Diversey is partnering with Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) and a select group of other leading European industrial companies on pioneering research in the field of robotics.
The vision of the research project is to provide mobile industrial robots with an open world view that adapt to changes in their working environment. An important aspect of the project is helping the robots to learn to understand what they see so that they can better adapt to new circumstances.
Diversey, the TU/e High Tech Systems Center, plus Lely Industries, Vanderlande Industries, ExRobotics (ImProvia), and Rademaker are co-investing 1.5 million Euros in the project, which began in January 2018 and will run for four years. The project is named FAST (new Frontiers in Autonomous Systems Technology) and partners from other fields are welcome to join. The industrial partners cover a wide range of applications from agriculture, internal logistics, inspection robots, high-tech bakery equipment and professional cleaning.
The FAST project aims to develop mobile robots with increased flexibility that enables them to operate in environments that undergo frequent changes. This has many advantages, for instance when cleaning robots are being used, the environment does not have to be fenced off, signalled or demarcated and specific zones or reference points will not be required.
The creation of the FAST project is the result of an industry survey conducted by the TU/e High Tech Systems Center to establish shared robotics R&D questions in which the expertise of TU/e could play a role. This generated the ambition to be able to make mobile robotic systems more autonomous – an area in which the university is already a leader.
The collaboration between the university, Diversey and its other industrial partners – and between partners themselves – enables experiences to be quickly shared and use cases to be added early on in the development process. This also has a positive impact on the education of students and is an investment in developing future engineers.
Commenting on the partnership, Dr. Ilham Kadri, President and CEO of Diversey said: “Diversey has long championed the use of cleaning robots working in tandem with human operatives in locations such as airports, offices, schools, malls, hospitals and warehouses. Our TASKI Intellibot range of robotic floor cleaning machines have won multiple innovation awards from around the world and this is an exciting collaboration that will demonstrate that robots are here to stay…in collaboration with human beings.”