Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Goran Vasiljevic and Edin Koco participated in the kick-off meeting of the new LARICS project ADELE organized in the Ford Research Centre in Aaachen. This was the opportunity to introduce our side better and to discuss with our partners from Ford first steps to be taken in the project. Being primarily focused on the LNT (Lean NOx Trap) models, the task of the project is to establish methods and algorithms for optimal transfer of the measured data into the existing models using the evolutionary learning methods. Aachen is a very attractive place to be with the famous Aachen cathedral (Dom), built by Charlemagne in the 8th century, being for centuries the coronation church of more than 30 German kings.
LARICS researcher Edin Koco spent one month in India with Croatian company HRID d.o.o. He was involved in inspection tasks of reactor pressure vessel (RPV) in Kudankulam nuclear power plant located in south India. Collaboration between LARICS and HRID resulted in development of software package FIONA for controlling the reactor inspection system. The software visualizes the RPV and inspection system in 3D and allows remote control for secure navigation of the inspection system and ensures collision free scan trajectory generation. During his visit to India Edin provided software support during the inspection process for any unexpected problems that arose during the inspection.
LARICS PhD student Goran Vasiljevic and LARICS industry collaborator Marko Cukon were attending the international exhibition SEA FAIR that was held in Tehran, Iran. Goran presented the exploration robot for fire fighting units that was developed within a two-year project financed by the Croatian Science Foundation. A short report about attendance of Croatian exhibitors on the Iran Sea Fair was published in the Croatian daily newspapers Vecernji list.
CANape is an all-round tool for Electronic Control Unit (ECU) calibration. With CANape, one can solve all necessary tasks in this field – from functional development of the software to rapid prototyping solutions and the production-ready ECU. This tool can be useful at the work desk, on the test bench or on test drives. It can be also used in data logging, parameter calibration, ECU and vehicle diagnostics or verification and visualization of object recognition algorithms for driver assistance systems. As a result of the presentation about CANape held on FER on May 21, Vector Informatik, the distributor of CANape SW, decided to donate one CANape user license to researchers on FER. CANape is installed and maintained in LARICS (interested parties should contact Goran Vasiljevic).
Robot RJET 111 developed by Inteco Robotics, Zagreb in collaboration with LARICS has been successfully transported from Zagreb to the thermal power plant (TPP) Plomin and placed on the edges of the channel for supplying sea water for cooling. A 4.5 meters wide robot with a cleaning tool composed of several sections of high pressure water nozzles for hydrodynamic treatment of the bottom and the sides of the channel. Advanced control allows RJET 111 to move along a 2 kilometres long winding channel with a maximum speed of 150 m/h. First tests with a robot on the site indicate that all control functions work as planned. Congratulations to Matko Orsag (LARICS), and Kristijan Brkic (Inteco) who worked in implementation of the control part.
Prof. Zdenko Kovacic, Goran Vasiljevic and Frano Petric spent two days in Schio, Italy performing experiments with a new marker-less SLAM algorithm using the fusion of maps obtained by lasers mounted on the Euroimpianti laser-guided vehicles (autonomous forklifts). The processing of acquired data yielded first marker-less localization results which seemed accurate enough for usual industrial environments.
Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic and his team visited our Faculty to express support to the initiative of building a new Faculty Innovation Center which would employ young doctors of science in order to boost the Croatian ICT and EE industry by delivering advanced and competitive solutions for future globally concurrent products. For this purpose, the exhibition of a dozen of innovations developed at FER was prepared and one of the exhibits was the exploration and inspection robot for fire fighting units developed in our Lab. The interest which the Prime Minister showed in the robot and the attention of media motivate us to keep searching for funds to continue development of this robot.
Starting on April 15, 2013 LARICS and Inteco Robotics Zagreb signed the contract with a goal to develop a robot R-JET 111 for hydrodynamic treatment of algae in the channel of the Thermal Power Plant Plomin. R-JET 111 is a remotely controlled robot which will operate on a 2 km long channel that connects TPP Plomin and the Adriatic sea. The LARICS research team is responsible for development, implementation and testing of the control system for R-JET 111.
LARICS and our industrial partner Hrid NDT Zagreb signed three contracts for R&D collaboration on robots for inspection tasks in nuclear power plants. The first contract is about development of the control system of the RCP manipulator for ultrasonic testing of welds of the main pump in the VVER-1200 nuclear power plant. The second one deals with development of control software for SGIS-D manipulator used for testing of pipes of a steam generator. The third one is concerned with development of control of the RPV manipulator for inspection of the reactor vessel VVER-1200.
LARICS successfully finished a two year project named “Electronic differential for small electrical vehicle” funded by the Croatian Science Foundation (HRZZ) and EXOR. The result of the project is electronic differential, comprising the traction control system (TCS), the anti-lock braking system (ABS) and the electronic stability control (ESC). Along with simulation conducted on nonlinear car model, experiments were also conducted on the laboratory system developed for testing TCS, as well as on the electric car developed by Croatian company DOK-ING.
HRID d.o.o. Zagreb and LARICS are working together on the project of modernization of the Steam Generator Inspection System (SGIS). The goal of the project is to build a new improved version of SGIS with modular system design by using Beckoff intelligent peripheral units communicating over EtherCAT, instead of one central control unit used before. Goran Vasiljevic is a key LARICS person in this development.
The robotics enthusiast, Boris Anic-Curko, also the owner of Inovatic ICT d.o.o., Zagreb, visited our laboratory and donated one EmoRo mobile robot (EmoRo IR Radar) for professional testing and evaluation. A brand new series of EmoRo mobile robots has been just put on the market by Inovatic. Many times Boris was helping our students to make electronic modules using the SMD technology, and now we were delighted to help Boris with our professional opinion, particularly when it was quite obvious that EmoRo robot looked very impressive.
On May 22nd Prof. Zdenko Kovacic held the presentation of the robot R-JET 062 at the MIPRO 2012 MIPRO-INOVA – Innovative High-Tech Products and Services track held in Opatija, Croatia. The intention of the organizers was to gather presenters from industry and academia who have some innovative solutions of potential commercial value. Our research partner Inteco d.o.o. wanted to present their robot for hydrodynamic treatment of concrete and metal surfaces from a new R-JET robot series.
The Croatian Chamber of Economy has awarded the annual prizes Zlatna kuna for the best achievements in the Croatian economy in 2012. The prize for Innovation was given to INTECO ROBOTICS for the development of Autonomous mobile robots for hydrodynamic treatment of concrete and metal surfaces – the R Jet – 062. It was a special moment for our Laboratory, especially for our Ph.D. students Matko Orsag and Kristijan Brkić, who were the key developers of the advanced remote control system for this robot. More information about the ceremony and other details you can find at: Inteco robotics and Croatian Chamber of Economy (HGK).
VIDI e-nnovation Awards are organized annually by VIDI Magazine and Ruđer Bošković Institute. For the year 2011 the members of the evaluation committee have decided that the Nikola Tesla Silver Egg Award goes to Inteco Robotics for the originality of the R-Jet 062 Robot Advanced Control System. Being developed by our Ph.D. students Matko Orsag and Kristijan Brkic in collaboration with colleagues from Inteco, it represents an excellent example of successful partnership between academia and industry. A broadcast made by Privredni.hr television team shows a story about this collaboration where people from LARICS and INTECO ROBOTICS gave short interviews. You can see the story at the following link.
Let us just mention that in October 2011 the robot R Jet – 062 also received the ARCA Innovation Award and FIRI Diploma for Innovation at the 9th International Innovation Exhibition – ARCA held at the National University Library in Zagreb.
LARICS and INTECO d.o.o. Zagreb signed a one-year contract to work together on the R&D project “Control of a robot for hydrodynamic processing of concrete and metal surfaces“. The project consists of two parts – improving the existing robot prototype R-JET 061, and developing a first commercial robot with improved control characteristics R-JET 062. Both partners have prepared a collaborative project application that was submitted to the state agency BICRO – IRCRO. As a part of this application, a one-year annex to the aforementioned contract was signed whose aim is to develop some advanced control features of the robot.
LARICS and HRID d.d. Zagreb signed a four-months contract to work together on the project “Control system for a reactor vessel inspection manipulator“. The project consist of two parts – making an application for advanced servo control of the robot, and an application for robot guidance and 3D visualisation of robot-based inspection. The manipulator to be controlled is built in San Antonio, USA. The robot control system uses the state-of-the-art servo controller Aerotech A3200.
LARICS took part in the presentation of a robot for hydrodynamic processing of concrete elements that was built by the Croatian company INTECO, Zagreb. LARICS built a command console for that robot. Demonstration carried out at the location of the hydro power plant Varazdin was very successful and plans for future collaboration between INTECO and LARICS were discussed during and after the event.
It is our great pleasure that Ziegler d.o.o. Zagreb has decided to engage LARICS R&D team to develop a program simulator for training of firemen working with the command console for pumps on the Ziegler`s fire fighting vehicles. We beleive that this is only a beginning of a fruitful long-term collaboration. You can see below the vehicle manufactured for the Zagreb Airport (the courtesy of Ziegler).
Our long-term collaboration with Croatian company Exor Control Engineering, Zagreb, has been confirmed by signing a new contract for the year 2007. Main LARICS contributions are expected in the improvement of the previously developed systems for paper machine control.