For the first time, a project general assembly has been hold remotely… project tasks are almost completed and project goal almost achieved. The only main open issue is the demonstration in real-environment. Project partners are still optimising individual components and carefully plan the final testing set up accordingly to the available data and taking account the current situation. This was also the main discussion point of the general assembly. Another topic of the meeting was exploitation potentials and plans after project end. Here very helpful advices were given by Advisory board members, which were also participating in the meeting.
The paper “UWB Propagation Characteristics of Human-to-Robot Communication in Automated Collaborative Warehouse” has been presented on the IEEE International Symposium on Antennas and Propagation and North American Radio Science Meeting (https://2020apsursi.org/) that took place online on 6th of June 2020. In it, propagation of UWB Gaussian signal in a model of automated collaborative warehouse is analyzed using ray tracing method. The transmitting antenna is placed on the human body while the received power profiles in warehouse containing empty racks and racks filled with different loads are calculated. This gives rise to estimation of safe communication range between humans and robots.
As many other projects, SafeLog was affected by the coronavirus pandemic … especially travel restrictions hindered us to undertake real-environment tests so far. These tests have therefore been delayed to Automn 2020 – and the project got 6 months more time for that!
The paper “Analysis of Safe Ultrawideband Human-Robot Communication in Automated Collaborative Warehouse” has been presented in the poster session of the 14th European Conference on Antennas and Propagation (EuCAP 2020, https://www.eucap2020.org/) held online in period from 1st to 30th of June 2020.It presents the propagation analysis of ultrawideband Gaussian signal in an automated collaborative warehouse environment where human and robots communicate to ensure that mutual collisions do not occur. The warehouse racks are principally modeled as clusters of metallic (PEC) parallelepipeds, with dimensions chosen to approximate the realistic warehouse. The signal propagation is analyzed using a ray tracing software, with the goal to calculate the path loss profile for different representative scenarios and antenna polarizations. The influence of the rack surface roughness onto propagation is also analyzed. The guidelines for optimum antenna positions on humans and robots for safe communication are proposed according to the simulations results.
The consortium should have the opportunity to organise in the coming months real-environment testing and demonstration in a warehouse of a German company. The project was therefore extended to enable achievement of this final step. In addition, presentation of the SafeLog system is planned at the IROS 2020!
The paper “Modelling of Ultrawideband Propagation Scenarios for Safe Human-Robot Interaction in Warehouse Environment” has been presented on the 23rd International Conference on Applied Electromagnetics and Communications (ICECom 2019) (http://www.icecom.org/) in Dubrovnik, Croatia, on 1st October 2019. It presents an idealized warehouse environment where human and robots are both present and need to communicate to avoid mutual collisions. The warehouse shelves are modelled as metallic (PEC) parallelepipeds, which is the largest obstacle of practical interest, while for communication an UWB Gaussian signal at 3.994 GHz and 468 MHz width is used. The signal propagation is analyzed using ray tracing software, with the goal to determine the range of communication and the optimum antenna configurations. Several scenarios have been analyzed and discussed. It is found that the major influence on the communication range is exhibited by type of polarization of antennas placed on human and robot, while the optimum range is obtained when all the antennas are vertically polarized.
The sixth general assembly of SafeLog was hold in the wonderful Zadar in Croatia on September 26-27, 2019. During the meeting the partners presented the status concerning final developments and optimisations on the individual system components (e.g. SV, FMS, AGV). Major task still open now is to complete integration of the all components, which is planned to be achieved in the coming month at Swisslog premises in Augsburg.
On September 6 and 7, 2018, SafeLog partners met again to review the overall project progress. Beside concrete presentations about the individual tasks achievements and preparation of the second interim report to the European Commission a major topic of the meeting was the finalisation of the preparation for the upcoming demonstration at IROS 2018. All main issues regarding the demonstration set-up are solved so far so the consortium is very optimistic concerning their planed participation in the event and public demonstration.
Already two years that the project is running! Partners met at mid-term on January 25 and 26, in Prague to present progress achieved so far and identify upcoming challenges, and related action plans.
During the first day, the consortium started with a discussion about the system demonstration foreseen at the IROS 2018 and especially safety issues to take care of. In addition, concrete plans for integration of the overall system have been developed. The second day focussed on activities undertaken in the individual work packages in the last months, e.g. progress concerning safety vest. Finally, a fruitful discussion with Advisory Board members took place, with good advices concerning project continuation.
At our first periodical General Assembly Meeting and Workshop Day which took place at the Fraunhofer Institute for Material Flow and Logistics (IML) in Dortmund on June 28 and 29, the state of play for all work packages was discussed intensely. Also at this meeting, the SafeLog Advisory Board members were introduced to the partners and to our proposed work. The consortium is happy to benefit from the vast experience and knowledge of our Advisory Board!
The next day, an in-depth presentation on the software and System Architecture used at our partner organizations and a discussion on Safety Concept and the Safety Vest followed. The target that we aim for is to have a clear vision of the working environment and conditions very soon and find possible safety approaches to work on for the next 42 months. Our hardware will be set up in a way so that safety is intrinsically included in the design as much as possible and doesn’t rely on systems performing always as foreseen. An intense discussion about the different choices of communication and the possible channels to be used closed the discussion.
Finally, we visited the labs of the IML to get to know the institute and the research being done there. Especially we focused on the possible demonstration setup.