The Danish Technological Institute has opened a new robot laboratory, which, among other things, will prepare intelligent and autonomous robots to be able to move freely in public space.
On Thursday, for ROBOTBRAG 2021, the Danish Technological Institute opened a new robot laboratory, Autonomous Robotics Lab, which will help companies utilize the full potential of intelligent, autonomous robots that can work outside the normally protected production environments.
The laboratory, which is located in one of the Danish Technological Institute’s large robot innovation halls in Odense, will help manufacturers and professional users in clarifying where autonomous robots have their justification, how to use them best and how to ensure that they are safe to socialize.
Now is the time for the robots to go out and work in environments that require them to move freely. It is an enormous growth opportunity for the Danish robot industry: from use in industrial production to potentially all parts of society. The robot technology of the future is not just for the factories. The robots will also help Danish companies in many other industries; for example agriculture, the healthcare sector, construction and logistics. The robots will be an important element in relation to remedying the future shortage of labor in Denmark as well as maintaining and strengthening the competitiveness of Danish companies.CEO of the Danish Technological Institute, Juan Farré.
“In Denmark, we are already a pioneer country when it comes to robot technology and drones. And with our new laboratory, we want to strengthen that position in the coming years, so that robot technology can continue to contribute to increased productivity, increased competitiveness and to contribute to the green transition”, Juan Farré adds.
Autonomous Robotics Lab is part of the performance contract Intelligent and autonomous robots, where the Danish Technological Institute in collaboration with industry will explore the potential of robot technology and develop, demonstrate and disseminate the latest technologies that can enable the use of robots.
Adapting to the environment
Self-propelled robots and drones, which now have their very own development laboratory at the Danish Technological Institute, can adapt to the changing environment to a much greater extent and perform complex tasks completely or almost without human intervention – either in collaboration with other machines or humans.
Many different technologies will be used, such as artificial intelligence, drones, image recognition and many more.
When the robots have to be transferred from the factory floor to the open air, it requires advanced technology, as they now have to navigate often in more unstructured and unknown environments. Robots are generally not good at this. But with artificial intelligence, new, advanced sensors and technologies for better human-robot interaction, we can create new opportunities for the robots, which will be able to start performing tasks in public space without compromising on safety.Lars Dalsgaard, the section leader responsible for the new laboratory
New ideas and technologies
In the large robot hall, where the robots have been housed, there is plenty of space both on the floor but also in the air to experiment, develop and discover. The laboratory will house some of the latest robot technologies in intelligent, autonomous robots in the world.
Thomas Kastrup, Lead Innovation & Technology Consultant at the energy company Ørsted, has no doubt that the intelligent and autonomous robots are an important player in tomorrow’s production.
For us, there is no doubt that the robots are coming, and we see a number of tasks where we can increase safety and efficiency by letting the robots work for us. The timing can be difficult to predict, but we want to be at the forefront of developments in autonomous robots.Thomas Kastrup.
Crucial to be at the forefront
Intelligent and autonomous robot technology is one of Denmark’s advantages when it comes to technology.
In fact, Denmark’s activities within intelligent and autonomous robot technology have been increasing over the past 20 years – and especially within the last 5 years, there has been momentum. But at present Denmark is only in a 12th place in the relationship between research and patents. Where a country like Japan creates almost eight patents per published research article, Denmark creates one patent for every other research article.
It shows a new report prepared by the Center for Analysis and Business Promotion at the Danish Technological Institute.
The report, published on Thursday 26 August 2021, shows that it will be especially important in the coming years to maintain, develop and strengthen this position so that robot technology can continue to contribute to increased productivity and competitiveness and also be able to contribute to the green transition in Denmark.
According to the report, it is crucial for Danish companies to be at the forefront of knowledge in the field of technology in order not to lose momentum in terms of innovation and thus growth opportunities.
An autonomous robot is a robot that is capable of performing tasks with a high degree of independence – that is, without human control or interference. It is e.g. the logistics robot, which is told to run from A to B, then plans the route itself and follows it while driving around obstacles on its own. Or the drone that is able to take off, fly and deliver a package on a drilling platform all the while correcting for wind and weather conditions and avoiding obstacles.