Potenziale KI-gestützter Robotik für die Industrie

Künstliche Intelligenz (KI) gilt als Schlüsseltechnologie und birgt enormes wirtschaftliches Potenzial. Doch ein Blick in deutsche Produktionshallen zeigt noch ein anderes Bild: Lediglich 6,8 Prozent der Unternehmen aus den Bereichen Maschinenbau und Elektrotechnik setzen KI-Technologien ein (Stand 2019). Dabei birgt KI gerade für das produzierende Gewerbe zahlreiche Potenziale.

Künstliche Intelligenz ist ein Überbegriff, der den Ansatz beschreibt, mit Maschinen Probleme zu lösen und menschliche Intelligenz zu imitieren. Dabei spielt insbesondere ein Teilbereich, das Machine Learning (Maschinelles Lernen), in Unternehmen und Produktionen eine entscheidende Rolle. Machine Learning bedeutet, dass ein System aus Beispielen lernt und diese nach der Lernphase verallgemeinern kann.

In der Produktion kommt Machine Learning beispielsweise im Bereich Predictive Analytics zum Einsatz. Dort wird KI als Teil von Vorhersagemodellen zur Überwachung und Wartung von Produktionsanlagen eingesetzt, um frühzeitig auf kritische Zustände reagieren zu können.

Auch das Wissensmanagement greift für die Auswertung von internen Informationen und Daten auf Machine Learning zurück. Daten von Fertigungslinien, Lieferketten, aber auch von einzelnen Produkten werden für Unternehmensprozesse, die Produktentwicklung und neue Geschäftsmodelle ausgewertet. Ohne den Einsatz von KI wäre eine Analyse aufgrund der schieren Datenmenge nicht möglich.

Mit KI und Robotik Handarbeitsplätze automatisieren

Machine Learning, häufig in Kombination mit Machine Vision, kommt auch in den Bereichen Robotik und Automatisierung, Sensorik und bei fahrerlosen Transportsystemen zum Einsatz. Für die Fertigung ist dabei das Zusammenspiel von KI und Robotik ein wichtiger Schlüssel für die Zukunft.

KI-Produkte, wie beispielsweise Robotersteuerungen, ermöglichen es unter anderem, Handarbeitsplätze zu automatisieren. Ein nicht zu vernachlässigender Vorteil, denn Arbeitskräfte sind rar und der Mangel verschärft sich in den Jahren weiter, wie der Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammertag (DIHK) prognostiziert. Übernehmen Roboter auch Aufgaben, für die es bisher die Flexibilität eines Menschen brauchte, sorgt das für die Entlastung der Stammbelegschaft, eine Auslastung der Maschinen und sichert auf lange Sicht die Wettbewerbsfähigkeit.

Robuster Umgang mit Varianzen

KI-Steuerungen wie MIRAI von Micropsi Industries ergänzen die native Steuerung eines Roboters. Der Roboter erhält dank einer Kamera und einem neuronalen Netzwerk die Auge-Hand-Koordination und eine vergleichbare Flexibilität wie ein Mensch. Ein solches intelligentes Robotersystem lernt bei neuen Aufgaben, bei anders geformten oder positionierten Werkteilen oder bei vergleichbaren Varianzen schnell, was es zu tun hat und passt bei Bedarf seine Bewegungen in Echtzeit eigenständig an. Ob es sich um das Picken einzelner Teile, Zustellbewegungen oder Fügen und Verfolgen handelt: Zahlreiche Tätigkeiten sind mit einer einzigen kleinen Kamera am Roboter-Handgelenk umsetzbar.

Diese Fähigkeiten lassen sich mit MIRAI durch menschliche Demonstration trainieren. Weder KI- noch Programmierkenntnisse sind erforderlich. Das Know-how bleibt selbst ohne KI-Fachkräfte im Unternehmen. Dem Roboter muss dafür das Ziel einige Male in typisch vorkommenden Varianzen mit der Kamera gezeigt werden. Die KI verallgemeinert im Anschluss die gezeigten Daten. Ein solches System kann in wenigen Stunden trainiert und sogar neu trainiert werden. Selbst eine Fertigung im High Mix-/Low-Volume lässt sich so rentabel automatisieren. Was intelligente Robotiklösungen bereits in der Praxis leisten, zeigen die folgenden Beispiele.

Intelligentes Handling-System bei ZF

Der Technologiekonzern ZF stand vor der Herausforderung, die Werkstückzufuhr einer großvolumigen Frässtation, in der Zahnräder produziert werden, zu automatisieren. Im Werkprozess werden Metallringe aus einer Kiste entnommen und auf ein Förderband gelegt, um später in die Produktion der Zahnräder einzufließen. Die Schwierigkeit: Der Produktionsschritt ist sehr variantenreich, da sich die Ringe in der angelieferten Gitterbox verschieben und dadurch zufällig angeordnet sind. Auch Platzierung und Form der Box variieren. Wechselnde Lichtverhältnisse stellen eine zusätzliche Herausforderung dar. Außerdem ist die Oberfläche der Ringe metallisch glänzend, teilweise ölverschmiert oder korrodiert, was eine klassische Automatisierung unmöglich machte.

Heute ist die KI-Steuerung MIRAI und ein Cobot vom Modell UR10e bei ZF in einer automatisierten Werkstückaufnahme im Einsatz. Mit seiner eigenen Steuerung bringt der Cobot sich über den Ringen in der Kiste in Position. Nun übernimmt das MIRAI-System die Kontrolle: Es bewegt den Roboter selbstständig zum nächsten Ring und bringt den Greifer in die korrekte dreidimensionale Greifposition. Danach übernimmt der UR10e wieder, nimmt den Ring auf und bewegt ihn zum Ablegen auf das Förderband. Das komplette Einrichten des Roboters dauerte lediglich wenige Tage – MIRAI löste in kürzester Zeit ein lang bestehendes Problem.

BSH sucht mit KI nach Kältemittellecks

An ihrem spanischen Standort stellt die BSH Hausgeräte GmbH Kühl- und Gefrierschränke her. Im Herstellungsprozess muss das Unternehmen die Kupferrohrleitungen der Kühlschränke auf Leckagen testen. Für die sogenannte Dichtheitsprüfung wird eine Schnüffelsonde entlang der Kupferrohrleitungen und Kompressoren geführt, um Lötstellen auf austretendes Gas und Kältemittel zu prüfen. Das Besondere: Jede Rückseite der hergestellten Kühlschränke ist einzigartig, was Position, Farbe und Form der Lötpunkte angeht. Für einen herkömmlichen Roboter sind solche Varianzen ein unüberwindbares Hindernis. Der monotone Prüfprozess blieb dem Menschen vorbehalten – bis jetzt.

Den Prüfprozess übernimmt bei BSH nun eine Robotik-Komplettlösung den Prüfprozess. Dank der integrierten Robotersteuerung MIRAI ist es dem Roboter möglich, alle zu prüfenden Lötstellen verlässlich zu identifizieren und die Schnüffelsonde millimetergenau heranzuführen – unabhängig von Position, Form oder Farbe. Das System reagiert in Echtzeit auf seine Umwelt und handhabt selbst unvorhergesehene Abweichungen präzise. Die Roboterfähigkeiten wurden von Mitarbeitenden bei BSH durch menschliche Demonstration in nur wenigen Stunden trainiert. Weder Programmier- noch KI-Kenntnisse waren erforderlich. BSH konnte mit der Automatisierungslösung die laufenden Betriebskosten senken und Wartungen und Fehlerbehebungen reduzieren.

Neue Technologien als Wettbewerbsvorteil

Die Beispiele zeigen, dass Unternehmen mit KI sehr viel bewirken können: KI ermöglicht mehr Flexibilität, Unabhängigkeit, Effizienz und nicht zuletzt Resilienz. Nicht unwichtig in Zeiten wie diesen. Neue Technologien sollte dabei als Türöffner zu mehr Automatisierung verstanden werden. Leistungen, die bislang von Menschen oder Maschinen erbracht wurden, können nun von einer Software geliefert werden. Das ist nicht nur vorteilhaft beim drastisch zunehmenden Arbeitskräftemangel. Es erhöht auch die Flexibilität, Nachvollziehbarkeit und Zuverlässigkeit von Produktionsprozessen und verschafft einen dauerhaften Wettbewerbsvorsprung.

Weitere Informationen unter: https://bit.ly/MicropsiIndustries

Starship Launches Grocery Delivery Service in Bay Area

On-demand robot delivery now available in Pleasanton, CA at Lucky California flagship store

SAN FRANCISCO (February, 2022)  Starship Technologies, the world’s leading provider of autonomous delivery services, is now delivering groceries in the San Francisco Bay Area. Starship is expanding its partnership with The Save Mart Companies for the exclusive launch of an on-demand grocery delivery service at its Lucky California flagship store in Pleasanton, CA. Lucky is the first grocery store in the San Francisco Bay Area to partner with Starship. 

Starship and The Save Mart Companies first partnered in September 2020, when the Save Mart flagship store in Modesto became the first grocery store in the U.S. to offer Starship robot delivery service. Since its launch, that store has expanded its delivery area to serve over 55,000 households. In Pleasanton, the service is launching to thousands of residents, with the delivery area expected to grow rapidly in the coming months, similar to Modesto. 

“We are very pleased to bring the benefits of autonomous delivery to Pleasanton, in partnership with Lucky California,” said Ryan Tuohy, SVP of Sales and Business Development at Starship Technologies. “Since launching our service in Modesto in 2020, we’ve been excited to see the extremely positive reaction to the robots and how they were embraced as part of the local community. We think the residents of Pleasanton will appreciate the convenience and positive environmental impact of autonomous delivery and we fully expect the service area to quickly expand to more households.”

The robots, each of which can carry up to 20 pounds of groceries – the equivalent of about three shopping bags – provide a convenient, energy-efficient, and low-cost delivery alternative to driving to the Lucky California store, allowing shoppers to browse thousands of items via the secure Starship app for on-demand delivery straight to their home.

The robots travel autonomously – crossing streets, climbing curbs and traversing sidewalks – to provide on-demand delivery to shoppers. They often become local celebrities as community members share their robot selfies and “love notes” on social media. 

“Since the debut of our contactless delivery service at the Save Mart flagship store, feedback from the Modesto community has been incredibly positive,” said Barbara Walker, senior vice president and chief marketing officer for The Save Mart Companies. “We are thrilled to expand this service to Lucky California in Pleasanton and offer a safe and efficient grocery delivery solution, along with some joyful entertainment, especially as the service area progressively expands over time..”

The Starship Food Delivery app is available for download on iOS and Android. To get started, customers choose from a range of their favorite groceries and drop a pin where they want their delivery to be sent. When an order is submitted, Lucky California team members gather the delivery items and carefully place them in a clean robot. Every robot’s interior and exterior is sanitized before each order. The customer can then watch as the robot makes its journey to them, via an interactive map. Once the robot arrives, the customer receives an alert, and can then meet the robot and unlock it through the app.

Starship already offers its services in many parts of the EU, UK and the US in cities, university campuses and industrial campuses, with further expansion planned in the near future. Starship is able to do L4 deliveries everywhere it operates – entire cities and campuses. The robots have been operating at L4 since 2018. On a daily basis Starship robots will complete numerous deliveries in a row 100% autonomously, including road crossings. This is why the cost of a Starship delivery is now lower than the human equivalent, which is believed to be a world first for any robot delivery company, whereas most others are still majority human controlled and in pilot mode.

Starship Technologies operates commercially on a daily basis around the world. Its zero-emission robots make more than 100,000 road crossings every day and have completed more than 2.5 million commercial deliveries and travelled more than 3 million miles (5 million+ kms) globally, more than any other autonomous delivery provider.

The Evolution of Robo-Dogs

Sophie writes on behalf of Panda Security covering cybersecurity and online safety best practices for consumers and families. Specifically, she is interested in removing the barriers of complicated cybersecurity topics and teaching data security in a way that is accessible to all. Her most recent piece is on the evolution of robotic dogs and where they're headed next.

Robots have been a point of fascination and study for centuries as researchers and inventors have sought to explore the potential for automated technology. While there’s a long history of the development and creation of autonomous machines, mobile, quadrupedal robots — or four-legged robotic dogs — have seen a significant boom in the last few decades. 

The development of quadrupedal robots stems from the necessity of mobile robots in exploring dangerous or unstructured terrains. Compared to other mobile robots (like wheeled or bipedal/two-legged robots), quadrupedal robots are a superior locomotion system in terms of stability, control and speed.

The capabilities of quadrupedal robots are being explored in a variety of fields, from construction and entertainment to space exploration and military operations. Today, modern robotic dogs can be purchased by businesses and developers to complete tasks and explore environments deemed too dangerous for humans. Read on for the evolution of robotic dogs and where they might be headed in the future. 

1966: Phony Pony

Although it technically mirrored the form of a horse, the Phony Pony was the first autonomous quadrupedal robot to emerge in the U.S. that set the precedent for robotic dogs of the future. Equipped with electrical motors, the Pony Pony had two degrees of freedom, or joints, in each leg (the hip and the knee) and one adaptive joint in the frontal plane. The hip and knee joints were identical, allowing for both forward and backward walking movements. 

The Phony Pony was capable of crawling, walking and trotting, albeit at a very slow speed. Thanks to its spring-restrained “pelvic” structure, it was able to maintain static vertical stability during movement. Since the Phony Pony was developed before the advent of microprocessors, it could only be controlled through cables connected to a remote computer in an adjacent building.  

Developer: Frank and McGhee

Use: Initial research and development of autonomous quadrupeds 

1999: AIBO

In the late 1990s, Sony’s AIBO  — one of the most iconic and advanced entertainment robotic dogs — hit the market. While the AIBO (Artificial Intelligence RoBOt) was constructed for entertainment purposes, its machinery is still highly complex. 

Developed with touch, hearing, sight and balancing capabilities, it can respond to voice commands, shake hands, walk and chase a ball. It can also express six “emotions”: happiness, sadness, fear, anger, dislike and surprise. Its emotional state is expressed through tail wagging, eye color changes and body movements, as well as through a series of sounds including barks, whines and growls. Today, the AIBO has been used across many research groups for the purpose of testing artificial intelligence and sensory integration techniques.

Developer: Sony

Use: Toys and entertainment

2005: BigDog

Boston Dynamics has become a leader in the world of robotics, specifically in their development of canine-inspired quadrupeds. Their first robotic dog, coined BigDog, arrived in 2005. Measuring three by two feet and weighing in at 240 pounds, BigDog was designed to support soldiers in the military. It can carry 340 pounds, climb up and down 35-degree inclines and successfully hike over rough terrains. 

Each of BigDog’s legs has a passive linear pneumatic compliance — a system that controls contact forces between a robot and a rigid environment — and three active joints in the knees and hips. The robot is powered by a one-cylinder go-kart engine, and its dynamic regulating system allows it to maintain balance. Its movement sensors embrace joint position, joint force, ground contact, ground load and a stereo vision system. 

In 2012, developers were still working to refine BigDog’s capabilities before plans to officially deploy it to military squads. However, the project was discontinued in 2015 after concluding its gas-powered engine was too noisy to be used in combat. 

Developer: Boston Dynamics

Use: Assist soldiers in unsafe terrains 

2009: LittleDog 

Four years after BigDog came LittleDog, Boston Dynamics’ smallest quadrupedal robot to date. LittleDog was developed specifically for research purposes to be used by third parties investigating quadrupedal locomotion. 

Each of LittleDog’s legs are powered by three electric motors fueled by lithium polymer batteries and have a maximum operation time of thirty minutes. LittleDog maintains a large range of motion and is capable of climbing, crawling and walking across rocky terrains. A PC-level computer placed on top of LittleDog is responsible for its movement sensors, controls and communications. It can be controlled remotely and includes data-logging support for data analysis purposes. 

Developer: Boston Dynamics

Use: Research on locomotion in quadrupeds 

2011: AlphaDog Proto

Continuing their efforts to develop military-grade robots, Boston Dynamics released AlphaDog Proto in 2011. Powered by a hydraulic actuation system, AlphaDog Proto is designed to support soldiers in carrying heavy gear across rocky terrains. It’s capable of carrying up to 400 pounds for as far as 20 miles, all within the span of 24 hours, without needing to refuel. 

AlphaDog Proto is equipped with a GPS navigation and computer vision system that allows it to follow soldiers while carrying their gear. Thanks to an internal combustion engine, AlphaDog Proto proved to be quieter than its predecessor BigDog, making it more suitable for field missions. 

Developer: Boston Dynamics

Use: Assist soldiers in carrying heavy gear over unsafe terrains

2012: Legged Squad Support System (LS3)

Boston Dynamics’ development of the Legged Squad Support System (LS3) came soon after the creation of BigDog in their efforts to continue refining their quadrupedal robots for soldiers and Marines. LS3 was capable of operating in hot, cold, wet and otherwise unfavorable conditions. It contained a stereo vision system with a pair of stereo cameras, which were mounted inside the robot’s head. This operated in conjunction with a light-detecting and ranging unit that allowed it to follow a soldier’s lead and record feedback obtained from the camera. 

Compared to BigDog, LS3 was around 10 times quieter at certain times and had an increased walking speed of one to three miles per hour, increased jogging speed of five miles per hour and the ability to run across flat surfaces at seven miles per hour. It was also capable of responding to ten voice commands, which was a more efficient function for soldiers who would be too preoccupied with a mission to use manual controls. 

Five years into development, LS3 had successfully been refined enough to be able to operate with Marines in a realistic combat exercise and was used to resupply combat squads in locations that were difficult for squad vehicles to reach. By 2015, however, the LS3 was shelved due to noise and repair limitations. While the Marines were ultimately unable to use the LS3 in service, it provided valuable research insights in the field of autonomous technology. 

Developer: Boston Dynamics

Use: Assist soldiers in carrying heavy gear over unsafe terrains

2016: Spot 

Spot is Boston Dynamics’ next creation in their line of quadrupedal robots, designed in an effort to move away from developing quadrupeds strictly for military use and instead move into more commercial use. Spot is significantly smaller than their previous models, weighing just 160 pounds. Spot is capable of exploring rocky terrains, avoiding objects in its path during travel and climbing stairs and hills. 

Spot’s hardware is equipped with powerful control boards and five sensor units on all sides of its body that allow it to navigate an area autonomously from any angle. Twelve custom motors power Spot’s legs, gaining speed of up to five feet per second and operating for up to 90 minutes. Its sensors are able to capture spherical images and also allow for mobile manipulation for tasks such as opening doors and grasping objects. Spot’s control methods are far more advanced than Boston Dynamics’ earlier robots, allowing for autonomous control in a wider variety of situations. 

Developer: Boston Dynamics

Use: Documenting construction process and monitoring remote high-risk environments 

2016: ANYmal

While Boston Dynamics had been the main leader in quadrupedal robots since the early 2000s, Swiss robotics company ANYbotics came out with its own iteration of the robotic dog in 2016. Positioned as an end-to-end robotic inspection solution, ANYmal was developed for industrial use, specifically the inspection of unsafe environments like energy and industrial plants. 

ANYmal is mounted with a variety of laser inspection sensors to provide visual, thermal and acoustic readings. Equipped with an on-board camera, it’s capable of remote panning and tilting settings to adjust views of the inspection site. ANYmal is capable of autonomously perceiving its environment, planning its navigation path and selecting proper footholds during travel. It can even walk up stairs and fit into difficult-to-reach areas that traditional wheeled robots can’t.

ANYmal has undergone a handful of development iterations since 2016 and is available for purchase as of 2021. ANYbotics is currently working on an upgraded version of the robot suitable for potentially explosive environments. 

Developer: ETH Zurich and ANYbotics

Use: Remote inspection of unsafe environments

2021: Vision 60 

One of the latest developments in quadrupedal robots is Ghost Robotics’ Vision 60 robotic dog, which has recently been tested at the U.S. Air Force’s Scott Air Force Base in Illinois as part of its one-year pilot testing program. Built to mitigate risks faced by Air Force pilots, Vision 60 features a rifle mounted on its back contained in a gun pod and is equipped with sensors that allow it to operate in a wide variety of unstable terrains. It’s also capable of thermal imaging, infrared configuration and high-definition video streaming. 

Vision 60 can carry a maximum of 31 pounds and can travel at up to 5.24 feet per second. It’s considered a semi-autonomous robot due to its accompanying rifle; while it can accurately line up with a target on its own, it can’t open fire without a human operator (in accordance with the U.S. military’s autonomous systems policy prohibiting automatic target engagement).

Developer: Ghost Robotics

Use: Military and Homeland Security operations

2021: CyberDog

With more companies embracing the development of quadrupeds, Xiaomi Global followed suit and released their version named CyberDog. CyberDog is an experimental, open-source robot promoted as both a human-friendly companion and an asset by law enforcement and military. CyberDog is sleeker and smaller than its other robotic dog predecessors, carrying a payload of just 6.6 pounds and running over 10 feet per second. 

CyberDog is equipped with multiple cameras and image sensors located across its body, including touch sensors and an ultra-wide fisheye lens. CyberDog can hold 128 gigabytes of storage and is powered by Nvidia’s Jetson Xavier AI platform to perform real-time analyses of its surroundings, create navigation paths, plot its destination and avoid obstacles. CyberDog can also perform backflips and respond to voice commands thanks to its six microphones. 

By making CyberDog an open-source project, Xiaomi hopes to expand its reach into the future of robot development and innovation. Its open-source nature is meant to encourage robotics enthusiasts to try their hand at writing code for CyberDog, giving the project more exposure and bolstering Xiaomi’s reputation in the robotics community. 

Developer: Xiaomi Global

Use: An open-source platform for developers to build upon 

While the market for quadrupedal robots is still in its early stages, interest is steadily growing in a wide range of industries. As for fears of robots pushing out the need for traditionally human-led jobs, these machines are more intended to support humans alongside their jobs rather than replace them outright. 

On the other hand, privacy concerns associated with robots aren’t to be ignored. As with any tech-enabled device, hacking is always possible, especially for open-source robotic models that can put users’ personal information at risk. This applies not only to the quadrupeds discussed above, but to more common commercial robotic systems like baby monitors, security systems and other WiFi-connected devices. It’s important to ensure your home network system is as strong and secure as possible with a home antivirus platform

Omniwheels-Fahrzeuge und Tanzroboter – fischertechnik Baukasten für Robotics-Einsteiger

Mit dem Baukasten Robotics Smarttech (249,90 Euro, erhältlich ab August) steigt fischertechnik in die nächste Dimension der fahrbaren Roboter ein. Mit neuen Bauteilen lassen sich verschiedene Omniwheels-Fahrzeuge konstruieren, die sich in sämtliche Richtungen bewegen können. Auch weitere Modelle, wie ein Tanzroboter, lassen sich mit dem Baukasten für Robotics-Einsteiger bauen und programmieren. Im Baukasten enthalten sind der TXT Controller und die Software ROBO Pro.

Der Baukasten Robotics Smarttech ermöglicht einen Einblick in die Zukunft autonom fahrender Fahrzeuge. Der enthaltene RGB-Gestensensor erkennt Gesten in vier verschiedenen Richtungen, misst RGB-Farbwerte und Umgebungshelligkeit, kann als Näherungssensor eingesetzt werden und misst hierbei Abstände von bis zu 15 Zentimetern. Zusammen mit dem IR-Spursensor und dem Taster lassen sich so verschiedene spannende Fahrroboter bauen und programmieren, die darauf warten, von jungen Tüftlern und Entwicklern auf Erkundungstour geschickt zu werden.

Die Fahrzeuge sind mit einem komplett neuen Räderkonzept ausgestattet, wie es in der mobilen Robotik vorkommt. Die Omniwheels – oder Allseitenräder – ermöglichen ein platzsparendes Rangieren, indem die Fahrzeige seitlich oder diagonal fahren. Außerdem können sich die Fahrzeuge sogar auf der Stelle drehen. fischertechnik entwickelte hierfür extra belastbare, qualitativ hochwertige Bauteile, um die Funktionalität der vielseitigen Fahrzeuge gewährleisten zu können. 

Ein weiteres attraktives Modell ist der Tanzroboter, der – einmal zusammengebaut und programmiert – lustige Bewegungen und Drehungen vollziehen kann.

Bevor diese anspruchsvolleren Modelle gebaut werden, können sich Anfänger an einfachen Konstruktionen versuchen. Das Demo-Modell erklärt das Grundprinzip, wie Motor und Taster programmiert und gesteuert werden können. Per Knopfdruck läuft der Motor für eine zuvor definierte Zeit, währenddessen bewegt sich eine Drehschreibe mit einer Grafik, die eine optische Täuschung hervorruft. Erfahrene Konstrukteure wagen sich an einen fahrbaren Roboter, mit dem verschiedene Fahraufgaben programmiert werden können.

Insgesamt können mit dem Baukasten neun verschiedene Robotics-Modelle gebaut und programmiert werden. Der Baukasten ist für Kinder ab 10 Jahren geeignet.

Wandelbots – No-Code Robotics – – Short Interview

Sebastian from Robots-Blog was able to do a short interview with Annelie Harz from Wandelbots. Learn in the interview what Wandelbots is and why programming might soon become obsolete.

Robots-Blog: Who are you and what is your job at Wandelbots?

Annelie: My name is Annelie and I work as a marketing manager at Wandelbots.

Robots Blog: Which robot from science, movies or TV is your favorite?

Annelie: Wall-E, actually. A little robot that does good things and is just adorable.

Robots Blog: What is Wandelbots and where does the name come from?

Annelie: The name describes the CHANGE (german: “Wandel”) of RoBOTics. Because that is exactly what we do. We enable everyone to handle robots, which today is only reserved for a small circle of experts. Our long-term company vision is: “Every robot in every company and every home runs on Wandelbots”. And that promises big change on a wide variety of levels – starting for us with industry.

Robots Blog: Who is your product aimed at and what do I need for it?

Annelie: Our product is currently aimed at customers from industry. Here, our software – Wandelbots Teaching – can help with programming various applications such as welding or gluing without having to write a line of code. It is designed to be so simple and intuitive that really anyone can work with it to teach a robot a desired result. This works through the interaction of an app and an input device, the TracePen. This takes the form of a large pen with which users can draw a desired path for the robot on the component. But we also work together with educational institutions. They are the ones who train the next generation of robot experts. And in the long term, we are convinced – and this is already part of our vision – that robots will also find their way into private life as little helpers.

Robots-Blog: What feature is particularly worth mentioning?/What can’t anyone else do?

Annelie: Our product works robot manufacturer independent. In robotics, each manufacturer has developed its own proprietary programming language over the years. This makes communication between humans and machines very difficult. We, on the other hand, want to create a tool that allows any human to work with any robot – completely independent of programming language and manufacturer. Robotics should be fun for the user of our product. Thanks to the high usability and the operation of our app via iPad, this is already possible today. And over the next time, application-specific editions will be added to our platform – currently, for example, we are working on an app version for robot welding.

Robots Blog: Do I still need to learn programming at all?

Annelie: No. As I just explained, with this so-called no-code technology, you don’t need to learn programming anymore. It is simple, intuitive and user-friendly, even for laymen. Of course, you always need to have some basic understanding of robotics, especially for safety reasons. You should never underestimate the dangers posed by robots, which is why our product always works according to the respective manufacturer-specific safety specifications.

Robots Blog: What robots are supported? I have a Rotrics DexArm and an igus Robolink DP-5; can I use those as well?

Annelie: Of course, shortly after entering the market, we first want to make robotics in the industry, for example the automotive sector, more flexible and easier. To do this, we are gradually integrating the largest robot brands into our platform. We will certainly also integrate smaller robot brands that cover one or more niches. Or – even better – thanks to our Robot Integration Software Development Kit, robot manufacturers will soon be able to do it themselves.

Robots Blog: How much does your product cost?

Annelie: Our product is offered via a licensing model as a subscription, as is common in the Software as a Service business, or also classically for purchase. The current prices for the different editions can be found on our website (and you will certainly find more exciting content there)

Tech Vision: How Boston Dynamics Built The Most Advanced Robot

The following video has been uploaded to YouTube by tech vision. I think it has all the information you need about Boston Dynamics robots and is therefore a must-see.

500 ROBOTS mini sketchbook

500 ROBOTS is a 1 to 1 reproduction of a sketchbook that artist GABO began filling in May 2020 and finally completed in September 2020. The entire book was done straight to ink, meaning that he had little to no plan on what was going to be drawn! A lot of what you’ll find in this book will be robot sketches, but also includes a mess of random sci-fi mechanics and even a few mini-comics! The last two pages of the book explain some of the tools and techniques used while making it. Each page also includes annotations on the sides and bottom explaining my process and thoughts! This 52-page perfect-bound book is full color and measures 6″ x 4.5″.

https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/gabo/500-robots-mini-sketchbook