Company Strategic R&D Plans
Project (s) financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) of the European Union and the Council of Castilla y León, through the Institute for Business Competitiveness of Castilla y León (ICE), to encourage Promotion and development of R & D activities led by companies and support the creation and consolidation of innovative companies.
At present, the following subsidized projects are carried out at ASTI:
- Development of fleet management platforms for AGVs
One of the key technologies in the new Industry 4.0 paradigm is the use of autonomous robots. Its massive deployment will increase the flexibility and modularity of production processes, facilitating the introduction of these design principles in the factories of the future.
These autonomous robots, especially in the case of AGVs, need to be coordinated by a management platform that guarantees interoperability between the different machines and efficient interrelation with the rest of the subsystems of the industrial plant. So far, there is no agnostic management platform that allows the management of a heterogeneous AGV fleet. The construction of this work platform is the central objective of this R & D project.
- Development of perceptive systems for the efficient handling of loads
This project gives AGVs new abilities to perceive the environment, significantly increasing the ability to work autonomously. This allows the performance of more complex tasks and the reduction of human intervention in these operations. Therefore, it is in tune with the spirit of the "Development of AGV fleet management platform" project, since it promotes applied research in "autonomous robotics", essential enabling technology in the deployment of industry 4.0.
This project includes a comparative study on the different perception technologies: 3d sensors, cameras, etc. Algorithms will be developed for processing the data extracted from the sensors. And, different use applications for the exploitation of these algorithms will be designed
- Advanced HMI and expansion of vehicle connectivity
In this project, vehicles will be provided with greater connectivity to be able to deploy the IOT (internet of things) in the AGVs. Also, different HMIs will be designed to improve the machine-person interaction and expand the vehicle monitoring channels. One of the key objectives of the project is to be able to exploit the capabilities of the current mobile devices that we use daily (mobile, tablets, smartwatch, ...) for interaction with vehicles.
- Intuitive AGV maintenance using enhanced reality
Up to now, machine maintenance operations have been complex tasks that required a high technical capacity, multidisciplinary skills and extensive knowledge regarding the operation of each machine. This implied that they could only be carried out by personnel trained specifically on each machine and could not be carried out in an intuitive way. On the other hand, an error caused by ignorance, forgetfulness or distraction during these operations could cause deterioration or disable the systems. The new enhanced reality technologies facilitate this task, allowing intuitive performance of maintenance operations, as if we were being guided "step by step" by an expert instructor. They also facilitate the management and update of the maintenance history, information of vital importance to make an effective diagnosis of anomalies.
The objective of this project is to develop tools using these reality technologies enhanced to facility AGV maintenance tasks.
- Additive manufacturing in AGV design and industrialization
During the project, a comparative market study of the different technologies available for additive manufacturing will be carried out, the most suitable for the design of AGVs will be selected, and the viability of its use in the design, the personalization of the products and the manufacturing of short series of vehicles will be studied.
- Simulation of productive environments for interlogistics applications
Currently, during the project bidding phase, it is difficult to imagine the result of the logistic system automation when it has only been operating manually. In fact, one of the daily battles faced by the business team is to achieve during the bidding phase, that the customer or end user of the system, understand and visualize the behavior of the AGVs at their facility. It is vital to resolve the doubts and mistrust that the automatic solutions create in non-technical personnel, in order to achieve a massive deployment of autonomous robotic systems in the industrial fabric. In this sense, simulation and virtual reality technologies are positioned as a key tool in projects in the supply phase, to improve the perception of autonomous robotic systems and accelerate the process of industrial transformation. In fact, they are recognized as one of the essential enabling technologies of Industry 4.0.
In this project, the viability of using simulation techniques and creation of virtual environments in the development of intralogistics applications will be analyzed. For which, a market study of the different simulation tools will be carried out, one or two development tools will be selected and applied in a representative set of real projects.
- New line of omnidirectional/multidirectional vehicles
The SWOT analysis carried out for the construction of the R & D strategic plan has revealed that there are many new opportunities in which omnidirectional or multidirectional movements are required. This makes it necessary to rethink the conceptual design of vehicles to respond to this new demand, allowing access to new applications and market sectors. ASTI has always opted for omnidirectional technology, has even developed a system of unique omnidirectional wheels that have been protected by a "utility model", but, to date, the generalization of this type of vehicle had not been considered.
A study of the state of the art of the current cinematic technologies will be carried out, a conceptual redesign of the vehicle model will be performed and different prototypes will be built for the validation of the new line of vehicles during the project.