Repeated clearing and wiping of tables cause soreness in the neck and shoulders, but now, a robot helper is on his way to assist the cafeteria staff. The research project FacilityCobot will develop robots with sensor and grasping technology and artificial intelligence that can help out the cleaning staff.
The project is led by the Odense company Enabled Robotics. The aim is to develop a mobile robot system that empties and cleans tables in cantinas. SDU is participating with two research groups: SDU Software Engineering and SDU Robotics . While SDU Software Engineering is focusing on the organization and exploitation of data recorded in the cantina by external cameras (for example the movement of people), SDU Robotics works on the detection and grasping of objects. Both aspects are deeply intertwined. For example, there is probably a larger need for cleaning and picking up objects, where people have been sitting.
To apply mobile robots with grasping devices in public areas still involves a number of challenges, such as the detection of arbitrary objects and the grasping of those, the integration of external and robot sensors as well as safety issues and problems in Human-Robot-Interaction. The two units at SDU will contribute with their research complementary competences to tackle these challenges.
A first demonstration is already foreseen to be performed in 2021.
The project is funded by Innovation Fund Denmark and has a total budget of DKK 17 million.
Enabled Robotics, Denmark; University of Southern Denmark, Denmark; UbiqiSense ApS, Denmark; SIGNAL, Denmark; K-Jacobsen A/S, Denmark; ISS A/S, Denmark.