Artificial intelligence, hybrid teams and footwear production of the future: A marketplace for new technologies

New technologies are changing industry, production landscapes are becoming increasingly complex and networks are therefore gaining ever more importance. Regional platforms such as the KUKA Robotics & Automation Marketplace, to which KUKA had invited system partners and integrators, offer an opportunity for exchange – and open up new perspectives for participants.

Highly complex technologies and rapid developments in the digital world can determine tomorrow’s business success today. In order not to lose sight of the big picture in the jungle of developments, alliances and communication are becoming more and more important.

“With the Robotics & Automation Marketplace, we want to offer a platform now and in the future through which we can discuss topics from our industry with the participants – but above all, where the participants can discuss them with each other, get to know like-minded people from the region and form strategic partnerships,” explains Gerald Dießelberg. The head of the KUKA Branch Office North was the initiator of the event

Formats like the marketplace Robotics & Automation offer numerous possibilities


Where robotics and artificial intelligence overlap

The exchange of ideas between industry and science too is becoming more important. “Learning, thinking robots and automation systems will play a decisive role in the future”, said Dr. Rainer Bischoff, Head of KUKA Corporate Research, reporting on a current research project. Robots equipped with cameras are trained through trial and error to grip unknown objects.

A robot can also be taught to sort very similar objects: for this, you first present it with objects of type A and determine the direction in which these parts should be set down by touching the robot on one side.

A bin-picking KUKA robot with a vision system

You then repeat this procedure with objects of type B, touching the robot on its other side. If objects of both types A and B are now presented to the robot in a random mix, it can sort them to the correct side according to the rule it has learned. “The more intelligent robot systems become, the easier it is to program and use them,” explained Bischoff.

Dennis Mronga, Team Leader Terrestrial Robotics at the German Research Center for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI), is investigating how humans and robots can form hybrid teams that can work together in the factory of the future. At the Robotics & Automation Marketplace, he explained how intelligent, collaborative robots can become cooperative partners of human workers in such hybrid teams.

Future visions and footwear production

Christian Decker, Managing Director of Desma Schuhmaschinen GmbH, reported on footwear production of the future from the perspective of a machinery and system manufacturer. In his opinion, this will be characterized by manufacturers responding to individual customer wishes in their mass production environment – a scenario that can only be implemented with the aid of automation.

These condensed insights into research, industry and production were greatly appreciated by the participants. “We would like to develop the Robotics & Automation Marketplace into a regular series of events,” says Dießelberg.


Source header picture: iStock/dam10

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