The product design tour

In this tour we show our latest product design developments.

You will see a tractor that autonomously picks and unloads pallets, a smart vehicle with enhanced driving comfort on speed bumps, drivetrains optimisations, and much more …

These demonstrations are presented in Leuven, Hasselt & Kortrijk:

Fast drone-based automated inventory taking

The demo shows a cost-effective indoor localization system for drones so it can automatically perform a warehouse inventory. See our drone fly fast through the racks and perform an inventory task in a few seconds. Several sensors are used to track and control the drone and to avoid collision and obstacles.

Optimal motion planning made easy

With our Rockit software we can easily optimise the planning of the movement of a system like a car, crane, or production machine, …. Some examples are going from A to B as quickly as possible or as energy-efficiently without colliding with still or moving obstacles. We demonstrate  the easy planning and show the results on a scale model of a crane.

Learning control for self-optimized operation of machines

The demo shows auto-configuration of complex machines that execute repetitive tasks. This way an operator does not need to manually optimise the operation of the machine for each new task. Short learning cycles allow the machine to produce at high quality from the beginning of each assignment.

Fast and consistent early stage cost estimation

Design decisions are often based on unstructured information or stored as tacit knowledge in people’s minds. The demonstration presents a solution to avoid long discussions and costly iterations for early stage design choices, by enabling well-informed decisions, based on the output of a formal early stage cost and performance estimation process.

Co-development of control software and embedded platform

In the traditional design approach, control software is initially designed taking into account the behaviour of the physical system, but neglecting resource constraints of the embedded platform on which the software will be deployed. Because of this, a lot of integration problems are encountered when deploying the control software on the embedded platform. This results in a substantial prolongation of the required development time of the control software and costly iterations of the embedded platform. To improve this inefficient design process, Flanders Make developed a method and supporting tool that allows a co-development of control software and embedded platform. This method and supporting tool will be demonstrated on the design of a small autonomous vehicle.

Faster machines through mechanism and motion optimization

This demonstration shows how model based design optimization tools can be exploited to design faster, more performant machines. Starting from a legacy design, a flexible multibody model is created which allows both structural topology and motion optimization. The obtained design is run side-by-side with the legacy design to demonstrate the tangible performance improvements.

Autonomous pallet picking with a tractor and front loader

Autonomous working vehicles will play an important role in the new agricultural revolution, where smart technologies will increase the productivity of the crops, ensuring a higher environmental sustainability.

The demonstration shows an autonomously working tractor with front loader that can pick up a pallet and unload it at a selected position. The open control platform of tractor is capable of detecting the pallet load and carefully manipulating transport goods, while halting for people on its driving path.

Reduction of motor peak torque and energy consumption in highly dynamic drivetrains using magnetic springs

Drivetrains with oscillating loads require oversizing of motors due to the required high peak torques, which leads to overall higher investment costs of the motor and of the consumed energy. By introducing the magnetic spring technology, the motor peak torque requirements can be lowered and the cost can be reduced by selecting an appropriate motor size.

In this demonstration, we show two implementations of magnetic springs to reduce the peak motor torque. Both demonstrations show the actuation of a four-bar-linkage being representative for industrial drivetrains with highly oscillating loads.

In the Electrical machine with integrated magnetic spring (EMMS), the magnetic spring and the motor share the rotor core and the housing, which results in a small and compact size.

In the motor with separate adaptive magnetic spring, the amplitude of the magnetic spring torque can be adapted to reduce the peak torque over the entire speed range of the drivetrain.

Drivetrain optimisation tool

This easy-access model-based design tool for virtual engineering and optimisation of electromechanical drivetrains starts from existing CAD drawings and can realize a significant reduction in peak and RMS torque, and an increase in speed without compromising motion accuracy.

Speed bump body control

Vehicle manufacturers are always looking for ways to improve the driving experience. Our smart car with in-wheel motors and active shock absorbers offers extra comfort on speed bumps and poor road surface, compared to a more classic separate control.

Design process of drivetrain taking into account uncertain conditions

This demo will highlight how an adapted design tool can help engineers to take uncertain values of design parameters into account during the design process.

We demonstrate this through the design process of an electric vehicle drivetrain with “real-word” uncertainties such as different driving behaviour, changing payload or changing environmental conditions.

The production optimisation tour

In this tour we show our latest production optimisation developments.

You will learn how we can automatically detect assembly issues or how to assess the quality of work instructions, see a mobile robot autonomously picks up loads or learn in-hand manipulation skills, and much more …

These demonstrations are presented in Leuven, Hasselt & Kortrijk:

Adaptive and flexible 3D scanning for fast product inspection

3D scanners are very slow when scanning complex geometries. At Flanders Make we have developed algorithms to make a 3D scanner more than 25% faster by using the product’s CAD information and adaptively change the scanning strategy.

We demonstrate our technique using multiple product designs and highlight the inspection time gain of our adaptive method compared to existing fixed scanning method.

Teaching robot force control by demonstration with a haptic device

A robot can teach new in-hand manipulation skills, using the force-feedback of a haptic device. The demo shows how a sensitive robotic task, in our example a connector insertion, is learned through training & processing data of this feedback.

Assembly issues detector

The assembly of a mechanical product can be a problem when there are assembly flaws in the design. Algorithms can be of value to analyse the design to detect potential issues in an early stage. The demo shows the assembly of a badly designed gearbox and how an algorithm analysis can automatically identify the issues.

Human - robot task allocation from CAD

Based on the CAD- file of an assembled product, we are capable to generate all possible assembly sequences. These sequences can subsequently be used to perform an integrated sequencing and task allocation routine. This offers significant performance gains over task allocation based on fixed routines.

Digital Work Instruction quality measurement

In this demonstration we show a method to assess the quality of digital work instructions using sensor data of an assembly task

Autonomous mobile (un)loading of machines

This demo shows the capabilities of mobile robot infrastructure, aimed at enabling research for mobile manipulation, assembly and inspection. We show an automated unloading of a production machine using a mobile robot. The openness of the infrastructure is demonstrated by showing flexibility in the choice of the underlying sensing and control technology that is used to navigate the robot.

Products pose estimation with automated and cost effective AI Vision Technology

Accurate pose estimation of industrial products systems, e.g. bin picking, are very challenging and expensive. We've developed techniques based on Artificial Intelligence and cost-effective cameras with 6 degrees of freedom to pose estimation of products.

The power of these techniques are demonstrated and we show how to solve pose estimation under different scenarios.

Ergonomic & smart load manipulator

Industrial load manipulators help operators to lift different kinds of loads. However, the available load manipulators are heavy to use and require extensive physical efforts from the operators, causing serious health issues. We have developed technologies and techniques to make the industrial load manipulators lighter and easier to use.

We demonstrate an industrial, one-axis load manipulator with augmented vision and motorized systems, so operators can apply minimum forces to perform a load manipulation.

Ergonomics analysis and improvement of an industrial workcell

This demonstrator showcases the process of improving the ergonomics of an operator working in the industrial workplace. It aims at showing how the ergonomic tools developed at Flanders Make can be used to assess and improve the ergonomics of an operator in production line.

Crop processor assembly with state tracker

An assembly state tracker increases productivity and quality of assembly operations. We equip an assembly operation with a top view camera and give the operator a smart glass. The instruction sequence is controlled by the state tracker that combines images from the top view and smart glass camera. The state tracker can be turned on and off, to demonstrate the productivity effect.

Creation of digital work instructions made easy

The time to create digital work instructions can be reduced significantly. Our software allows to generate work instructions from information available in a CAD model, and provide the possibility for operators to provide feedback on the work instructions, which can then be used to improve the overall quality.

Flexible - auto reconfigurable assembly cell with virtual programming and commissioning

Automated assembly for small series becomes economically interesting thanks to automatic reconfiguration and the use of virtual programming and commissioning from robots. Low engineering effort and reduced downtime play an important role.

The demo consists of the physical assembly cell equipped with robot, a virtual version and PC with the 3D digital twin. The "training" of the robot is done in a 3D virtual environment that allows to program the cell using the virtual robot. The instruction set is first validated within the digital twin and then executed on the physical cell.

Flanders Make Covid developments

Flanders Make used its broad technological knowledge to work out, within a very short time frame, concrete solutions to the many Covid-19 challenges. We have invested in projects in which medical and protective equipment are developed and in projects focusing on technologies to further social distancing and to recognise potentially sick people.

Remote operator support (in COVID-19 constraints)

Companies are reconfiguring work spaces with an eye toward social distancing and employee safety. Remote assistance technology can be a helpful solution. With this technology an observer assists or follows a co-worker through smartphones, tablets and smart glasses with 'augmented/mixed reality' capabilities, as if they would be in the same room. With this demo we want to highlight the potential not only for industrial use but also for educational and health organisations.

Robust control for rapidly developed medical ventilator

During the covid-19 crisis, hospitals faced a shortage of lifesaving ventilator machines. Flanders Make helped in the development of a medical ventilator designed for fast production. We used our industry expertise to strengthen the project, by helping with controller development and testing, and by adding safety features to monitor the operation and trigger warnings when needed.

UWB based Social Distancing

As employees start to return to work after lockdown, one of the main challenges they’re facing is social distancing. Flanders Make developed a social distancing alarm, in record time, which warns the wearer in less than a second when he or she needs to take more distance.

The easy to install system is based on Ultra Wide Band technology that Flanders Make has already successfully applied in developments for self-driving vehicles. It does not require a fixed infrastructure, works entirely locally, both indoors and outdoors, and it respects employee privacy.

Vision social distancing and crowd monitoring

This vision based social distancing tool was developed at Flanders Make and demonstrates a markerless tool for social distance monitoring, using multiple cameras. As well as a more generic solution with only one camera. In both cases, a warning is given when the social distance is not respected in the monitored zone.

CORELSA - Remote Auscultation of Lung Sounds

Auscultations with a stethoscope are essential for the assessment and the follow up of patients with respiratory syndromes. The main problems with auscultations are that they are time consuming and direct contact with the patient and the use of a stethoscopes are possible ways of infections.

Our team of engineers, physicians and biologists, developed a remote stethoscope system. With this system it is possible to conduct remote auscultations of a large number of patients without getting in direct contact to them.  The auscultation units can be controlled via a central computer from which the physician can remotely acquire and analyze auscultation recordings.

Elevated Body Temperature

An elevated body temperature is one of the key symptoms of Covid-19. We developed a thermal screening system to measure temperature of a flow of people by means of infrared cameras. Our system avoids some of the inaccuracies of temperature estimation: correct measurement procedure, avoid influence of movements or varying distances, …