Roboverse Reply, which specializes in robotics integration and the industrial metaverse, today announced that it has won the Advanced Industrial Robotic Applications, or AIRA, Challenge. The international competition seeks to advanced technologies for automated inspection of chemical production facilities. The company worked with Boston Dynamics' Spot quadruped robot for the challenge.
“Autonomous mobile robots like Spot are agile and offer tremendous flexibility to automate tasks, especially in hazardous areas,” stated Filippo Rizzante, chief technology officer of Reply. “We are delighted to have won the prestigious AIRA competition, which affirms our leadership in implementing highly innovative robotic use cases.”
Roboverse Reply is a unit of Reply, which designs and implements systems and services based on new communication channels and digital media. The Turin, Italy-based network said it develops business models enabled by the new models of artificial intelligence, big data, cloud computing, digital media and the Internet of Things (IoT).
Roboverse Reply said it “specializes in robotics and reality capture with mixed reality, where cloud-based or on-premise infrastructures require enterprise-ready solutions.” The unit's offerings include AI skills with sensor-based anomaly detection, “fleet management for the Internet of Robotic Things,” digital twins, and business logic for end-to-end customer support.
AIRA Challenge sets inspection tasks
The AIRA Challenge took place last month during ACHEMA 2022 in Frankfurt am Main, Germany. ACHEMA described itself as “the world's largest trade fair for the process industry.”
A consortium of the world's leading chemical and pharmaceutical companies, including BASF, Bayer, Boehringer Ingelheim, Merck, and Wacker, launched the challenge. Its intent was to promote the development of new ideas and practical applications.
Six teams with five different autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) competed to solve recurring tasks, such as safety tours in manufacturing plants.
The tasks were to navigate autonomously through a chemical facility, handle typical floor types in that environment, and overcome obstacles. The competing robots also had to find and monitor a gauge and document its reading, transport a sample while collecting data, and more.
The last task was to develop a concept that enables a quick and easy tool change on the robot to make it more flexible and versatile.
Roboverse Reply said its experts developed a solution with Boston Dynamics' Spot for these automated routine inspections and data-capture tasks. The company claimed the system “convinced the jury with consistent, high performance and mastery of all the given missions.”
Roboverse Reply reaches into the metaverse
Roboverse Reply said its platform enables autonomous preventive inspection to prolong the lifespan of infrastructures, as well as interactive telepresence for security and safety-critical purposes. The company said it is already looking to build on its latest success into augmented and virtual reality (AR and VR).
“This will take autonomous mobile robot navigation to the next level,” said Rizzante. “In our robotics lab, we are already working on the next generation of robotic solutions.”
“The 'Real-World Metaverse' provides a common reference for AI computer vision, allowing it to collaborate with spatial computing devices like AR and VR tools and robots.”