Robotics and Automation

This competence fields deals, together with the core activities like robotics and automation, with advanced control and drive technologies, and questions regarding sensors and other mechatronics topics.

In the field of robotics and automation the team is specialized in research, development and implementation of customized robots and machines, and their application in fields like medicine, industry and integration of all aspects of industry 4.0.

Thanks to our experience in development and a tight cooperation with our partners of our institute, of the NTB and from other Universities, we are able to develop or adapt subsystems like mechanic, electronic and sensors, as well as algorithms and control technologies to the needs of our customers.

 

    Our Services

    We are available to our customers at any time for any discussions about project ideas and clarifying financing opportunities. Technical requirements are usually specified by the customer. We examine these based on our experience and make development suggestions.

    If necessary, we develop solutions first through simulations and prototypes and later implementing the final overall system. Our customer can therefore benefit from our open source robotic framework EEROS.

    Robotics

    NTB robotics developed and implemented among others surgical and rehabilitation robots, industrial robots for assembly and measurement purposes. It also developed the open source robotics framework EEROS, as well as the low cost open source robot family EEDURO. Another crucial focus lies on the development of subsystems like low cost force sensors, and drive control systems for electronic commutated motors.

    The team uses modern control concepts which go beyond what actual industrial available controllers offer, like sensor guided control strategies through image processing and force control.

    Examples of challenging control strategies are hybrid force and position control, visual servoing and operational space control. Thanks to the consistent use of these technologies, the team cam realize very difficult, innovative and complex robotics concepts efficiently and cost effectively.

    Automation

    NTB Automation provides services in the field of industrial automation, in particular advice about Industry 4.0, implementation of process-oriented automation solutions regarding control techniques, sensors and actuators integration and controller programming.

    Electric Drive Technology

    Our expertise for electric drive technology relate in particular to the modeling and control of power systems. We analyze your specific motion task, develop an appropriate control structure and parameterize it.

    We usually solve simple movement tasks with classical control methods. In such cases the “planning ahead” of a feasible motion trajectory plays a crucial role in the control. Application examples in this field are robots in biotechnology, laser measuring robots and electric tools for medical technology.

    When the complexity of the application requires it, we apply modern control methods, like for example state controllers with state observers. Application examples are in this case: surgical robots used in brain surgery and Coordinate Measuring Machines.

    Control Technology

    In this filed we deal with the identification, modeling and control of systems. After analyzing the system, we define an adequate hierarchical control structure and implement on a practical point of view the control loops.

    Depending on the complexity of the system and on the needs of our customers, we develop near conventional PID controllers, also more complex control strategies like state and multivariable controls, where non-linearity of the system is particularly challenging.

    Examples of realized projects include model-based temperature controlled coffee machines, controllers auto tuning ad modeling and control of heat-exchangers.   

    Strategic Focus

    This competence field focuses on strategical aspects like high flexible automation, Industry 4.0, sensor guided solutions and special robot solutions for moblie and domestic Robots and open source strategies.

    You will find an overview of the strategic direction of the Robotic and Automation Groupe here:

    Strategic Main Points

    Projects

    Get an overview of some projects where we could cope with interesting challenges.

    Robot Controls

    EEROS

    EEROS is the Easy, Elegant, Reliable, Open and Safe Real-Time Robotics Software Framework. The open source model of EEROS complements its unique architecture, making it universally viable for robots in education and industry. EEROS provides a lightweight layer of software abstraction, allowing code to be reused on multiple platforms and reducing development costs.

    More informations under: EEROS

    Android Control

    The aim of the project was to present the real-time capability and the functionality of DROIDcontrol thanks to a demonstration application. During the project, the complete hardware for controlling the robot and the programming software has been realized.

    More Information under: Android Control

    Medical Robots

    Robot for Drilling Operations on the Lateral Skull Base

    NTB robotics developed with the University of Bern and the ARTORG Center for Biomedical Engineering Research a five-axis robot for drilling the lateral skull base. It is characterized not only by its light weight and thus easy to handle in the operating room. In the milling operations, which were previously carried out by the surgeon manually, the accuracy can be increased ten times.

    More under: Robot for drilling operations on the lateral Skull base

    Neurological Gait Trainer

    NTB-Robotics has developed together with the ZHdK, the ZHAW and ABILITY Switzerland AG a gait trainer that is revolutionizing the interaction between man and machine in the neurological gait training.

    More informations under: Neurological Gait Trainer

    Robots for Research and Education

    EEDURO – Low Cost EEROS Robot Family

    EEDURO, the EEROS Education Robot Platform, is a low-cost robot's family for education and research, as well as for commercial use. Mechanics and electronics design has been realized at the NTB and are open source. The robot can be programmed with the EEROS Framework.

    More informations under: EEDURO - Low Cost EEROS Robot Family

    Parallel SCARA

    A parallel SCARA was designed and developed at NTB. Thanks to a simple sensor system the robot is capable of balancing a pole.

    More informations under: Parallel SCARA

    6-Axis Educational Robot

    The present work forms the basis for a novel training robot for universities. The proposed basic mechanical platform is available as open source for anyone who could be interested in it.

    More under: 6-Axis Educational Robot

    Mobile and Flying Robots

    Omnidirectional Robot with Active Caster Wheels

    An omnidirectional mobile robot with active caster wheels was developed to study the dynamics and the characteristics of such wheels. Mechanics and electronics have been developed at the NTB. The robot has been programmed with the open source robot framework EEROS and is able to move freely in the plane and to balance a stick. This application shows that the robot and this type of wheels is also suitable for highly dynamic applications.

    More informations under:Omnidirectional Robot with Active Caster Wheels

    Development of an Actively Controlled Camera Platform for Quadrocopters

    The aim of this project was to develop a camera platform for a multi-copter, enabling an SLR camera to produce jerk-free pictures.

    More Informations under: Camera Platform for Quadrocopters

    Development of a Positioning and Tracking System for the Precise Control of a Quadcopter

    The aim of this project was to design a system which tracks a quadcopter more accurately than GPS (+/- 2m). The solution developed consists of two cameras mounted on a pan-tilt unit each to track the quad copter and determine its position using image processing.

    More under: Positioning and Tracking System for a Quadcopter

    Industrial Robotics and Automation

    Automated Assembly of a Point and Line Laser

    The project deals with two significant aspects in the innovation of self-leveling point and line lasers. These are the slope-detection as well as the power supply of the gimbaled laser diodes. The present work shows that with simple means it is possible to reproducibly create the meander shape. In addition a new system was developed, which allows to safely and reliably detect the inclination.

    More informations under: Automated Assembly of a Point and Line Laser

    Measuring Robot Xtralis

    The company Xtralis AG produces effective, advanced motion sensors, with long range and narrow detection range for the market of the intruder detectors.

    For quality control of this detector a five-axis measuring robot was designed and created in collaboration with the company Xtralis AG and the company geting AG. Parts were manufactured at the NTB, the controller unit (PLC, NC) and the interface to the used test software were also programmed.

    More under: Measuring Robot Xtralis

    Flour Packaging Machine

    In order to investigate the process of vacuum packing and to gain experience, a prototype was designed and built as part of this project. The machine is completely automated and includes the preparation of the film bag, the generation of the negative pressure as well as the filling and sealing of the product.

    More informations under: Flour Packaging Machine

    High Precision Control and Path Planning

    Model-based Tracking Control of a High-precision Rotary Axis

    The goal of this project was the development of control concepts for a high precision position tracking application, with a maximal dynamic tracking error of 50 μrad.

    More informations under: Model-based Tracking Control of a High-precision Rotary Axis

    Single and Multi-Axis Trajectory Generator

    The goal of this project was to find an algorithm for generating trajectories for robotics. The algorithm should have an application range over diverse robots and CNC-machines.

    Mehr unter: Single and Multi-Axis Trajectory Generator

    Interactive Robots

    Grasping Objects with a Human Like Hand

    In order to investigate complex motion processes, the University of São Paulo has designed and manufactured a hand, which is very similar to the human one. In this project, a cost-effective actuation block for this hand was developed and implemented, which can move each individual bone. In addition, the whole hand was mounted on the ABB robot IRB2400, in order to simulate also the arm movements.

    More informations under: Grasping Objects with a Human Like Hand

    Aaliyah, a Robot with Emotions

    In the Aaliyah project a robot was developed, which communicates with the environment through gestures and emotions. The robot is able to express different emotions. 

    More informations under: Aaliyah, a Robot with Emotions

    PATHOS: Poetic Animatronics Through Hands On Systems

    The aim of the project is to provide artists with an animatronic framework tailored for poetic expression in motion-based artworks and interfaces. By poetic/ emotive we refer to a nuance of control that can engage a viewer aesthetically and emotionally.  PATHOS intends to provide this control along with a system of specially de-signed and selected actuation and sensor mechanisms.

    More Informations under: PATHOS