The Hedgehog robotics controller can be easily programmed via a web browser. This enables us to test robotics applications quickly and easily and even program them together.
PRIA research cooperation and EMS@TELE
The Practical Robotics Institute Austria (PRIA) has set itself the goal of inspiring children and adolescents with robotics for technology and science. The focus here is on “getting involved and doing it yourself” in robotics workshops at schools and in competitions such as the ECER – European Conference on Educational Robotics. In this way, children and adolescents get to know several technical disciplines in a playful way, from mechanics and electronics to sensors and programming. At the same time, the PRIA is also researching in the areas of Industry 4.0 and flexible industrial robotics in order to make production more efficient and thus to be able to maintain local added value in Europe.
Robotics controller is manufactured at TELE
PRIA research has also developed a real product that has now been manufactured at TELE Haase’s Vienna 23 location. “The robotics controller Hedgehog offers a web-based IDE (Integrated Development Environment) that does not require any additional software, but can be easily programmed using a web browser. In this way, connected motors and sensors can also be controlled directly, so that robotics applications can be tested quickly and easily. Joint programming, so-called peer coding, is also possible”, explains Daniel Frank, electronics developer at the PRIA, the advantages of hedgehog.
Local production makes communication easier
In 2019, PRIA started looking for a production partner for the Hedgehog circuit boards and quickly found what they were looking for at TELE. “We already knew TELE from other projects and local value creation is important to us”, explains Wilfried Lepuschitz, Head of PRIA. “If there is a problem, you can simply go there or call and clarify the problem at eye level”, Lepuschitz continues. A total of 96 pieces of the Hedgehog were manufactured at TELE. “Although a few gaps on the circuit board did not meet the specified standard dimensions because we were not aware of all the requirements of series production, TELE has still implemented it for us in an uncomplicated manner”, says a pleased Daniel Frank. The Hedgehog is already selling successfully and is used in several research and education projects. Indirectly, he has even made the leap to Asia: Chinese robotics recently built their own controllers based on hedgehog open source hardware.
Practical knowledge advances research
PRIA is also working with TELE on two of its research projects – KnowDrift and COmBINE. “We got to know TELE in 2016 as part of ‘Industry meets Makers’ and have been talking about the processes in local production at the Vienna location since then. On the basis of the use case ‘TELE production’, we are researching how processes, such as the THT assembly (true hole technology) of larger components on a circuit board, which is still carried out manually, could in future be automated using robotics”, Lepuschitz explains the collaboration. “On this basis, we then develop a variable product model that can be used to flexibly set up a robot to equip various products”, continues Lepuschitz.
Local added value is important to us … if there is a problem, you can simply go there or call and clarify the problem at eye level.
Cloud manufacturing for distributed production
TELE has also been a partner in the PRIA project COmBine since 2018. COmBINE develops a cloud manufacturing system based on artificial intelligence, with which it is possible to distribute industrial production orders among the manufacturing capacities of different companies. TELE is available to the institute as a reference company for EMS (Electronic Manufacturing Services). In the ongoing exchange, PRIA can find out how cloud manufacturing processes can practically run in the future. “COmBINE is currently already in the implementation phase, we are programming diligently so that a demonstrator can be created in the foreseeable future, from which a product can then be developed”, says Lepuschitz. A win-win situation: Because TELE is very excited about the scientific results and is already thinking intensively about the practical implementation of this cloud manufacturing platform.