Smart robotics is key to automation

The products we manufacture as a society are becoming more advanced and more diverse. In addition, the associated production processes are becoming more and more complex. At the same time they have to be more and more flexible. This is time-consuming and human brainpower often comes up short here. However, we can cope with the complexity and flexibility if we opt to use robotisation and automation in an increasingly intelligent way. This will bring a future-proof industry a big step closer. 
A lot of time and effort is needed to manually program robots. TNO wants to get this as close to zero as possible.


At TNO, for example, we are working on AI techniques
 for automatic path planning. This allows the make industry to program robots in such a way that they can determine their own route and adjust it when the environment changesThis is especially possible in combination with machine learningIn this way we create a flawless production process, which saves time and money 

Automation is efficient and creative 

A good example of this is the automation of metalworking. We use robots to do thisThese are now manually programmed for each new product, which is time-consumingBased on the product knowledge and the work preparation, we are able to automatically generate the required robot paths. This can significantly increase daily production and save the operator a lot of manual program input. 

On the design side, model based design optimisation techniques are decisive in order to make optimal decisions within the design spaceLike intelligent design assistance that enables us to make huge strides in the development of 3D printing or topology optimisation techniques in which free form designs are created that a human designer couldn't imagine.

automating the programming process 

A lot of time and effort is needed to manually program robotsTNO wants to get this as close to zero as possible. To do this, we use: 

  •  All the available information of the product itself 
  •  The machining steps as defined in the operating instructions 
  •  A 3D environment model of the robot plus machine tools 

In this environment, intelligent path planners program the optimal automation processEach separate part of that process is merged into a complete robot program. This is programmed almost automaticallyThis saves time and therefore leads to more productivity.

The success and future of Smart Industry innovation will largely be determined by how far we’re able to develop AI techniques and tools for industrial application
Gregor van Baars, Senior System Engineer
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Want to know more about robotics and autonomous agents?

Please contact Gregor van Baars ›

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Gregor van Baars

  • Opto-mechatronics
  • Smart industry
  • Automisation
  • Robotisation

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