October 22, 2020

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Robotics and IoT, key in optimising manufacturing’s crane operations

Robotics researchers from the Queensland University of Technology are working with a Brisbane-based technology company in order to advance the development of the world’s first remote-controlled load-management system, which removes human held taglines for crane operations.

According to a recent press release, the researchers will look at how robotics will transform the manufacture, operation and use of the company’s R-Series load-management system.

This system is already being used for projects around the world.

About the initiative

The team is taking a multifaceted approach in identifying ways to further develop the systems.

The aim of the project is to make a traditional piece of equipment, like a crane, and turn it into a smart robot.

The new device will enable the wind farm industry to install wind turbine blades more safely and in more challenging environments.

Currently, it is not easy to install a blade, up to 100m in length, from a moving ship in high winds.

Professor Matt Dunbabin is working on the ways to improve the control system for the device.

Meanwhile, Dr Chris Lehnert is looking at how robotics can be used in the manufacture of the device and data analytics research.

Associate Professor Richi Nayak will be using machine learning to understand how the system’s performance could improve, and the Institute for Future Environments will improve the energy use.

The CEO of the company shared that the two-year project will bring together experts in robotics and data analytics to further develop their R-Series systems.

To be involved in a project to adapt the development and manufacturing of the R-Series through the use of robotics is a compelling concept that has enormous potential.

Aside from enabling unprecedented safety for crane operations, the R-Series also improves efficiency and productivity.

The objective is for the product to be used all around the world. With the support and innovative expertise of the partners, the company is confident of achieving this goal.

Utilising technology

Digital transformation is the use of new, fast and frequently changing digital technology to solve problems. This includes Hybrid Cloud Computing in Internet of Things.

In this project, the researchers will be using sensors on the equipment, which will allow the performance of the cranes to be optimised.

This includes investigating ways to improve the energy management and storage capabilities of the device.

Industry 4.0 uses transformative technologies to connect the physical world with the digital world.

It is also characterised by the increased use of robotics, automation and data analytics, making it an exciting time to be involved in constructions and manufacturing.

By embracing digitalisation and integrating advanced manufacturing technologies such as smart robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT), the company will create and export new flexible load-management solutions that can be seamlessly integrated and applied across multiple sectors.

Together with the University, they will change industries because they see the benefits that their manufacturing research will create, not just for Australia but also globally.