Commercial cleaning robots are designed to clean offices and dispose of waste paper. As part of the collaborative project “Plug & Play for Automation Systems” (AutoPnP), scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have developed the necessary software components for such applications. The individual modules can be put to versatile use, e.g. for detecting and removing dirt as well as for emptying waste-paper baskets. At Automatica 2014, Fraunhofer IPA will demonstrate how these functions can be utilized in a mobile robot assistant.
Seventy percent of professional building cleaning work consists of cleaning floors and disposing of waste. Demographic change is one reason why less and less qualified cleaning staff is available. One possible solution is to automate such work. As part of the AutoPnP collaborative project, scientists at Fraunhofer IPA have developed the necessary software functionalities.
Cleaning floors and emptying waste-paper baskets
In the course of daily floor-cleaning, a robot scans offices for any dirt, which is removed using a cleaning device. First, the robot navigates its way autonomously through open offices to inspect the floor surfaces. Dirt is automatically detected, mapped and then removed by the robot using a battery-powered vacuum cleaner. Next, the cleaning result is checked and, if required, communicated to the human operator.
Using algorithms for object classification, the robot is also able to detect waste-paper baskets, which it grasps with its arm and empties into a collection bin. “In December last year, the cleaning contractor Dussmann in Berlin carried out initial user tests, which successfully demonstrated the feasibility of such cleaning applications using currently available technology,” says Richard Bormann, Research Assistant in the Robot and Assistive Systems department. For professional cleaning contractors like Dussmann, these positive results hold out the prospect in a few years’ time of putting this technology to cost-effective use with suitably customized robot systems in order to make up for the growing shortage of qualified personnel.
Simple configurability and plug & play
The individual functionalities for robot-assisted cleaning will be presented at Automatica 2014. Implementation of the application scenario is based on a further development of the “Care-O-bot 3” mobile robot assistant, which was originally designed to provide assistance in a domestic setting. However, a modular software architecture, likewise developed as part of the project, made it possible for “Care-O-bot 3” to be quickly and easily transformed into a cleaning robot.
The same software architecture was used to realize the plug & play functionalities required for performing the cleaning task. This allows the robotic arm to be interchangeably equipped with functional attachments, such as a robotic hand or battery-powered vacuum cleaner. The new equipment is automatically detected by the control software. “The modular software architecture makes it possible to easily transfer the concept to a low-cost robot platform specially tailored to this particular application,” says Bormann.
A standardized software architecture and modular middleware are what is needed to combine different robot systems within a common system while at the same time being quickly able to adapt them for different applications. In addition to the “Robot-assisted Cleaning” scenario, “Home Automation” and “Convertible Factory” are further applications for which the developed software architecture is used within the AutoPnP collaborative project.
The AutoPnP collaborative project stands for “Plug & Play for Automation Systems” and is sponsored by the German Ministry of Economics and Energy (BMWi).
Fraunhofer IPA | fortiss GmbH | Technische Universität Berlin/DAI-Labor | Dussmann AG | Schunk GmbH | Festo AG | Festo Didactic GmbH & Co. KG
Hannover Trade Fair 2014
7 to 11 April 2014
Automatica – 6th International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics
3 to 6 June 2014
New Trade Fair Centre Munich
Dipl.-Ing. Richard Bormann M. Sc., phone +49 711 970-1062, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut
SYSTEMS INTEGRATION 2018 in Switzerland focuses on building blocks for industrial digitalization
20.11.2017 | IVAM Fachverband für Mikrotechnik
Medica 2017: New software enables early diagnosis of arteriosclerosis
06.11.2017 | Technische Universität Kaiserslautern
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.
Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
22.11.2017 | Business and Finance
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
22.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy