Terugblik Nederland als Partnerland in 2014. Wirtschafsreport in gesprek met Marco Siebert, directeur Internationale betrekkingen Hannover Messe.
Exclusief interview met Marc Siemering over Hannover Messe 2016.
When robots go their own way…
Robotics and artificial intelligence have long been an integral part of industrial processes. However, working robots have always required a special infrastructure. Dutch start-up Accerion from Venlo, the Netherlands, is taking things to the next level though: “We have developed a new and unique method for mobile robots and automated guided vehicles (AGVs) to determine their position without the use of external infrastructure. Our Jupiter sensor makes them more self-sufficient and flexible than ever”, explains Managing Director Vincent Burg. Accerion will be showcasing its new sensor for mobile robots at the Dutch Pavilion at Hannover Messe.
Autonomous vehicles have been around for over 30 years and are therefore not exactly a new development of the 21st century. They are used day in, day out in industry both on tracks and other infrastructure systems. However, in the future, robotics will affect every single aspect of our lives – and determine the way that people work and live. According to Burg, fully autonomous robots are the key to this vision.
Independent and flexible
With the aid of a specially developed sensor, robots can scan their environment and navigate around based on the results, granting them greater flexibility. Robots can be used in more and more fields of application as they are no longer dependent on the environment or the created infrastructure. “Various different structures used to be required for a robot to be able to move from one hall to another or from inside to outside. But now, everything runs on one single system”, says Burg. Robots can even find their bearings in dynamic environments where there are lots of people moving around.
Different ground conditions are no longer an issue for the Jupiter sensor. No matter whether the floor is made of concrete, epoxy resin, paving stones or asphalt, robots can always find their way around. Autonomous vehicles and mobile robots can also be used over large surface areas. The sensor can support arbitrary routes and requires no environment preparation. Burg continues: “We are putting the wheels in motion for a revolution, so to speak, from the tracks to high-tech”.
Preparation for market launch
Several pilot projects are currently underway in preparation for the Jupiter sensor’s market launch. “Our product is almost ready for the market. This is a new technology so we need to ensure that the sensor works perfectly before we finally launch it on the market”, Burg stresses. “We cannot afford to deliver a defective product. If we do, our market presence will be short-lived”, the expert continues. As such, the Jupiter sensor still won’t be market-ready by the time of Hannover Messe at the end of April 2017. The individuals responsible think that the product will be officially launched by the middle of the year. However, a prototype will of course be on show at the trade fair.
Four years ago, Willem-Jan Lamers, the original founder of Accerion, was working as an automotive research consultant when he developed a sensor capable of very quickly measuring the movement of a travelling car. He soon realised that this technology had a lot more potential. Lamers identified a need in the fast-moving market of mobile robots, and began to develop the sensor as a positioning system in his spare time. One and a half years ago, things really started to take off when the founder joined the HighTechXL Accelerator programme at the High Tech Campus Eindhoven.
This is an elite programme designed exclusively for hardware entrepreneurs. It supports hardware start-up founders from the time that the idea is initially conceived right through to the creation of the prototype and the market-ready product. “That’s how we found our first customers and investors. We further developed our business model in order to ensure the optimum use of our technology and to build a unique positioning sensor for the fast-growing area of mobile robotics”, says Burg enthusiastically looking back over recent achievements. Accerion has made a name for itself with its positioning technology in the autonomous vehicle market with a focus on logistics and automated manufacturing.
A platform for start-ups
Around 20 innovative start-ups from the Netherlands will be exhibiting at the Start-up and Innovation Square in Hall 4 of Hannover Messe. They will be presenting their companies and showcasing their products to potential customers and investors under the auspices of high-tech experts from Holland Innovative.
Accerion (Unconstrained Robotics B.V.)
NL-5928 NL Venlo, The Netherlands
Contact person: Vincent Burg
Tel.: +31(0)6 413 77 899
Hall 4, Niederländische Gemeinschaftstand