress from the first version to the latest version with colored parts.

These robot chickens can each be build out of one VEX IQ kit.
But if you add parts in other colors it looks more realistic.

It is moving using only one motor!
The program to make it move is really easy and a great start for robotic beginners.

2014-04-22 14.57.50 (Large)

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Low Cost Walking Robot Makes It Easy To Get Into Robotics

The mePed is a robot kit that was designed from the ground up to be an affordable, easy to build robot for beginners and experts alike.

Spierce Technologies announced today that it is raising funds via a crowdfunding campaign on Kickstarter to finish development and drive down the cost of their flagship walking robot, the mePed. The company has set out to raise at least $5,000 to fund the first batch of mePed kits and give them enough orders to negotiate better pricing and make the kits more affordable for everyone.

The mePed is a four legged quadruped robot that comes in kit form which the user assembles using the included tools. Out of the box, it’s not much more than just a remote control toy but what make the mePed robot special is that it is completely open source and programmable. The source code used to make the mePed work is pre-programmed on the robots controller from the factory. This code can be modified by the user to make the robot do almost anything from navigating mazes, avoiding obstacles, dancing, waving, or even finding a fire and putting it out with the use of additional sensors.

Making low cost, high quality robot kits accessible to as many people as possible is the driving force behind the mePed Kickstarter campaign. When most walking robots cost upwards of $200 or more, with a successful Kickstarter campaign, Spierce Technologies can bring the mePed to market for less than $100.

The mePed kit includes everything needed to assemble a fully functioning, programmable robot. In addition to the robot body and servo motors, the kit include an Infrared Remote for giving the robot commands, an Ultrasonic Range Sensor for measuring the distance from objects in front of the robot, an Arduino compatible micro controller or the brains of the mePed, as well as the nuts, bolts, and wrenches needed to assemble the kit. The user only needs to supply 4 AA batteries.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1881661007/meped-the-mini- quadruped-mobile-robot

Photon – a Child Friendly Code Teaching Robot About to Join Kickstarter

BIALYSTOK, Poland, 10.05.2016 – Photon Entertainment announced a crowdfunding campaign for Photon – world’s first interactive robot that grows up with children while teaching them programming.
The campaign is launching on May 31st and will take place over the course of six weeks. Price ranges from $149 for a super early bird version to $199 for a regular one. Stretch goals include backer exclusive accessories for the robot (such as a jetpack or mouth allowing for speech visualization) as well as donations for various child related charities (cancer wards, orphanages and others).

Photon is a robot meant to educate children through a mixture of storytelling, challenges and latest technology. It comes equipped with a variety of sensors that allow it to see, hear, feel the touch, distinguish between light and dark, measure proximity and more. Programming language used by the robot is inspired by Scratch and Google Blockly, which makes it simple and digestible by even the youngest users.


The robot comes with a paired application adjusted for both smartphones and tablets. Here, children learn the story of Photon – a little robot whose flying saucer crashed on earth. By completing coding related tasks they help him gain his senses back, and rebuild his spaceship. App encourages friendly competition and cooperation thanks to the inclusion of high scores, leaderboards and daily tasks. Experience points gained by progressing allow kids to customize their robot and decide the order in which he develops, making each unit unique.
“In four years there will be a gap of over a million computing jobs and candidates available for grabbing” says Marcin Joka, the CEO of Photon Entertainment. “We want to take part in closing that gap and proving that with a proper set of tools even a six year old can successfully learn how to code, and have a huge advantage in his or her future career”. The idea for creating Photon comes from minds of Marcin Joka, Krzysztof Dziemańczuk, Michał Bogucki and Maciej Kopczyński, four students and one academic lecturer form Bialystok University of Technology, Poland. The creators have received numerous distinctions and honorable mentions for their work. One of team members took part in creating an award winning Mars Rover Hyperion 2.

Rokenbok Toys Come to Life with Arduino Programming

Solana Beach, CA – Rokenbok Education launched a Kickstarter campaign today for the ROKduino Programmable Robotics Set. The set comes with step-by-step instructions to build and program a beetle bot, a scorpion hunter and an auto-Ferris Wheel. With over 400 building components, including sensors, motor modules, hinges, wheels and gears – and a brand new Arduino-based smart block – imagination is the only limit to what children can build.

The heart of this robotics set is the new ROKduino smart block. After building their creation with Rokenbok building components, children plug the ROKduino into a computer and start coding. With Rokenbok’s step-by-step instructions and drag-and-drop programming, kids as young as eight years old can enjoy the satisfaction of bringing their robots to life. After mastering the basics, it’s a snap to step into full Arduino programming. Rokenbok will supply code blocks that can be downloaded from their site, but users are also free to use code from anywhere in the Arduino community.

“Understanding how technology works is so valuable to today’s children, and we love helping them build these skills,” says Paul Eichen, Executive Director of Rokenbok Education. “Learning about robotics includes computer science, mechanical and structural engineering, and physics. I just love seeing the incredible ideas children come up with as they learn through play.”
The microcontroller in the ROKduino smart block is an ATmega32U4, which is the same chip used in the Arduino Leonardo. Everything included in the robotics set, including the ROKduino, can snap into every building component Rokenbok has ever produced. Plus, Rokenbok will be providing downloadable CAD files for 3D printers, so families will be able to create their own custom components.
The Rokenbok Programmable Robotics Set will retail for $300, but will go for $249 during the Kickstarter campaign and as little as $175 for the first fifty backers.

Maker Faire Hannover 2016

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IronBot Robotics Kit for Children Launches IndieGogo Campaign

XiaMen, China – May 22, 2016 – IronBot is a 3-in-1 buildable and programmable robotics kit for children age 8 and up. Kids will learn STEM and  robotics, when they happily create a “little robot friend” of their own. On Tuesday, May 17, it was launched on Indiegogo, with early bird perk starting from just $89.  (Indiegogo Link: https://igg.me/at/ironbot/x/12259168)


IronBot Includes three choices: a „Robot Arm,“ a „Biped Robot,“ or a „Humanoid Robot.“ As a step-by-step robotic learning kit, the robots are perfect for education and technical instruction, and are a fun playtime activity for children 8 years and up.

IronBot helps children to learn by following step-by-step easy instructions, easily explaining the components, which include, a servo-motor, manipulator assembly, Biped Robot and the Humanoid Robot. The IronBot kit will open the door to the world of robots to children of all ages.
According to the founders of IronBot, „Children can control their IronBot by Bluetooth®, and IronBot offers a coordinating, dedicated app. The robotic arm will pick up small objects or play a balloon game. The app can also race two biped robots. When a robot transforms to the next level humanoid form, kids can use a mobile phone to act as the brain of IronBot. Children will learn by audio and visual interaction using the mobile phone’s camera and microphone.“
The kit comes with a multimode progressive assembly, graphic programming and a personalization setting. Kids can name their robot, and program a personality, voice and story with a customized setting. The kit can be augmented by the children by crafting unique parts for their IronBots, creating unique characteristics on their own.


For more information visit www.ironbot.net.

Find Ironbot on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ironbotforkids/, Twitter: @IronbotforKids, and on YouTube: https://m.youtube.com/channel/UCALVYMZ5RCrYsGO4EOxS11A

Pictures of VEX Worlds 2016 Part 2

Innovators offered chance to develop their ideas with world leading robotics manufacturer ABB Robotics

London, U.K. – 1 May 2016 –Innovation platform, The IdeaHub, is once again recruiting robotics and software innovators worldwide to take on the challenge of improving the way we work and interact with the next generation of industrial robots. Working on behalf of ABB Robotics, IdeaHub will help successful applicants pitch their ideas and secure uniquely tailored support packages to maximise their venture’s commercial potential, including investment, mentoring and access to cutting edge hardware.

The IdeaHub is a cross sector, open innovation platform that connects visionaries worldwide with funding and support from global corporations. In 2015 they ran their first programme for ABB Robotics, attracting over 130 applicants with 12 finalists selected for a pitch day in London, with 6 entrepreneurs receiving an offer of support. For 2016 they are partnering with ABB Robotics once again to bring more solutions to solve three core challenges in the world collaborative industrial robotics:

1.) Simplicity: How to simplify robotics

2.) Intelligence: How to enable robots to learn and apply that learning

3.) Digitalization: How smart connectivity will enhance digital factories.

Much more information can be found at www.theideahub.co.uk/challenges.

 

The IdeaHub platform launches today and is open for applications until 30th July 2016. Successful applicants will get the chance to pitch their ideas directly to ABB Robotics at an IdeaHub event in August 2016. There is no limit to number of offers that might be made, which can include funding, access to robots, technology and commercial support as appropriate to the needs of their business.

Simon Blair, from the IdeaHub said, “This is a great opportunity for robotics and software innovators and entrepreneurs around the world to collaborate with a leading robotics company and take their idea to the next level.  All negotiations are directly between successful applicants and ABB Robotics, so outcomes can be structured to the specific needs of each successful venture. Our programme aims to compliment your business and not restrict it in anyway – we don’t operate an incubator period, we don’t set any pre-defined terms and we don’t insist on equity sacrifice as part of any deals borne out of the programme.”

Applying to the IdeaHub takes a few minutes and only requires information already in the public domain. Visit www.theideahub.co.uk for more information and further contact details.