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Mobile Robots for the Market

20101202_mobilerobotterMobile robots have become a familiar image in both industry and the servicesector. They cut our grass, dust our homes and transport everything from laundry at hospitals to materials in industry. In short, the existing mobile robots solve a lot of trivial tasks. But the possibilities and also the tasks are still many if mobile robots also become able to solve non-routine tasks in dynamic and changing environments - a challenge which places great demands on the robots' ability to sense their environment and then respond and adapt to them.

An additional challenge for mobile robots lies in the distance between what is possible with science, and on the commercial market. Today, there are plenty of research on mobile robots but not many solutions and applications which are ready for use in the commercial market. Partly due to challenges in making robots economically viable.

A research project from the Technical University of Denmark now focuses on this issue. The project is an industrial PhD project signed between the company Prevas A / S and Technical University of Denmark - PhD student Morten Kjærgaard.

Vision and tasks

The project is aimed particularly at developing methods and tools to make commercial applications of mobile robots more robust and cheaper to develop. The aim is to reduce the distance between what is technologically possible at the research level and commercially viable to implement in commercial products with mobile robots.

Scientifically the project focus on a number of issues in modeling, parametrization and self-calibration of mobile robots. The project aims to improve the opportunities to build a robot application from existing software components, where the robot and its behavior is described using parameterized models. The project has special focus on methods and tools for how these parameters are specified, calibrated and continuously optimized by the robot itself.

The project has defined the following main areas

Tools and Methods
The existing tools for robot development needs to be adapted to the industrial development where there is greater focus on cost and quality. It is also important that the tools support early prototyping, perhaps. visually in a simulator, so the requirements and expectations can be matched early.

To reduce time and risks in development of robotic systems, it is important that the tools support the desired application being developed can be divided in moduls. This allows the individual software modules to be tested individually which ensures that the quality meets industry standard and more importantly can be reused over several projects to reduce development costs.

Scientifically, the project has a strong focus on using parameterized models to configure each robotic application. To minimize the need for manual adjustment of the robot's parameters the project will focus on developing and using algorithms for automatic calibration and optimization of these parameters. The aim is to improve the robustness of the robot so it is able to perform its tasks without repeated needs for service and manual intervention. If the robot opfte requires adjustment and service, it provides both a bad impression of the product and a major expense for the producer.

Expected results

The project aims primarily at making Prevas able to develop competitive robotics applications for enterprise customers and to position Prevas as an attractive partner in this field. In order to test development process and tools, the project will develop a proof-of-concept robotics application. To place the project as close as possible to the current market, Prevas is looking for interested partners who hold ideas for robotic applications they wish to have developed or have already started to develop.


The project runs from 01.05.2010 - 30.04.2013
Contact person
Morten KjærgaardMorten Kjærgaard

PhD student

Prevas A/S and the Technical University of Denmark




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