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Joint use of autonomous machines and cooperation with people

Track: Autonomy /collaborative and cloud

Date and Time: 13 Mar 2024 14:40-16:00

Organisers: Juha Röning, Antti Siren

Main questions to be answered: What are the biggest challenges to form and control work-flow taking into account the characteristics and abilities of automated machines as well as human work at the same site?,)

Additional questions: What research is needed to build easy-to-implement multimachine and human – machine collaboration in flexible and adaptive work site processes which use machines from different manufacturers that are best suited to the each work tasks.,

Additional questions 2: How can we make it easier and more affordable to integrate robots into existing (hospital) workflows?

Workshop Description: Heavy mobile work machines are gaining autonomous features, e.g. in mining, port logistics and road construction work. A challenge is to combine effort of machines manufactured by many different manufactures. A mixed fleet system is characterized by connecting autonomous machines from different manufacturers to the common control as well as the collaboration of manual and automatic machines. How to choose the most suitable machine for a given task and to optimize all the available resources, and still guarantee the high level of safety. These machines need to collaborate with humans and have e.g. new level in situational awareness. The machine must know where adjacent persons are and what they are doing. Another key feature in mixed fleet systems is adaptive safety. With the aforementioned information the autonomous machine can do efficient co-work with the person in the same space without need to full stop if the person nearby. The objective of the workshop is to understand human needs and behaviour in context where humans and autonomous machines are working together, and to find methods for smooth and safe interaction and collaboration between human and autonomous machine. Find breakthrough solutions (principles) for adaptive safety systems and situational awareness in the mixed machine fleet systems. The workshop takes a real-world application-oriented approach, inviting presenters from industry and academia with practical applications and facilitating open discussion. The results of the workshop can be used for planning research programs, finding partnerships to solve identified problems and gaps and to produce development roadmaps for research and development.

Intended Outcome: Workshop on recent developments in technology or applications, Novel format (e.g. interactive matchmaking session for technologies and applications)

Approach: xx:00-xx:10 Juha Röning, Professor, University of Oulu Introduction to the workshop xx:10-xx:25 Jani Mähönen, Vice President , Solution Offering Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe Oy Mixed Fleet in Intralogistics Systems: How AGVs, AMRs and people can work together in partly automated warehouse environment xx:25- xx:40 Timo Kupsa, CEO, Centrio Oy The Future of Hospital Logistics: How Robots Are Transforming the Way We Deliver Care xx:40 -xx:55 Patrick Wolf, Senior Safety Engineer, Fraunhofer IESE Safe Interaction and Collaboration between Humans and Autonomous Machines xx:55- yy:30 Interactive workshop session on four topics (Open café) 1) What are the biggest challenges to form and control work-flow taking into account the characteristics and abilities of automated machines as well as human work at the same site? 2) How can we make it easier and more affordable to integrate robots into existing (hospital) workflows? 3) What research is needed to build easy-to-implement multimachine and human – machine collaboration in flexible and adaptive work site processes which use machines from different manufacturers that are best suited to the each work tasks. 4) Would you be interested in joining a collaboration which is helping forward the multimachine systems and human – machine co-work into a new level.

Contributors: Juha Röning, Introduction to the workshop, University of Oulu Timo Kupsa, CEO Ceterio Oy, The Future of Hospital Logistics: How Robots Are Transforming the Way We Deliver Care Timo Kupsa is the CEO of Ceterio Oy, a Finland-based startup specialized in robotics solutions for hospitals, and an AI guest lecturer. He holds an eMBA degree from the University of Jyväskylä. Ceterio is conducting pilots to automate medicine and other delivery processes at Tampere University Hospital in Finland. These pilots are part of a multi-year research project involving several large companies and research organizations. The project aims to identify and overcome roadblocks that are preventing robots from being widely adopted in hospitals. Many hospital work processes still require human intervention, but could be automated if the infrastructure were updated to be more suitable for robots. This requires making buildings smarter. Automation implementations often require specialists, which can lead to a reliance on certain equipment vendors. New, easy-to-implement mixed fleet solutions from multiple vendors could be a solution. Before founding a startup, Timo was director of the robotics business unit at Nasdaq-listed company Solteq. He also has 25 years of experience in IT companies, where he held various roles. Humans and machines will work together in the future workplace. We making this transformation happen faster. Timo is passionate about using robotics to improve healthcare and address the challenges of an aging population and a shortage of healthcare workers. Jani Mähönen, Vice President , Solution Offering Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe Oy Mixed Fleet in Intralogistics Systems: How AGVs, AMRs and people can work together in partly automated warehouse environment Jani Mähönen is in charge of technology development for AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles), including control systems and software tools in Logistic Solutions Business Unit at Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe. He has over 20 years’ experience in development and management of automation and robotics for manufacturing and logistic applications. Mitsubishi Logisnext Europe Oy is a high technology driven designer, manufacturer and provider of logistic solutions, including wide portfolio of forklift trucks, automation systems, and related solutions and services. Patrick Wolf, Senior Safety Engineer, Fraunhofer IESE Safe Interaction and Collaboration between Humans and Autonomous Machines Patrick Wolf studied computer science in applications at the TU Kaiserslautern, Germany, focusing on embedded systems and robotics. He finished his doctoral studies at the Robotics Research Lab (RRLab), where he developed biologically inspired perception systems for mobile, off-road robots operating in challenging environments. Examples are autonomous driving Unimog, the autonomous collaboration of tandem rollers in road compaction scenarios, and autonomous driving of a shuttle bus in crowded environments such as pedestrian zones. He works at the Fraunhofer Institute for Experimental Software Engineering (IESE) and investigates the safety of autonomous robots and AI systems concerning dynamic risk strategies. Deploying self-driving systems in crowded environments such as construction sites is associated with enormous risks: The driving and working conditions are often cramped, and numerous people move close to the vehicle. Therefore, risk management is essential to avoid harming the surroundings and control hazards emanating from the robot. Additionally, there are increased requirements for the robustness and adaptability of the control approach due to high dynamics and versatility resulting from the environment. A key feature to increase safety and availability is pedestrian activity and awareness recognition enabling a dynamic risk adjustment. Accordingly, a robot can relax worst-case safety assumptions and increase its availability.