OSRF Jackie Kay visits PAL Robotics

Today we had the pleasure to receive OSRF Software Engineer Jackie Kay in PAL Robotics. It has been very interesting to share opinions and knowledge with a ROS developer, since all of our robots are based in ROS. Kay gave an interesting speech on ROS 2.0 to some PAL Robotics’ engineers and interns with an open chat about current state of ROS. We also showed Kay our robotic platforms like TIAGo or REEM-C, and some of the demos PAL Robotics developed with them. Thank you Jackie for your visit!

Talking about ROS 2.0 with Jackie Kay at PAL Robotics

Talking about ROS 2.0 with Jackie Kay at PAL Robotics

It is remarkable how important it is to have an open common resource such as ROS for all the robotics community. Knowledge can be shared with everyone, which is making robotics grow and evolve faster than ever. As part of the robotics community, PAL Robotics is fully committed to ROS.

Since the early days of ROS, all of our platforms are 100% ROS based in order to ease the learning and usage for our clients. Besides, we have open-source simulations of all of our robots available online. Anyone can download the ROS packages and test things without the need for having the robots physically. PAL Robotics’ software engineers are actively contributing to ROS, here you can find the ROS Wiki of our robots:

Follow the steps at ROS Wiki and start simulating with PAL Robotics’ platforms! And remember: if you do any cool test with them, let us know at marketing@pal-robotics.com or tweet about it to @PALRobotics.

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Automatica 2016 shows that Industry 4.0 and collaborative robots are the next step

PAL Robotics was at the biggest fair in automation and mechatronics in Europe: Automatica 2016. Automatica 2016 confirmed that the future of the industry has undoubtedly collaborative robots in it, and that Industry 4.0 is a revolution which will provide employees with a robotic assistance at their jobs to improve the safety and quality of their work. This is one of the reasons why professional service robots were highlighted at Automatica 2016.

The collaborative robot TIAGo is prepared for working side by side with humans, as a team. The person will analyze, perform and reflect on the activities that require of human intelligence. To complete the industrial process, the person will control the robot, which will assume all the repetitive, dangerous and heavy tasks. TIAGo demonstrated manipulation, navigation and perception skills through different demos that were open to all Automatica 2016 attendees.

TIAGo PAL Robotics Automatica 2016

Optimizing stock in retail stores with StockBot

Robotics is not only helpful for the industrial sector: it opens a broader range of possibilities. PAL Robotics also brought StockBot at Automatica 2016, a robot that saves time and efforts while optimizing stock control in retail industry. StockBot combines autonomous navigation and obstacle avoidance with RFID technology to take daily inventory in stores. The robot took live inventory in the Service Robots demonstration park, where the results could be tracked in a screen showing a map updated in real time with the spatial location of the products.

Thanks for coming and making a great Automatica 2016!

Automatica 2016 broke all records of participation during this edition. More than 45,000 attendees could discover the latest innovations in automation and industry. PAL Robotics’ team wants to thank everyone who came to visit us at Automatica 2016, and hopes they enjoyed interacting with TIAGo and watching StockBot’s performance.

PAL Robotics Automatica 2016 Team

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Automatica 2016 highlights Professional Service Robotics as a key for the future

Automatica 2016, the biggest European fair in automation and industrial production, is about to begin in Munich (Germany). The latest innovations in industrial and service robotics will be gathered in Messe Munchen from the 21st to 24th of June. Automatica is expecting more than 30,000 visitors from all branches of industry that look for the very latest developments to optimize industrial processes and greater efficiency. PAL Robotics is exhibiting at the fair with solutions in manipulation – TIAGo – a mobile manipulator,  and the inventory-taking – StockBot – developed in the last year. Find PAL Robotics at Hall B4/Stand 520 & the Service Robots Demo Park!

Robots for the future industry and service sectors

Professional Service Robotics is the highlight of this year´s Automatica edition. Its dedicated exhibition area will be in Hall B4, which has also a Demonstration Park where attendees will be able to directly interact with the robots. StockBot and TIAGo robots have applications that have a direct effect in optimization at both industrial and service levels.

Interact with TIAGo at Automatica 2016 Demo Park

TIAGo is ready to attend Automatica 2016!

TIAGo is ready to attend Automatica 2016!

The mobile manipulator TIAGo is one example of professional service robotics: a versatile robot designed to be a companion for people in different environments. The platform can be customized easily to make it suitable for domestic and industrial environments. Its 7-DoF arm and the lifting torso provide the “Take It And Go!” robot with a large manipulation workspace. Moreover, autonomous and/or teleoperated navigation is possible thanks to the PMB-2 mobile base, which the torso is built on.

The combination of these abilities opens a wide range of possible tasks that the robot can perform. The Automatica Service Robots Demo Park is an opportunity for visitors to experience TIAGo themselves. PAL Robotics’ mobile manipulator will be open to Automatica attendees, who will be able to control it using a leap-motion camera. A Whole-Body Control will be demonstrated by an application in which TIAGo moves all its body in order to keep pointing at a marker. Pick&place tasks and smart interaction skills will also be performed by this buddy at the Munich fair.

Live inventory-taking by StockBot

StockBot robot will take live inventory at Automatica

StockBot robot will take live inventory at Automatica

An area simulating a department store will be installed at the Service Robots Demo Park, in which StockBot will show its abilities on taking inventory autonomously. Visitors will be able to see the 3-D map that the robot does daily in real time, showing not only a product list, but also every item’s location in store. Autonomous navigation and StockBot’s adaptability to any change of the store will be also demonstrated.

Retail industry can save efforts and time, optimize stock and benefit from big data opportunities – everything at the same time – with StockBot. Employees can forget about such repetitive task and focus on providing a good service to clients. An accurate inventory that is daily updated increases trust in stock reasonably. What’s more, retailers can freely change the store distribution; StockBot will autonomously change its map without having to do a second set-up. Another example of professional service robotics that can transform our reallity to a more comfortable workplace.

Do you want to visit us Automatica 2016?

Send us an e-mail at marketing@pal-robotics.com and we will send you a free one-day-pass to Automatica 2016!

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Robotics master students practicing with TIAGo robot

Practising is always the best way to learn something. TIAGo made it possible last week at the Automation, Domotics and Robotics Master Program, taught in La Salle University (Barcelona). PAL Robotics software engineer Sammy Pfeiffer has been giving robotics classes there for two weeks together with TIAGo. Students could test what they had learnt on the mobile manipulator, and use TIAGo themselves under Pfeiffer’s supervision.

TIAGo robot at La Salle

TIAGo robot at La Salle – Ramon Llull university.

TIAGo robot is 100% ROS and therefore it is very accessible for everyone who has some basic knowledge in this system. The 7-DoF arm and the lifting torso open a big workspace, where TIAGo can work. Its configuration, both in software and hardware, is very simple to manage, in order to ease research on developing complex applications for domestic and industrial environments.

Automation, Domotics and Robotics' Masters students with TIAGo robot

Automation, Domotics and Robotics’ Masters class with PAL Robotics engineer Sammy Pfeiffer and TIAGo robot.

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Edison Klub visits PAL Robotics offices

Running since 1988, there is a club in Csorvás, Hungary, for young students with ideas in technology. The Edison Klub gives support to young students to accomplish their ideas and try to make them work. During the process of trying to prototype their ideas or inventions the students at Edison Klub get hands on experience in different disciplines and it helps them to decide on their career choice later. The Edison Klub follows the philosophy of the genius inventor with the same name, who once said: “I didn’t fail, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”.

“I didn’t fail, I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work”. Thomas Edison

The Edison Klub and how they handle young talent has gained a reputation in Hungary and encouraged more schools to start similar initiatives. One of PAL Robotics engineers was among the first generation of the Edison Klub, and nowadays he is teaching the Klub from his experience, and supporting such a successful initiative.

Edison Klub at PAL Robotics offices

Edison Klub at PAL Robotics offices

Last year the Klub won a formative plan for the whole scholar year, subsidized by European Union funds, with the reward of visiting PAL Robotics’ lab. The Edison Klub (a young group between 10 and 17 years old) could visit Barcelona and PAL Robotics offices and discover what we are working on. Humanoid robots REEM-C, REEM, and the mobile manipulator TIAGo also performed live demonstrations for them. They  also had the chance to see old and historical platforms, such as REEM-A and REEM-B. It was a pleasure to receive so many young talents and share our passion with them!

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Thank you for visiting PAL Robotics at ICRA 2016!

Last week the key stakeholders in robotics field worldwide gathered together at Stockholm (Sweden) to attend ICRA 2016. Five intense days with multiple sessions and presentations to disseminate the most advanced research in robotics were coupled by a very interactive exhibition. PAL Robotics’ humanoid REEM-C and mobile manipulator TIAGo were at the venue, available to play with anyone who wanted to.

REEM-C humanoid robot using Whole Body Control

REEM-C humanoid robot using Whole Body Control software

Humanoid REEM-C loved going for walks all around the ICRA 2016 exhibition area, mixing up with conference delegates and visiting robotic colleagues from other stands. The demo which attracted most attention was a Whole Body Control software used by REEM-C to accomplish one goal with its whole humanoid body – in this case, the goal was to point at a marker with its index finger. This specific demo was developed for the socSMCs EU FET project.

Attendees could try themselves to smoothly move TIAGo’s arm in gravity compensation mode, or feel its strength by handshaking. The mobile manipulator was also guided through the venue by pulling its arm, and used the PAL Robotics’ Whole Body Control software to track a marker and keep pointing at it while avoiding its joint limits. TIAGo is suitable for research in both Ambient Assisted living and industry 4.0 environments, and ICRA 2016 demos showed different possibilities the robot opens.

Modular robotics solutions for the industry of the future

Business Manager Carlos Vivas introducing Factory in a Day at ICRA Industry Forum.

Business Manager Carlos Vivas introducing Factory in a Day at ICRA Industry Forum

ICRA 2016 Industry Forum invited PAL Robotics as a speaker, under the theme “Partnering for modular, open solutions to meet industry needs”, hosted by Combient. Our Business Manager Carlos Vivas explained how industry can be enhanced by modular robots, as PAL Robotics develops platforms that are very modular and also suitable for Industry 4.0, such as TIAGo or PMB-2 mobile base. In fact, as Vivas pointed out, “TIAGo has the essence of what we learnt among the years: modularity is the way”.

Modularity – both in hardware and software – reduces complexity and makes it easier to integrate production lines for factories. Modular and open technologies are the basis for Factory in a Day, a EU 7th framework project in which PAL Robotics is involved. Its goal is to reduce the system integration time of a supply chain, using modular robots to optimize production line changes. The project was also presented at ICRA 2016 Industry Forum.

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ICRA 2016: the meeting point of the international robotics community, with PAL Robotics

One of the biggest robotics conferences worldwide is around the corner: PAL Robotics is a sponsor at the International Conference on Robotics and Automation (ICRA) 2016, held in Stockholm, Sweden (May 16-21, 2016). REEM-C and TIAGo robots are ready to show what they are capable of with many live demonstrations. Meet the robots and find more surprises at PAL Robotics’ stand (No. 6)!

Humanoid REEM-C, a robotic platform for the SocSMCs FET EU project

REEM-C to be at ICRA 2016

REEM-C to be at ICRA 2016

ICRA 2016 is partially hosted by Kungliga Tekniska Hoegskolan (KTH), one of the partners of the SocSMCs consortium, a FET EU project where PAL Robotics is involved as well. SocSMCs project is studying the human cognitive system and social behaviour in order to improve interactions between people and between people and robots too. SocSMCs’ goal is to understand the biological process of a person when naturally reacting to a stimulus.

The project’s results will benefit multidisciplinary studies: from neural connections to social behaviour or robotics development. PAL Robotics’ humanoid REEM-C is used by SocSMCs to develop and test the project’s results in different scenarios. REEM-C will perform live demos at ICRA that have been developed under the SocSMCs frame, which involve admittance control. REEM-C will also show demos using the Whole Body Control software developed by PAL Robotics.

Robots like TIAGo for the industry of the future, to be discussed at Industry Forum

It is known that the industrial sector will benefit from robotics in multiple ways. ICRA 2016 is bringing together experts on the field at the Industry Forum, which will take place on Thursday 19th under the theme “Partnering for modular, open solutions to meet industry needs”. PAL Robotics is giving a talk at the Industry Forum about modular and open-source solutions like TIAGo for Industry 4.0 (SWCC Room 35/36, 10:30-11:50 am).

PAL Robotics developed TIAGo as a research platform with ideal features for cooperating with people: it can be useful as an industrial collaborative robot and as a robot companion for the daily life. TIAGo’s features combine navigation, perception and manipulation to perform a wide range of actions, useful both for domestic and industrial environments. Watch TIAGo doing manipulation tasks on this video, a small foretaste of what you can see at ICRA. Tasks were done with human tele-operation using PAL Robotics’ Whole Body Control software suite with a simple gamepad:

The new generation of industrial robots, such as TIAGo, is based on cobots that are useful and safe for workers and that share the same workspace. PAL Robotics’ mobile platform has an open interface to configure it in a simple and safe way, being 100% integrated with ROS. On the other side, TIAGo’s hardware architecture is modular and customizable, with optional components such as the sensors or the end-effector, which can be a parallel gripper or a 5-fingered humanoid hand.

We are waiting for you at PAL Robotics stand no. 6 – ICRA 2016!

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PAL Robotics inventory-taking robot StockBot, to be present at RFID Journal Live!

If we talk about technologies that are improving labour market, we cannot forget RFID. Radio Frequency Identification has been a groundbreaking step, especially for the retail industry to control inventory. Merging robotics with RFID gives a new dimension to the benefits that this technology offers. That is what we have done in PAL Robotics with StockBot, a robot that autonomously takes inventory in stores every day. PAL Robotics is presenting StockBot in the world’s largest event focused on RFID and related technologies, RFID Journal Live!, held from 3rd to 5th of May in Orlando, Florida.

StockBot automates inventory-taking combining robotics and RFID

StockBot automates inventory-taking combining robotics and RFID

StockBot performs autonomous inventory on a daily basis, working at night without needing any supervision. The robot is equipped with several antennas that detect all the RFID-tagged items in the store, while navigating through the corridors. Every morning StockBot provides a report with the products and their physical location.

PAL Robotics has been developing know-how on complex robotic platforms for more than a decade. This valuable understanding of robotics enables PAL Robotics to build service robots that are ready for the real world. StockBot uses the adaptive navigation and autonomous behavior that has been developed and tested for our robots.

What does a robot like StockBot mean for retailers?

StockBot inventory RFID robot

StockBot was born with two main purposes:

  • Save time and efforts on a repetitive task such as inventory-taking.
  • Have updated stock data available to track stock movements and take data-driven decisions accordingly.

Information is power! Having available the data of everything that is in store and its location, updated every day, opens a wide range of possibilities to optimize time and work, and maximize revenue. Misplacements and out-of-stock situations are easily detected and reported. Taking daily inventory that avoids human error also makes stock data trustworthy for shop assistants.

Since StockBot keeps track of its activity, it is easy to add a quality measurement of the inventory, something impossible to perform with handheld devices which are prone to human error. The database generated by StockBot opens Big Data opportunities that can help the retailer to make better data-driven predictions and decisions. All in all, StockBot advantages have a direct impact on the retailer’s revenue and benefits.

Find PAL Robotics and StockBot at booth number 549, in front of the food concessions area. Watch StockBot live demos at RFID Journal Live!

 

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European Robotics Forum: the state of service robotics in Europe

Ljubljana was the place to be for discovering the new developments and challenges of industrial and service robotics in Europe. European Robotics Forum 2016 gathered around 700 attendees coming from universities, research centres, companies and institutions – a number that grows after every edition-, strengthening the event’s role in the field.

In PAL Robotics we shared our latest developments and the European projects where we are partners with all the visitors who came to our stand. REEM-C and TIAGo robots were happy to greet anyone who came, and they were glad to demonstrate their abilities in human-robot interaction, navigation, manipulation and perception. If you couldn’t attend ERF2016, have a look at this video to see everything that went on at Ljubljana!

How is robotics in Europe?

Europe’s position in the world service robotics market is outstanding, representing a share of nearly two thirds (63%). Even so, at ERF it was stated the need for continuing working on robotics research, so that service robots are useful for the real world. There is still research needed to develop capabilities that allow platforms like TIAGo to help people at home or in the industrial market.

ERF2016 concluded that environments like industry 4.0, healthcare, logistics or smart cities are going to integrate service robots soon. Platforms such as TIAGo or REEM-C are created to boost research and prepare these platforms for jumping from the academy to real environments.

TIAGo and REEM-C having fun at ERF2016

Old meets new: REEM-C robot posing with a 150 year-old camera at ERF2016.

Old meets new: REEM-C robot posing with a 150 year-old camera at ERF2016.

Developments done at PAL Robotics have allowed both robots to show some applications at ERF2016. For example, REEM-C walked dynamically through the venue, having a look at other stands – he loves to see what is done in robotics in other companies and universities! TIAGo showed Whole Body Control applications, being teleoperated with a leap motion camera and moving all its body to follow a marker, pointing at it with the finger of its humanoid hand.

PAL Robotics, optimizing logistics with StockBot

How can our robots can be useful for logistics? This question was answered by PAL Robotics at the “Robotics for Logistics and Transport” workshop. Besides the PMB-2 mobile base that can carry and move up to 50 Kg, StockBot is another service robot that contributes to logistics in the retail industry. StockBot keeps stock data updated, knowing exactly what is in store and where it is. This information is valuable for retailers, since knowing what is really needed to order for the store is key for optimizing logistics.

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European Robotics Forum is coming, get ready! TIAGo and REEM-C are waiting for you

One of the most important robotics events in Europe is around the corner. European Robotics Forum is gathering all robotics companies and experts of the continent at Ljubljana (Slovenia) from March 21st to 23rd. PAL Robotics will be there with the mobile manipulator TIAGo and the human-size biped REEM-C. ERF is also an opportunity to share ideas with all European robotics stakeholders interested in EU Projects and future collaborations.

PAL Robotics' humanoid REEM-C

PAL Robotics humanoid REEM-C

TIAGo is ready to show what it is capable of at ERF, as it did at SCHUNK Expert Days. This powerful robot for research is willing to meet you at ERF, making use of its Human-Robot Interaction skills. TIAGo potential will be shown with several live demonstrations at the venue, mixing navigation, perception and manipulation. Teleoperation with a leap motion camera, Gravity-Compensation mode or Whole Body Control are other examples of what you can expect from this buddy at ERF. Come to our stand and watch it yourself!

TIAGo won’t be alone at European Robotics Forum 2016: our humanoid REEM-C is also travelling to Ljubljana. This walking biped robot is 1.65 cm high, is a robust self-contained platform, with long autonomy (up to 6 hours) and ROS compatible. Its cutting-edge technology makes REEM-C a perfect platform for research.

How can PAL Robotics platforms be good for logistics and transport? Attend our presentation!

PAL Robotics solutions can be applied and configured for being useful in many contexts. We are giving a presentation in the workshop “Robotics for Logistics and Transport” (March 21st, 16:15-17:45) on how can three robots from PAL Robotics help in logistics: PMB-2 mobile base, TIAGo and StockBot.

We are waiting for you at European Robotics Forum 2016!

Find PAL Robotics at booth nº 29, close to the stairs that lead to conferences and workshops!

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