Two and a half years ago, we were standing in front of an industrial robot in a large factory hall. The robot was supposed to grab components lying on a pallet and insert them into a machine. We made two remarkable observations: the programming of the robot was very complex – and only possible by the help of expensive specialists. Even more interesting was that the process stopped when someone hit the pallet with a forklift and the factory parts slipped on the pallet. The robot reached into the void, the process stopped, and an employee had to realign the components by hand. We realized that such inefficient automation processes are commonplace in almost every industrial plant – regardless of their size.
From then on, it was clear that we wanted to develop software that would make programming robots much easier and at the same time give the robot the ability to react to its environment itself – for example, to detect whether the components on the pallet have slipped. Using computer vision and “artificial intelligence”, we have given industrial robots more autonomy and significantly automated their programming. Robots operated with our software can solve even the most difficult tasks, such as sorting different, randomly distributed components on conveyor belts or removing bulk material directly from delivered crates. Of particular interest to customers is the fact that they do not need any new special robots but can make their existing robots “smarter” by using software.
Status quo and further steps
After more than two years of development in cooperation with several customers, we have brought our software to market readiness in the first expansion stage. We are starting the first pilot projects and can present the advantages of the software live to interested users at our partner, an integrator for automation systems. Now it is time to intensify sales activities and acquire further pilot customers who want to automate their operations with advanced artificial intelligence processes in a future-proof manner.
Our experiences with Vodafone UPLIFT
Vodafone UPLIT’s PACESETTER program has provided us with excellent support, particularly in the technological area. As we are focusing on connectivity and cloud computing, Vodafone is a top partner especially here with its 5G technology to give us the necessary tailwind. The events organized by Vodafone UPLIFT also helped us to establish valuable contacts for our future path