TU Darmstadt start-up cooperates with Merck and Boston Dynamics

Systems for thermal exhaust air purification play an important role in environmental protection. They contain a number of high-maintenance components that must be monitored regularly. Sensors such as thermal imaging cameras are used to measure z. B. Detect anomalies in pumps or fans and examine pressure and fluid levels in tanks. They are usually human worn during routine inspections.

Energy Robotics has integrated these sensors on the mobile robot spot to enable more efficient condition monitoring. In addition, the company trained the robot together with Merck for a one-hour inspection tour through the multi-storey facility. The mobile robot overcomes several industrial stairs and collects with its sensors such as B. Thermal and zoom cameras Data that it transmits encrypted over the public 4G network to the web-based user interface on a PC or tablet.

Autonomous inspections using thermal imaging and zoom cameras

The application combines the intuitive control, the robot intelligence and the open interface of Boston Dynamics with the powerful control and autonomy software, the user interface and the encrypted cloud connection from Energy Robotics. Spot can be controlled remotely or trained to follow a certain inspection round autonomously, i.e. independently. It can be monitored from any location with an Internet connection.

Multiple cameras and sensors enable the robot to find its way around while recording and transmitting information about the operation of the system on site. With the help of the additional sensors installed by Energy Robotics, Spot reads the displays of measuring devices in the immediate vicinity and can also enlarge distant objects with the externally mounted, optical zoom lens. The robot is also able to use thermal images to detect defects in lines or the temperature of pump components.

In Merck’s thermal exhaust air cleaning system, for example, Spot monitors the cooling water level and determines whether condensation has accumulated. Outside the system, the mobile robot monitors pipe bridges for anomalies. Energy Robotics’ software uses artificial intelligence to process the mass of data obtained into information that is useful and reusable for humans.

Autonomous robots are gaining in importance in several industries

Energy Robotics’ software for autonomous robot inspection and fleet monitoring is already market leader in the oil and gas industry. Now it’s available with Boston Dynamics’ spot in combination with a mobile robot for harsh environments. This enables process engineering customers to generate and analyze large amounts of sensor data, which can be used to increase operational efficiency, reduce maintenance costs and improve people’s working conditions.

Further information is available at www.energy-robotics.com.

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