Smart robotics is key to automation

Thema:
Artifical intelligence

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 oftencomes 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.

At TNO, for example, we are working on AI techniques forautomatic 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 changes. This is especially possible in combination with machine learning. In this way wecreate 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 this. These are now manually programmed for each new product, which is time-consuming.

Based 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 space. Likeintelligent design assistance that enables us to make huge strides in the development of 3D printing ortopology 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 robots. TNO 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 process. Each separate part of that process is merged into a complete robot program. This is programmed almost automatically. This saves time and therefore leads to more productivity.

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Rob de Wijk on the rise of AI in geopolitical context

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Anne Fleur van Veenstra, director of science at TNO’s SA&P unit, interviews Rob de Wijk, emeritus professor of international relations in Leiden and founder of The Hague Centre for Strategic Studies. Rob is also a much sought-after expert who appears on radio and television programmes. What does the rise of AI mean geopolitically and in armed conflicts?

Bram Schot on the impact of AI on mobility

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Marieke Martens, science director at TNO and professor of automated vehicles at the Eindhoven University of Technology, talks to Bram Schot. Schot was the CEO of Audi until 2020, having previously held management positions at various car makers, including Mercedes and Volkswagen. Their conversation concerns the influence of AI on mobility. How will AI impact the production process? And what does a future with autonomous vehicles look like?

Eppo Bruins on AI in different government domains

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Michiel van der Meulen, chief geologist for the Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN), speaks with Eppo Bruins. Bruins was educated as a nuclear physicist and has spent many years working in the world of science, innovation, and technology. Between 2015 and 2021, he was a Dutch member of parliament for the Christian Union. He was recently appointed chairman of the Advisory council for science, technology and innovation (AWTI). What will AI mean for the various government domains in the coming years?

Bas Haring on AI, science and philosophy

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Michiel van der Meulen, chief geologist for the Geological Survey of the Netherlands (GDN), speaks with Bas Haring. Haring originally studied artificial intelligence, which at the time still fell under the umbrella of philosophy, which is why people started calling him a philosopher. He himself feels more like a ‘folk philosopher’: Haring tries to make science and philosophy accessible to a wider audience. In 2001, he published a children’s book about evolution, Cheese and the Theory of Evolution. What better springboard for a geologist and a philosopher to talk about AI?

Arnon Grunberg on AI, creativity and morality

Informatietype:
Insight
27 September 2022

Peter Werkhoven, chief scientific officer at TNO, talks to Arnon Grunberg from his base in New York. Grunberg made his breakthrough in 1994 with his novel, Blue Mondays. He has since become one of the Netherlands’ best-known authors. The two talked about AI over dinner some years ago. Today, they finally get the chance to continue their conversation. What is Grunberg’s view on creativity? Can it be taught to machines? And how do humans morally relate to machines?