Robotics - Training and Research

Quelle / Source: TU Chemnitz

Source: TU Chemnitz

TEACHING ROBOTS WITH HUMAN TRAITS

So that robots can relieve humans more and more from work, they have to learn the appropriate behavior that is required for such jobs. “Trainers” for these new tasks have been educated at Chemnitz University of Technology (TU Chemnitz) since the winter semester 2019. Scientists at the Professorship Artificial Intelligence have developed the appropriate master program of studies in Neurorobotics which is one-of-its-kind in all of Germany.

While classic robotics address environmental perception and the requisite robot control which is based thereon as well as, above all, the automation of mechanical performances, the specific focus of neurorobotics is on the analysis of adaptive components. The program of studies even goes one step further and uses, in addition to neuronal networks, also neurocognitive networks which orient themselves more strongly on the biological brain function. Thus, the fields of robotics, neurosciences, and artificial intelligence are united with one another in order to create flexible, adaptive robots based on the model of the human brain by using methods of machine learning.

The four-semester program of studies imparts knowledge in the subject areas artificial intelligence/neurocognition, sensor technology and robotics as well as software and control engineering. The prerequisite for being admitted to the program is a bachelor’s degree in a technical discipline, ideally with an educational background in computer science and/or electrical engineering. The career perspectives are multifaceted. The successful completion of the academic program qualifies graduates for attractive jobs in virtually all business branches and sectors. Neurorobotic specialists are needed primarily in mobility branches, machine construction, electrical engineering as well as the development of autonomous systems and AI services.

   

Mobile Roboter werben gemeinsam für ein Studium der Robotik in Freiberg. (Quelle: Technische Universität Bergakademie Freiberg)

Source: Freiberg University of Mining and Technology

Talent Incubator for Robotics Engineers

Already today, robots are no longer the exclusive domain of automobile and electronics factories; in fact, they also serve humans in everyday life: They cut lawns, help as guides in museums and nursing homes, or explore places which are too dangerous for humans such as, for example, unexploded bombs or damaged nuclear power plants. And in the future, these artificial helpers will cooperate even closer with humans – for example, during medical surgeries or intricate assembly tasks – and above all, they will open up new fields of application as autonomous robots. The Diplom program of studies in Robotics at Freiberg University of Mining and Technology (TU Bergakademie Freiberg) qualifies and prepares future engineers to help organize and manage this technological transition in an interdisciplinary manner. Towards this end, the program combines mathematical and natural scientific fundamentals with information science, electrical engineering, and mechanical engineering. “From our perspective, robotics is THE pioneering technology of the future,” emphasizes Prof. Heinrich Jasper, the TU Bergakademie’s academic advisor. “Those who graduate from this program of studies are highly coveted experts in all business branches and sectors.”

The regular period of studies for this degree is ten semesters, which also include an internship semester, and can be completed with the degree of a graduated Diplom engineer. The focal points of this program include, for example, intelligent, learning, autonomous, humanoid, and collaborative robots as well as their sensor and actuator technologies. The program of studies is part of the Faculty of Mathematics and Computer Science. Graduates have excellent opportunities in pursuing interesting professional careers in industrial enterprises, logistics, the transport industry, the service sector as well as in robot development and manufacture.

   

Quelle / Source: TU Chemnitz / Jacob Müller

Source: TU Chemnitz / Jacob Müller

grab objects more sensitively, run more stably, and interact more safely with humans

Robots which grab objects more sensitively, run more stably, and interact more safely with humans than their hitherto existing fellow robots are one of the research fields of the scientists at Chemnitz University of Technology (TU Chemnitz)’s Professorship of Robotics and Human-Machine Interaction. They are preparing such technical helpers for the most diverse applications in the future, for example, in industry, clinics, and health care facilities, for shopping or the delivery of parcels. For this purpose, they are developing new mechatronic systems and use state-of-the-art methods from AI research to make the handling of such technical systems intuitive and efficient for humans.

The professorship contributes these competences to the Collaborative Research Center Hybrid Societies. Within the scope of this project, which is funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG), scientists of all faculties at TU Chemnitz investigate how spontaneous encounters between humans and such “bodies” equipped with intelligent digital technologies as robots, drones, or highly automated vehicles in public areas can be made as trouble-free and easy as possible. This is an entirely new approach because robotic applications have so far been used primarily for clearly defined tasks in demarcated areas.

Successfully mastering the previously unsolved challenges for a coordinated interaction of humans and increasingly independent and autonomous machines in public areas calls for interdisciplinarity. For example, psychologists and engineers, mathematicians and linguists, computer and communication scientists contribute their expertise to the research network with the objective of aligning the interaction of hybrid societies in streets, parks, or public buildings to human needs, requirements, and skills and advancing the requisite technical innovations.

   

Quelle / Source: Barkhausen Institut gGmbH

Source: Barkhausen Institute, Dresden

Playing with Robots

Robots are virtually unbeatable in air hockey games. The puck swishes across the playing field, the robot reacts like a human; only that it doesn’t make any mistakes and is many times faster. But if a player changes the robot’s radio connection from 5G to 4G or only 3G, then the robot will lose its ability to react quickly. The reason for the time delay is the so-called latency. In fact, this latency is much higher with 3G than is the case with the current mobile communications standard 5G which users know from their smartphones. 

This type of demonstrator, which playfully imparts knowledge with the help of modern technologies, is being developed by the Barkhausen Institute’s Connected Robotics Lab. Because the social acceptance of future networked and autonomous robotic systems will essentially depend on the involvement of humans in the development process. The Barkhausen Institute is developing the requisite interactive demonstrators for the successful communication of sciences. As an independent research institution founded by Prof. Gerhard Fettweis, the Barkhausen Institute conducts application-oriented fundamental research revolving around the internet of things (IoT). In close cooperation with Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden), innovative and solution-oriented technologies are being developed with the objective of making the internet of things safer and more reliable in the future.

In addition to the demonstrators developed by the Connected Robotics Lab, the Barkhausen Institute’s OpenLab, which was specifically founded for this purpose, provides multifaceted opportunities of experiencing state-of-the-art technologies hands-on and offers the opportunity of participating in their implementation. At the site of a historic Dresden mansion, diverse test rigs demonstrate to visitors how reliable robots are and how safe the internet of things can actually be. Visitors can explore IoT applications in an interactive multimedia-based panorama. An interactive demonstrator for autonomous driving illustrates the importance of communication in the automotive world. So, visitors are to be sensitized for vital IoT topics. 

   

Quelle / Source: TU Dresden, TD)

Source: TU Dresden, Professorship Agricultural Systems and Technology

WHEN THE "FELDSCHWARM®" LEAVES FOR THE HARVEST

A research consortium headed by Dresden University of Technology (TU Dresden), Professorship Agricultural Systems and Technology and the Fraunhofer Institute for Transportation and Infrastructure Systems IVI Dresden has developed the first robotic vehicles for a “Feldschwarm®,” i.e. field swarm, which is to essentially operate and cultivate farmland by itself in the future. It is actually a modular swarm of comparably light agricultural machines which – depending on the farmers’ individual needs and requirements – operate and orientate themselves autonomously or semi-automatically on the field and carry out a host of farming tasks.

Today, the field swarm units (FSU) 1 and 2 can already be used as prototypes: FSU 1 is designed as a solution linking robots and humans; it works semi-automatically and is pulled by a tractor driven by a human operator. In contrast, FSU 2 works autonomously and is specialized in stubble tillage and seedbed preparation. Powered by a diesel-electric propulsion system, this field robot gets its concrete daily tasks and routes via wireless transmission from a central management software called “HelyOS.” The robot is able to complete these tasks independently. The FSE operates and orientates itself in the field within a margin of two centimeters with the help of GPS satellite positioning and real-time kinematic technology. The robot is also able to identify animals, humans, or problematic obstacles in the field with the help of cameras and LiDAR laser technology as well as neural networks for sensor evaluation. In follow-up projects, the consortium partners want to further improve and expand the Feldschwarm® technology.

   

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