New software enables industrial robots to reach

image: NTU Singapore Assoc Prof Pham Quang Cuong (right), co-founder of Eureka Robotics and Dr Hung Pham (left), co-founder and CTO of Eureka Robotics with a Denso Wave robot equipped with the software Dynamis force feedback technology in the background
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Credit: Eureka Robotics

Eureka Robotics, a technological spin-off of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), has developed a technology, called Dynamis, which makes industrial robots more agile and almost as sensitive as human hands, able to manipulate tiny glass lenses, electronic components or motor gears of a few millimeters without damaging them.

This proprietary force feedback technology developed by scientists at NTU has already been demonstrated by the “Ikea Bot” who assembled an Ikea chair in just 20 minutes. The breakthrough was first published in the world’s largest scientific journal Science in 2018 and went viral on the internet as it could match the dexterity of human hands in furniture assembly.

Associate Professor NTU Pham Quang Cuong, co-founder of Eureka Robotics, said they have since upgraded the software technology, which will be made available to a large number of industrial robots around the world by Denso Wave, market leader in industrial robots, which is part of the Toyota Group.

Customers who buy the latest robots sold by Denso Wave will have the option to include this new technology in the force controller, which reads the force detected by a force sensor on the robot’s wrist and applies force accordingly: apply too much little force and the items may not be assembled properly while applying too much force could damage the items.

Mastering “touch sensitivity” and dexterity like human hands has always been the holy grail for roboticists, explains Professor Assoc Pham, because the programming of the force controller is extremely complicated, requiring long hours to perfect the grip. main just for a specific task.

“Today, Dynamis allows anyone to easily program touch-sensitive tasks that are typically performed by humans, such as assembly, fine handling, polishing or sanding,” says Professor Assoc Pham, who is also director robotics research assistant. Center at the School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering at NTU.

“These tasks all share one common characteristic: the ability to maintain constant contact with a surface. If our human hands are deprived of our tactile sensitivity, such as when we are wearing a thick glove, we would have great difficulty putting together tiny Lego blocks, let alone putting the tiny components of a car engine or device together. photo used in our mobile. Phone (s. “

Hiroyasu Baba, Product Planning Department of the FA / Robotics Business Unit, Director of Denso Wave, said: “Due to its high basic performance and openness, DENSO robots are the preferred choice of companies and universities with advanced initiatives in robotics. NTU Singapore and Eureka Robotics also use DENSO robots for this reason.

“Thanks to this relationship, the joint development started naturally and we were able to launch this product smoothly. The technology, which will be installed in DENSO robots, is force feedback technology, which is becoming increasingly important in the practical use of robotics. Thanks to Eureka Robotics’ development capabilities, the system is advanced, yet easy to use and light enough to integrate with our standard robot controllers. “

How the new software works

Known as “Force Sensor Robust Compliance Control”, the new software powered by Dynamis requires only one parameter to define – which is the stiffness of the contact, whether it is soft, medium or hard.

Despite its “simple setup”, it has been shown to outperform conventional robotic controllers which require a tremendous amount of expertise and time to refine them.

Dynamis is a complex artificial intelligence (AI) algorithm developed by Assoc Prof Pham and his former PhD student, now co-founder and CTO of Eureka Robotics, Dr Hung Pham.

This core technology has been further improved and was first deployed in Eureka’s bespoke robots, such as Archimedes, which can manipulate fragile optical lenses and mirrors with human-like dexterity. , now used by several companies around the world.

Current robots on the market have either high precision but low agility (where robots perform the same movements over and over again, like in a car factory) or low precision but high agility (like robots handling packages of goods). different sizes in logistics).

By deploying this technology, robotics engineers can now permeate robots from both High precision and high agility (HAHA) on a large scale, paving the way for industrial applications that were previously very difficult or even impossible to implement, such as the handling and assembly of delicate and fragile objects such as optical lenses, electronic components or motor gears.

To be equipped with the “Force Sensor Robust Compliance Control” capability, the large number of robots already running on Denso Wave RC8 controllers will only need to perform a simple software update from December 2021, while Newly shipped RC8 controllers will come with software available for activation.

Incubating Eureka Robotics and helping accelerate its commercialization processes is NTU’s innovation and commercialization company NTUitive, as part of the Innovation pillar of the NTU 2025 strategic plan, which aims to address some of the world’s most pressing challenges.

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Media contact:

Lester kok
Assistant Director
Corporate Communications Office
Nanyang Technological University
Email: [email protected]

Takeshi Idomoto
FA / Robotics product planning
Denso Wave Incorporated
Email: [email protected]

Van Nguyen
Marketing & Strategy Manager
Eureka Robotics
Email: [email protected]

About Nanyang Technological University, Singapore

A research-intensive public university, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) has 33,000 undergraduate and postgraduate students in universities of engineering, business, science, humanities, art and of social sciences. It also has a medical school, the Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, established jointly with Imperial College London.
NTU is also home to world-renowned autonomous institutes – the National Institute of Education, the S Rajaratnam School of International Studies, the Singapore Earth Observatory and the Singapore Center for Environmental Life Sciences Engineering – and various leading research centers. such as Nanyang Environment & Water Research Institute (NEWRI) and Energy Research Institute @ NTU (ERI @ N).
Ranked among the world’s best universities by QS, NTU has also been named the world’s best young university for the past seven years. The main campus of the University is frequently among the 15 most beautiful university campuses in the world and has 57 construction projects certified Green Mark (equivalent to LEED), of which 95% are certified Green Mark Platinum. Besides its main campus, NTU also has a campus in Singapore’s healthcare district.
As part of the NTU Smart Campus vision, the University harnesses the power of digital technology and technological solutions to support better learning and life experiences, the discovery of new knowledge and the sustainability of resources.
For more information visit www.ntu.edu.sg

About Denso Wave Incorporated

DENSO WAVE is part of the DENSO group, part of the Toyota group.

Commercial activities

Development, manufacture and sale of automatic data capture equipment, industrial robots, programmable controllers, IoT and other devices and systems.
Business areas

DENSO WAVE offers products that contribute to improving the productivity of the industrial world in its four areas of activity: the AUTO-ID activity for the development, design and marketing of barcode readers, QR Code and RFID; robotic activity for the development, design and sale of compact industrial robots; the controllers activity for the development of safety controllers and programmable logic controllers; and the System Solutions business to deliver security, cashless and QR code solutions.

About Eureka Robotics

Featured in The New York Times, The Guardian, The Economist and CNN, Eureka Robotics is revolutionizing the field of robotics. Drawing on robotics and AI research from NTU Singapore and MIT, Eureka Robotics provides robotic software and systems to automate tasks requiring high precision and agility (#HAHA).

With offices in Singapore and France and channel partners in China, Japan and the United States, Eureka Robotics is proud to help customers around the world dramatically improve their productivity, costs and safety. . Common uses include precision handling, assembly, inspection, drilling, and many other areas.

For more information visit https://eurekarobotics.com


Mavis R. Bernier