Not everyone is aware of the extent in which robots support people today, helping them in their daily work. Their main task is to relieve us from physical work and from repetitive actions. Currently, during a pandemic, the presence of robots often becomes necessary, allowing the number of employees in the production hall to be reduced to the required level while maintaining the continuity of production or logistics processes. It is important, however, that robots do not replace humans in mental and conceptual work -- yet -- and that people are still responsible for how robots work. This, among others, is the task of engineers from Spyrosoft, who are going to create software necessary for the configuration of industrial robots' work.
What will Swiss robots do?
Spyrosoft's new client is a Swiss company producing autonomous robots that support industry and production. They have been designed to perform various tasks in the areas of logistics, transport and cleaning. They work in shared spaces with people, both inside and outside buildings.
At the moment, robot routes are programmed using the Teach & Repeat method, in which the robot is "guided" through the route manually or via a remote control, learning the route by repeating its course. The task for the team of Spyrosoft experts is to create a graphical interface for programming these robots, so that their users can configure the robot on their own. Thanks to the application, it will be possible to read the robot's working status, perform a software update and designate the work area or route that the robot is to follow.
Eventually, after the application is moved to the cloud, the user will be able to remotely manage a fleet of robots, gaining easier and faster access to them.
How does the robot's mapping mode work?
Each of the robots has several built-in cameras and lidars that scan the area with a laser. The machine can move around a certain space thanks to the signals it receives from these sensors. The robot recognizes obstacles in its path and corrects the route.
After you start the robot, it enters the learning mode, processing the cloud of points surrounding it, calculating the descriptions of the surroundings, and then saving the map it created. If the robot does not recognize its surroundings when turned on, it will proceed to create a new map.
To map the environment, the device needs point cloud processing software. The data set it collects must then be processed, which will be the result of the work of the Spyrosoft team. The next stage of the project is designing a graphic representation of the map in the form of a digital 2D image. Thanks to it, it will be possible to locate the robot on the map and delineate its work area, which in turn will allow for easy programming of its actions via the graphical representation.
“Our task is not only to enable the user to configure the robot independently, but also to create a system for managing a fleet of robots working for a given customer in the future. We will do this by moving the solution to the cloud. Currently, each robot serves as a server for its own configuration application, so we need as many applications for the configuration of each robot as we have robots. It is necessary to simplify this solution and replace it with a single, cloud-based Internet of Things solution, that will facilitate access to all robots in the fleet,” says Piotr Beling, Director of Industry 4.0 -- Digital Solutions at Spyrosoft.
Robotics is not a new field for Spyrosoft experts. They already have worked on projects for, e.g., a British manufacturer of robots used to identify and destroy weeds in farmland. They also supported the students of the Wrocław University of Technology who, as part of the Robotics Research Club "KoNaR", created an autonomous pyrotechnic robot named Ariadna. However, the project for the Swiss client is special. “We are able to implement this project thanks to our extensive competences. We are familiar with the topic of autonomous devices, because we work for the automotive industry. Also, processing maps and analyzing the environment as point clouds is a standard task in our geospatial services team, and we have already implemented IoT solutions for managing a fleet of devices using cloud solutions many times as part of our work for Industry 4.0. Now we have the opportunity to combine our experiences into one product,” says Piotr Beling.
Spyrosoft is a company founded in 2016 in Wrocław. It operates in the field of IT industry and software development – from embedded solutions to high-level systems based on public clouds – tailored to the needs and requirements of clients. The company offers comprehensive project management services, under which Spyrosoft specialists manage projects and project requirements, create architecture, as well as write and develop software. They implement solutions using public clouds and advanced technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI) or Mixed Reality.
The Spyrosoft S.A. Capital Group includes, among others Spyrosoft S.A., Spyrosoft Solutions S.A. and Unravel S.A. Since February 2020, Spyrosoft S.A. has been listed on the NewConnect stock market.
The Group's offices are located in Wrocław, Warsaw, Białystok and Kraków, as well as in London, Braunschweig, Munich, Zagreb and Detroit.