Realtime Robotics Inc. today announced that BMW Group has named it an official supplier. The company said the designation means that BMW can use its RapidPlan motion-planning and control software to improve the speed and efficiency of industrial robot programming and deployment.
“Manual motion planning in multi-robot systems is prohibitively expensive for all but the largest lot sizes and longest-lived products,” stated Peter Howard, CEO of Realtime Robotics. “Making it easy for manufacturers to create collision-free path plans by simply ‘pointing and clicking’ can save organizations weeks to months of programming time.”
In September 2022, the Boston-based company raised $14.4 million in funding, and its investors include Cybernetix Ventures. Realtime has also integrated its software with Siemens Process Simulate and worked with Kawasaki Robotics.
BMW needs to scan multiple vehicle models
Realtime Robotics said its technology can improve how robots are programmed. For example, BMW Group needed to improve the process around the 3D computer tomography (CT) scanning of automobiles, which is done to assure the quality of assorted joinings, it noted.
The automaker's work cell was designed to use robots to X-ray vehicles and identify any defects, but it was a time-consuming process to complete for even a single vehicle, said the company.
BMW had to program its robots with the exact geographies of the vehicles they’d be working around and scanning. Since each vehicle model was different, robot programming reuse was limited and difficult, according to Realtime.
Realtime's RapidPlan promises to save time, effort
Realtime Robotics said its technology “generates collision-free motion plans in milliseconds for industrial robots and autonomous vehicles.” RapidPlan is designed to enable robots to function together in unstructured and collaborative workspaces, as well as to react to dynamic obstacles when they perceive changes.
The software’s ability to help teams to easily visualize, prioritize, and simulate robot path plans can speed the implementation of industrial automation in a variety of ways, claimed Realtime.
RapidPlan autonomously generates and choreographs all robot movements, making them collision-free, the company said. As a result, BMW's team could immediately understand which scan points were easily reachable and which ones needed direct attention.
Realtime Robotics said its customers can use RapidPlan to improve the efficiency of their scanning operations, automate robot movements, and optimize the scan points. This enables technicians to concentrate their efforts on setting up and validating the remaining tough-to-reach areas, instead of wasting time reviewing and validating them all, it said.