The ability to tirelessly perform repetitive tasks with consistent accuracy and reliability day and night is a feature not only essential to modern assembly lines but also to the inspection and maintenance of process equipment and manufacturing systems. In the same way that conventional industrial robots have revolutionized this aspect of production and assembly, state-of-the-art service robots are currently in the process of reshaping inspection and maintenance.
Expertise and sample projects
The Department of Robotics and Assistive Systems has already developed a number of service robots for inspection and maintenance. We have adapted existing robot platforms and components to the specific requirements of respective application environments as well as made completely new developments, such as steerable wheel modules. We have also developed the necessary sequence control systems and user interfaces. Last but not least, we also provide components for assisted robot teleoperation.
MIMROex is the world's first mobile robot for use on offshore oil or gas platforms. It has been designed in compliance with ATEX guidelines and can be approved for use in Zone 1. The service robot carries out routine inspections on offshore platforms and gives a central database access to the results. In this way, data can be analyzed by an onshore control station, therefore significantly cutting logistic costs and reducing staff workloads.
As part of the ImRoNet project, a new service robot has been developed to extend the abilities of MIMROex. Using its three-finger gripper and functions for 3D environment reconstruction, it is able to execute complex mobile manipulation tasks autonomously, such as adjusting setting wheels.
Fraunhofer IPA offers support throughout the entire development of your individual inspection and maintenance application, from modifying existing application-specific hardware and software right up to designing and constructing new robot components and platforms tailored to your requirements.