INNFOS SCA – The FUTURE OF ROBOTS 2019

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So this a human worker and this is 2019 robot from china. You can either say, we will get replaced by robots OR we can coexist with robots that help us on a daily base. There’s a lot of talk these days about the bleak future of employment: Claims that robots will steal all the jobs are commonplace in the media and across news websites. During my
visit on the MWC 2019, I found a company that made the technology possible, to finally create some robots, that really have the potential to not replace, but help humans. Lets see how close they really are.

So we all have seen it in movies like irobot, where they predict that in the future we will have robots that look very close to humans and can also act the same way like we do. In the past years we have just seen some clunky prototypes which have some really rough and unprecise movements. However there is one company that has managed to change all that.

I myself studied mechanical engineering and Im actually very interested in this topic of so called humanoids.
Building humanoid robots that can do useful things in the real world, not just research labs, is very difficult and also expensive.

I think you guys all remember pepper: Pepper was the world’s first social humanoid robot able to recognize faces and basic human emotions. Pepper was optimized for human  interaction and is able to engage with people through conversation and his touch screen.

So in order to make a robot that acts and works like a human, you need some very sophisticated joints which have been made possible by INNFOS. They have made the new robot which is called the XR-1 which takes advantage of their so called SCA which stands for Smart Compliant Actuator. The INNFOS SCA is an intelligent, highly integrated and advanced servo system with flexible and safe control. It highly integrates the core components of servo motor, servo drive,
reducer and encoder. Its volume is only one tenth of traditional servo system under the same performance and they are also available in different sizes with different power and torgue.

The problem with robots in the past was that their actuators were really rough and too big with too many wires. But this SCA is a revolutionary breakthrough compared to traditional
robotic actuation. I personally think its very interesting as it makes the safe usage of service robots possible as they now can act exactly the same like humans. The problem is that you need alot of Degrees of freedom: It has 34 in total, with 3 in neck, 4 of shoulder, 4 in elbows, 6 in wrists, 10 in fingers, 3 in waist, 1 on knee and 3 for chassis. This has been made possible by the integrated high performance Actuator from innfos.

At their booth they showed their robots which had different names as they were programmed for different tasks. One task showed how a robot could be a waiter and serve a drink It was really impressive because I was standing next to it and i just said, bring me the water, and the robot gave me the bottle. Also there was another robot that was serving coffee from a coffe machine. I have seen various robotic arms serving stuff, but they are mostly not humanoids and thats the big difference. In order to have a real looking hand that really
works like a human hand, you need to have alot of tiny actuators and thats what INNFOS basically made possible with their smallest SCA’s. Thats really impressive.

Further they also showed a dance show where the robots really moved like humans to a soundtrack in realtime due to the power of AI.
Right now their robots are on a base with wheels, but they told me that they will soon have full humanoids with beautiful legs, that operate like humans. this is crazy.

These intelligent service robots are now widely used in companies. Health facilities, homes and other environments In order to create a secure and intelligent interaction between  machines and humans Service robots must be controlled according to the rules. So some real usecases are right now: receptionist, introducing robotos, guiding, Elderly care, product promotion under different scenarios, and to improve the life quality of people from different aspects.

But how does it work ? The robot has a microphone built in and you can talk to the robot. With the help of AI technology, the robot is then processing what you are saying and  reacting to your needs. In its heart its running a Qualcomm Snapdragon mobile processor and NVIDA TX2 AI processor. Operating system is a combination of Linux + ROS + Android

So The only thing that needs to be solved and improved in the future is the battery life. Right now it comes with a 36V safe voltage and 40AH battery capacity. Less than 4-hour of  manual charging is needed, and can be used longer than 8 hours. So for a regular work day, the battery life would be ok. But for real human replacements, i think its needs more.

Claims that robots will steal our jobs are commonplace – but i personally think that humans will find themselves working side by side with robots in the industry, rather than being  replaced by them.

I also talked to one of their team and they told me INNFOS R&D team was founded in 2011 and has been focusing on the development of smart compliant actuators for high-performance  robots for many years. Its impressive what they have invented in the recent years, and im really exited on what they will release in the future. Because maybe the day will come, where humans get party replaced by robots and innfos started to bring this technology to the masses.

Find out more on http://www.innfos.com/