Robots x Artificial Intelligence | Opening the Doors to a New World

July 28, 2023
Latest company news about Robots x Artificial Intelligence | Opening the Doors to a New World

Artificial Intelligence (AI) is constantly changing our lives. Every day, we interact with AI through smartphones, online orders, search engines, and more. This raises the question:


What is artificial intelligence?


The term "artificial intelligence" doesn't have a clear definition. According to the European Parliament, it means "the ability of machines to imitate human capabilities such as reasoning, learning, planning, and creativity."


AI enables technological systems to "perceive their environment, process what they perceive, and solve problems to achieve specific goals." By "analyzing the consequences of previous actions," AI systems can "adjust their behavior" and "operate autonomously."


One subfield of AI is machine learning, which is closely related to KUKA.


Machine learning is a general term for AI systems that generate information by learning from examples and can generalize from those examples. The system doesn't just memorize those examples but can identify different patterns and rules.


Why is machine learning relevant to KUKA?


Robotics technology is gradually moving from highly organized industrial production environments to relatively "disorganized" personal environments. AI helps robotic systems adapt to unpredictable factors and changes. So far, robots have been performing repetitive tasks in the same way and with the same precision.


However, future requirements are different from the present, especially in the field of professional service robots and general service robots. If robots are to enter other fields, they must be more flexible. Machine learning can help them achieve this.


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How is artificial intelligence applied in robots?


Artificial intelligence has achieved tremendous success in various fields of daily life, solving problems that are difficult or impossible to solve by traditional methods, including image and speech recognition.


Similarly, in the field of robotics, it is foreseeable that people will use artificial intelligence to perform new tasks, and the automation process will not require obvious step-by-step programming. With the reduced programming requirements, new application fields will emerge. Therefore, the combination of artificial intelligence and automation has unlimited potential.


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What achievements has KUKA gained from artificial intelligence?


Generally speaking, KUKA provides intelligent machines that can free humans from heavy tasks, rather than artificial intelligence itself. It collects and interprets data through open standards. Therefore, KUKA has adopted machine learning and integrated it into its existing solutions.


The intelligent control system KUKA AIVI is a good example. The software solution facilitates the flexible design of systems to replace static production facilities. "AIVI is the intelligent core of the system, which uses artificial intelligence to control unmanned transport vehicles (AGVs), ensuring that materials flow to the production line in the best possible way, while also ensuring the perfect application of AGVs. Therefore, customers can invest more selectively and benefit from lower investment costs," explained Markus Steppberger, KUKA's head of system development. In fact, this concept has already been applied in scenarios such as BMW's body shop.


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In terms of research and development, KUKA aims to optimize production and is simultaneously advancing multiple projects with the help of artificial intelligence:






A true artificial intelligence (AI) lab


SmartFactoryOWL is a true artificial intelligence (AI) lab. Here, Fraunhofer IOSB-INA, KUKA, and other partners are conducting in-depth research on the future industrial data economy. In June 2021, the production of fully recyclable water cups supported by networks and artificial intelligence was achieved through KUKA's KR CYBERTECH. In the lab, we will continue to explore and research how artificial intelligence can be better applied in industry.






Machine learning for mass production of composite materials


In 2018, the three-year CosiMo research project was officially launched with the support of the Bavarian government. The project brought together KUKA and other partners to develop production processes for mass production of composite components for use in automotive and aircraft manufacturing.


Machine learning methods, intelligent tools, KUKA robots, and KUKA cloud solutions will improve production efficiency and save resources. These solutions have short cycles and can be replicated in other production processes.


The purpose of applying artificial intelligence to existing robotic systems is to completely change the way humans and machines cooperate.


Industrial artificial intelligence


The 2021 KUKA Innovation Award's artificial intelligence challenge also focused on how artificial intelligence can be applied in industry. The Belgian research team Chorrobot won with their concept of using dual-arm robots for productivity improvement in small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and automotive manufacturers.