Advances in Artificial Intelligence enable machines to execute tasks and solve problems normally attributed to humans. They perform better over time by continuously learning from experience and are already outsmarting us in numerous job functions.
NEXT GENERATION ROBOTICS
Next Generation Robotics makes human-machine collaboration a reality. Better and cheaper sensors enable robots to operate alongside people, moving them from production lines into our everyday lives in countless ways.
Machines that fly completely autonomously is the next phase for drone technology. This completely changes business models as we know them as it makes us capable of gathering vast amounts of data in the physical world from the sky.
BrainBotics went to Møn (an island located just off the south-eastern tip of Zealand) to partner up with other stakeholders working on collection with eelgrass including Møn Tang, Søuld and Coastgrass.
Today, Møn Tang is the only company in Denmark which commercially collect eelgrass.
The are around Møn has historically used aquatic biomass (eelgrass) for various purposes. At the beginning of the last century, about 500 tons of seaweed was collected annually, which was used for insulation, mattresses and even as a tobacco substitute during the war. Seaweed collection stopped partly when a large part of the Danish seaweed was affected by a disease and partly when the material was replaced by man-made fibers and other artificial materials. Today, a couple of farmers are actively harvesting seaweed. There is demand for seaweed roofs on Læsø, and in Germany seaweed is used as insulation material in construction.
Based on drone photos from Skive Fjord, we have build up our first machine learning model which can detect sea lettuce bloom.
The distinctive color of algae has been used to develop computer vision-based algae monitoring systems. However, traditional computer vision pipelines do not have high repeatability because they dependent on the effectiveness of the feature detectors or the segmentation procedure, which can be ineffective by fluctuating illumination, occlusion or the presence of comparable objects in the background. Classification algorithms, reflectance band-ratio algorithms and spectral band difference algorithms take the spectral data as input to detect the presence of algae in bodies of water. Although these algorithms have been successful in monitoring micro algal blooms in the open ocean, they have not been validated with macro algae.
With the use of Machine Learning, an algae monitoring system can be made which is robust to changes in image parameters (e.g., image size, resolution, orientation). This system can be adjusted to the environmental conditions and algae species under consideration on a global scale and is able to work with a wide variety of robot platforms.
As a part of MUDP funded project, we have tested the robot Jellyfishbot in several sites including Karrebæksminde, Køge Marina and Marselisborg Marina in Denmark. The tests show that the robot performs efficient collection of macroalgae. It is primarily eelgrass which has been collected – between 200-400 grams pr. sample.
The design of the robot platform with a net which is pulled behind the robot for the collected biomass is a very efficient design. However, the capacity of the robot is low as the weight of biomass quickly exceeds the capacity of the robot. Already at 300-400 grams of collected biomass, the robot has problems navigating, as the load becomes too heavy and the propulsion is negatively affected. In addition, the robot has difficulty navigating when there are waves. Further work must be done with other types of robot solutions, which have higher capacity and are more robust to typical weather conditions.
The 22nd of September the trip went to Karrebæksminde to validate the Jellyfish robot and do measurements of CO2 in the habour.
Karrebæksminde is an idyllic spot that attracts thousands of tourists in the summertime. It is an old fishing village with a few active fishermen left. 250 metres from the Inner Harbour is one a beach area
Vesterhave beach is a sandy beach about 8-10 m wide and eelgrass is found in heaps on the beach. A digger is used to remove seaweed, evident by the digger itself being parked next to the beach entrance. Only a little odor nuisance. Eelgrass spread all over the beach, with certain areas having larger piles than others. The area is considered to be prone for macro algae flushing.
The port also contain eelgrass but this depends very much on the direction of the wind, and also on the pass by industrial sand extractor ships.
We spend a few hours on collecting eelgrass and measuring CO2 in the habour and at the beach. The collection was approximate 1.2 kg on hour sailing.
You can reduce the amount of emitted greenhouse gases by removing seaweed that decomposes on the beach, as rotten seaweed emits methane and CO2.
The quantity and type of algae varies for each location and can be significantly different from locations that are geographically close to each other. This work package aims to find relevant places to collect aquatic biomass as well as measurements of CO2 emissions from the biomass. Selection of collection sites will be based on quantities of available biomass, access to the site, the type of algae present as well as environmental technical conditions and permits from local authorities. The assessment of this will take place via direct inspection, dialogue with local authorities, overflight with drones and by measurements of how much CO2 emissions the algae make up in water and on the beach, respectively. This preparatory work forms the basis for future consolidated assessment of the potential for reducing greenhouse gases through large-scale removal of macroalgae and eelgrass in the water.
Department of Biology, SDU (BI-SDU) is a subcontractor in the project. The institute focuses on basic and applied research in natural and restored marine ecosystems and focuses specifically on human impacts, including eutrophication and climate change. In BI-SDU, they can provide the evidence-based knowledge and analysis required to test the composition of aquatic biomass and the potential greenhouse gas emissions of methane and CO2, while this material is submerged and degraded. These tasks build on the conclusions from the project Interreg CONTRA, of which BI-SDU is a partner. In BI-SDU, assistant professor (assistant professor) Cintia O. Quintana coordinates the field and laboratory activities, data processing and interpretation. Cintia O. Quintana has more than 12 years of experience in working with Danish marine flora and fauna as well as biogeochemistry and cycles of C, N and P. Thomas Busk, research assistant at SDI-BI and has approx. 3 years of experience, through Interreg CONTRA, with measuring greenhouse gases in the field and providing environmental assessment of beach flushing.
BrainBotics has got their hands on a Jellyfishbot which is a small robot designed to collect floating waste and oil spills. This bot is an efficient and flexible solution to water decontamination of more or less widespread and sheltered areas: ports, marinas, lakes, canals, but also leisure centers, hotel residences and industrial facilities.
Technical Specifications – Dimensions: L 70 cm, l 70 cm, h 50 cm – Weight: approx. 20 kg – Working time: between 4 to 6 hours – Remote control range: >1 km – Maximum speed: 2 knots – Surface: approx. 1000 m²/h (average speed: 1 knot) – Packaging dim. : 76 x 76 x 60 cm / 35
The 80 L net is made of strong mesh fabric (1 mm mesh). Made to measure, it collects floating waste of small dimensions with 10 to 15 cm deep and has a very long lifespan. The net is attached to a removable frame allowing an easy net recovery: there is no need to take the robot out of the water. The net allows to drain the waste during its recovery.
So far the robot has been test in Skive Fjord, were we have collected samples of sea lettuce.
BrainBotics has just been granted a project by EcoInnovation under the Ministry of the Environment. In this project, we will investigate the commercial value and environmental impact of collecting excess algae (aquatic biomass) with robot technology before the biomass begins to decompose.
Collecting seaweed in the water, before it starts to decompose, will avoid emissions of GHG (CH4) which have a high CO2 equivalent and remove excess nutrient (phosphorous & nitrogen) from the ecosystem up to 10 times more efficiently than when seaweed decays on the coastline. Removal of 10.000 tons fresh seaweed avoids methane emissions by an estimated 5.422 tons CO2e and removes 400 tons nitrogen and five tons phosphorous, and lead to additional CO2 reduction when using algae as a sustainable raw material.
Increasing emissions of fertilizers have led to eutrophication and an increased bloom of algae in lakes, fjords and the world’s oceans. When algae are washed up on the beach and decompose, they emit greenhouse gases including CO2, toxins and cause strong odor nuisances in local areas. In addition, high concentrations of algae damage marine ecosystems and adversely affect the fishing and tourism industries, as well as a number of related industries. To avoid this, manual collection of washed-up algae takes place at beaches and coasts.
Collection today is often based on construction machinery that collects biomass of little or no economic value due to the level of degradation and as the biomass has been mixed with sand and other materials. If the biomass is sufficiently fresh and clean, it can be used as a raw material in several product chains, e.g. as biodegradable packaging, for animal feed and as fertilizer. In less pure form, the biomass can be used as a building material, textile and as a CO2 neutral bioenergy source or biochar. Collecting mass deposits of algae has the positive effect that it provides better conditions for reduced local oxygen depletion as well as increased biodiversity in the local benthic fauna, as one removes nutrients, nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P), contained in the seaweed biomass from the marine environment.
Sometimes it is not possible to the real-world evaluation of robotics solutions. This can be due to time, economy or in our case – the weather. In order to mitigate this, a virtual environment representing a test site was programmed in Unity which is a cross-platform game engine developed by Unity Technologies. Simulation is becoming an increasingly important part of robotic application development and validating applications in simulation before deploying to the robot can shorten iteration time by revealing potential issues early. Although the simulated environment in this case is a simplified model of the real world, it can be used to compare the performance of different autonomous navigation methods.
The model of the harbor was based on a drone photo which constituted the model and the underlaying plane of the simulation environment.
3D models of piers surrounding the harbor and boat walks
Virtual waypoints for navigation purpose
WasteShark. The WasteShark was modelled using a 3D CAD-model of the WasteShark-platform which was provided by RanMarine. The steering behavior was modelled to resemble the real platform, making is able to move forwards and backwards while rotating around its own axis.
Collection of algae was simulated by using Unity built-in collision detection. When the WasteShark collided with biomass, this counted as a collection of the biomass. This only happened, when the WasteShark was moving forward representing the opening of the platform which is only at one side.
The size of the WasteShark was scaled to represent the corresponding size in the harbor, based on the drone-photo. The speed of the vessel however was arbitrary, as only comparison between different navigation plans (not the absolute values) are of primary interest here.
The WasteShark has been tested at Fakse Ladeplads in South Zealand at two locations; inside the port and at the corresponding beach. The temperature was between 10-12 degrees, with wind between from 6-8 m/s from south/southwest.
Test at the beach. At Fakse Ladeplads, a lot of algae was found at the beach and in the water around the structures. There is major odor nuisance, caused by algae which is mostly eel grass and beach wrack. Initially the drone was tested using manual control at the beach site. Although we did manage to sail a short tour, the test at the beach had to be aborted after approximate 5 minutes as the wind and current was too strong for the WasteShark to handle. Also, algae got stock in the propellers, leaving the drone with much less thrust. No algae were successfully collected in this test.
Test in the port. After the initial test at the beach, the drone was transport to the nearby port. The port is full of debris, which seems to be mostly eelgrass. In this test, we sailed 3 rounds in the harbor with the drone using remote control. The total sailing time was approximate 2 hours. The Waste Shark proved successful in picking up seaweed from the harbor area, but in many cases also loses the seaweed again. This in particular happens when thee drones sails in reverse, which can be necessary for navigation purposes. In general, it turns out the be fairly difficult to do the navigation tasks related for picking up the algae due to wind and current.
A number of test sites have been investigated and evaluated in this project, mainly in the regions of Langeland, South Zealand including Møn, Skive, Odsherred, and Aarhus. These areas historically have had issues dealing with macro algae. For all sites we have been in dialogue with local authorities (the local municipalities) in order to get an understanding of the size of the issues with macro alga is in the area, and in order to get the relevant permissions.
The types of algae which are most commonly found in ports and beaches in Denmark are:
Eelgrass or seagrass (Zostera marina). Flowering plants (angiosperms) which grow in marine environments. There are about 60 species of fully marine seagrasses. Seagrass are technically not counted as an algae but is often mixed up with algae when washing up on the shores.
Sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca). Individual blades of Ulva can grow to be more than 400 mm (16 in) in size, but this occurs only when the plants are growing in sheltered areas.
Bladder wrack (Fucus vesiculosus). Growing up to 35 inches (90 cm) tall, bladderwrack grows along the coastlines of the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, the North and Baltic Seas, and various waters in Canada and the United States.
Ectocarpus siliculosus which is filamentous brown alga.
Toothed wrack (Fucus serratus). This is a seaweed of the north Atlantic Ocean, known as toothed wrack or serrated wrack
Beach wrack. A term used to describe the accumulation of seaweed, seagrass and other specimens from the sea which collects near the shore and on beaches.
Søren Pallisgaard from BrainBotics presented the RAHIP-project, which is about automated collection of algae and seaweed using robot technology. The main advantages of our approach are:
An increase in the economic value of the biomass collected
A lowering of the required initial investment in machinery
A less invasive collection method, preserving beach areas better
Access to more restricted coastal zones and spaces
A lowering of operating costs due to our robot operating autonomously
A CO2 neutral alternative as our robot can be charged by renewable energy sources
In October, the platform will be tested in Skive Fjord in Northern Jutland, where the robot will be used to collect sea lettuce (Ulva lactuca). In October and November, the robot will be tested for collecting sea grass (Zostera marina) in Odsherred and Møn. The result of the test will data about how much biomass can be collected using robot technology, and how well it performs in operating environment for extended use of time.
Tyge Kjær from Roskilde University informed about the COASTAL Biogas project. The goal of this project is to remove nutrients from the Baltic Sea by digesting washed seaweed into biogas and then using the digestate as biofertilizer. For more information: https://www.coastal-biogas.eu/
RAHIP is supported by the EU project RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance), which is a funding scheme under the EU’s research program.
Smelly piles of rotten seaweed and algae blooms are a growing problem in many parts of the world due to over-fertilization and climate change. New project will use robot technology to harvest and recycle the surplus of seaweed in a sustainable way.
In maritime environments with too much nitrogen and phosphorus, the extreme growth and surplus of seaweed and algae is a growing problem. All over the world, money is spent on collecting, handling and destroying the surplus of seaweed. However, seaweed has many useful properties and can be used as an energy source in biogas plants, as a fertilizer, for insulation and as a raw material in animal feed, in cosmetics or even as a healthy food for humans. Therefore, it makes good sense to collect and use it for something useful, and the global market value is estimated to be up to $ 10 billion. In addition, collecting seaweed can help reduce the amount of nitrogen and phosphorus emitted in the oceans, and bring the marine environment into balance.
Over the next six months, the Dutch company RanMarine and Danish startup BrainBotics will collaborate on collecting seaweed along the Danish coastlines using the innovative drone WasteShark from RanMarine, which is a small autonomous vessel for waste collection in maritime environments.
Søren Pallisgaard from BrainBotics says “Surplus of seaweed and algae is a growing problem, but it is also a resource that we do not utilize. In recent years, robot technology has moved from being focused on industrial manufacturing, to being used as tool in solving a number of environmental problems. With this project, we want to show that technology can be used to remove and recycle surplus of seaweed in a sustainable way”
The initiative is supported by the EU project RIMA (Robotics for Inspection and Maintenance), which is a funding scheme under the EU’s research program.
Employees in the Employment and Integration Administration became more aware of digitisation and robot technology when robot and machine learning expert Søren Tranberg Hansen gave a presentation at Jobcenter Copenhagen. Søren brought the robot Pepper to demonstrate the limitations of the robots: Pepper can find answers to what he’s coded for, but if you ask him a question he’s not prepared for, you won’t get a word out of him. So the reality is far from the horror scenario that we know from the Terminator? The job centre already has good experience in the use of robotics. It’s not a physical robot like Pepper, though. Because in the autumn, the job centre was given ASTA, a programme that can quickly find relevant information in a case. This means that in the long term the job consultants can spend more time on the citizen and less time on the preparation. ASTA is only one initiative out of many in an ambitious digitisation strategy that will be implemented in management in the coming years.
Polaris’ can now guide a user to an optional conference room. The guidance is similar to how it would lead a traveller from one place in an airport to another.
Polaris can now:
Balance while waiting for instructions from a user.
Present the user with an interface, from where different POIs (from the MapsIndoors CMS) are found.
Pictures, text, and location of each PIO can be seen, and when a POI is chosen, the user can ask to be guided to that POI.
The user is then presented with an estimate of the time it will take to go there, and so the journey begins, and the user can follow Polaris to the conference room.
During this ‘journey’ the user can stop and start Polaris, and when arriving at the destination, the user is told so.
Also a new conference room can be added to the MapsIndoors CMS, and shortly hereafter it will appear on the Polaris interface, where it can be selected as a new destination, and a new journey can begin.
RobotUnion will select 20 startups that will be financed with up to €223,000 in cash plus acceleration services. The 20 startups selected will receive €3,800 each equity free in cash and mentoring services in the first 2-month Feasibility Plan stage. The 10 best of these startups will enter in the product acceleration program and will receive up to €120,000. 8 Startups selected from the previous phase will enter the intensive 4-month Business Acceleration program which will finish with a selection of the 4 best startups which will receive up to €100,000 in the final Investment phase. In total, Startups can receive up to €223,000 in cash plus services.
Selected companies would be able to participate in a 16 months online Premium Acceleration Service, led by top Research and Technology Organizations from all over Europe, key world-class digital ecosystem professionals and entrepreneurs.
The Danish Chamber of Commerce is the network for Trade, IT, Industry and Service in Denmark.
On October 3 2018, the Danish Chamber of Commerce opened the doors to Advisor Day 18, which focused on the future labor market and skills. In focus among other things, was n what new technologies mean for the Danish and international labor market and delve into some of the trends in the advisory industry that we are currently witnessing.
Søren Tranberg gave a tech talk on what robotics will impact advisor business.
Søren Tranberg is keynote at MSSM18 organized by the Maritime Development Center
MSSM is an annual conference where the maritime industry meets on safety, health and environment. The Blue Denmark can experience lectures, workshops and presentations. The conference is a great opportunity to meet colleagues across organizations and expand their network in the industry.
The conference’s goal is to gather shipping companies, authorities, research, companies and maritime schools working with the working environment, safety, health, well-being, cooperation, management and the environment at the office and at sea.
You can find lots of inspiration – also at the conference industry exhibition. Here, Blue Denmark shows some of the results that help ensure that the industry can maintain its high level of safety and a good working environment – even in the future.
In the next three years, Robot Union will select 40 start-ups that will develop projects, in the field of robotics, which are linked to the manufacturing, agri-food, health and civil infrastructure industries.
There is a clear need to stimulate European start-ups and SMEs in the robotics sector to develop novel and innovative technology with the potential to open new markets at the international level. The aim of the Robot Union acceleration program is to discover, support and fund innovative projects in the robotics industry.
Robot Union will address the two major barriers that hinder the development and market uptake of robotics technologies for entrepreneurs and start-ups: the elevated setup costs and the lack of awareness of potential benefits of robotics.
The use of robots in digital signage is on the verge of a major breakthrough, as robots can move physically and thereby improve communication and interaction significantly compared to stationary digital terminals. However, existing robot platforms are still difficult for most programmers to use, not suited for human-robot interaction or simply too expensive. This project will revolutionise the market for digital signage by developing a high-quality robot platform featuring state-of-the-art robot navigation algorithms that are easy to use for app programmers everywhere. This will make it fast for non-robot developers to create and maintain new robot applications, which can be used for interactive digital signage, as a tool for wayfinding, information, entertainment and advertising within retail, transport and healthcare. The robot will tap into the market for service robots which is expected to reach USD 23.90 Billion by 2022, at an annual growth rate of 15.18%.
In the future, passengers and staff at airports, hospitals and other logistics hotspots around the world will receive a helping hand from an entire army of autonomous robots which will increase the service level, people flow and safety.
Together we partners, we have successfully received 2 millions dollars in funding from the Danish Innovation Fund.
Today, there are a few thousand robot engineers worldwide, while there are millions of app developers. We allow our robot prototype to let the app developers get to the dish so that it’s just as easy to develop services that work through robots as it’s currently building apps
The current robot prototype is built as an autonomous robot balancing on a ball. The body is one and a half feet high and the head consists of a tablet computer. Interaction with users will work like other digital assistants like Apple Siri or Amazon’s Alexa.
The key finding is that while there may be enough work to maintain full employment to 2030 under most scenarios, the transitions will be very challenging—matching or even exceeding the scale of shifts out of agriculture and manufacturing we have seen in the past.
About 60 percent of occupations, at least one-third of the constituent activities could be automated, implying substantial workplace transformations and changes for all workers.
WHINN is one week with conferences, side events, exhibition, matchmaking and networking activities – all within health and innovation.
At WHINN, you will gain new knowledge, inspiration and insight in the newest research and international trends. Several conferences, events and initiatives are part of WHINN. The result is unexpected encounters and new contacts, which could be the beginning of new business, new collaborations and new opportunities.
Be inspired by new perspectives: WHINN creates meetings between CEOs and end-users and between clinicians as well as decision makers.
Lethal autonomous weapons threaten to become the third revolution in warfare. Once developed, they will permit armed conflict to be fought at a scale greater than ever, and at timescales faster than humans can comprehend. These can be weapons of terror, weapons that despots and terrorists use against innocent populations, and weapons hacked to behave in undesirable ways. We do not have long to act. Once this Pandora’s box is opened, it will be hard to close.
TechBBQ 2017 is setting the bar higher than before: With 2 days, 3,500 participants, 3 stages, and 21 corners, Denmark’s first, oldest and largest tech and innovation summit embraces a wide range of stakeholders from the Danish and international tech startup scene.
Whether it’s creating or enhancing opportunities within the tech startup and scaleup environment, this event may just be for you. TechBBQ is not only a summit but a unique opportunity to experience tomorrow’s technologies while having the chance to connect with your future customer, colleague, boss, investor or co-founder.
On both days, Øksnehallen’s 5000 m2 will be packed with innovative minds and well-known startup, scaleup icons and well known VCs from all over Europe. There will also be well known business angels looking to make new investments in startups. Not to mention tech talents curious about exciting job opportunities.
Advances in technology suggest the world of work is on the brink of a new automation age, in which machines, robots and artificial intelligence graduate from routine tasks on the factory floor to activities across industries, skill sets and pay scales. Based on groundbreaking McKinsey research, this report shows that a staggering 40 percent of Danish working hours could be automated by current technologies.
“The future belongs to those who know how to take advantage of data” was the vision of KL’s Political Summit in Aalborg.
Participants in KL’s Municipal Political Summit in Aalborg got a powerful shot of visions when Alec Ross, technology policy expert, former Innovation Council provides for Hillary Clinton summarized the book ‘The Industries of the Future’. Alec Ross gave substantial input on the role of technology in the welfare state .
BrainBotics supported Aarhus Municipality’s robot on stage during the talk and at the booth on the conference.
A new analysis form McKinsey is an in-depth study on the effects of increased automation:
Advances in robotics, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are ushering in a new age of automation, as machines match or outperform human performance in a range of work activities, including ones requiring cognitive capabilities. In this report, part of our ongoing research into the future of work, we analyze the automation potential of the global economy, the factors that will determine the pace and extent of workplace adoption, and the economic impact associated with its potential.
Friday the 9th of December, the Danish high school Alssundgymnasiet took a trip into the future. The regular schedule was cleared and replaced by workshops and lectures on artificial intelligence and robotics.
Pepper was the center of attention at the event Local Rock Stars in Aarhus. This one-day conference, is a partnership between companied in and around Aarhus. The purpose is to share knowledge and insights with it-professionals and students. Søren Tranberg Hansen from BrainBotics made the final keynote about robotics and AI at the event.
BrainBotics participates with the robot Norma at the Smart City Expo World Congress in Barcelona. On behalf of Aarhus Municipality, BrainBotics have been invited to program their robot to welcome people at the pavilion and to show case some of the many Danish Smart City solutions.