Artificial Intelligence is an essential technology in the context of Industry 4.0 and 5.0:   AI-enhanced systems execute complex tasks together with people or support people in the execution of complex tasks. Artificial Intelligence can also contribute to sustainable production and sustainable products.

Visual of how AI can be used in an industrial environment

In our view, in the smart environments of the future, people and AI systems, machines robots,  self-driving vehicles, etc. ) will continue to work together, each with their own strengths. These smart environments can be found in a factory or in the field (with remotely distributed assets) and can be found in manufacturing, in agriculture, in logistics, ...

For example, in the manufacturing industry, there are "smart factories of the future” with smart machines (robots, production machines, industrial machine parks, drones, autonomous vehicles) and flexible production lines composed of flexible production units in which robots and people collaborate. People, machines and robots will need to be flexible, switch tasks and learn new tasks quickly, and respond to unforeseen and changing circumstances. 

The new AI methodologies derived from our research are broadly applicable in all these smart environments.  

We demonstrate them in the following use cases, mainly taken from manufacturing industry, and from environments with distributed assets in the field:

Robots collaborating with people

Robots are, generally speaking, fast and accurate in the execution of repetitive tasks, while people excel in tasks that require reasoning skills and flexibility. In small-series production and situations where there is a great deal of variation, the operator will continue to play a crucial role, given the large flexibility and complexity. This requires close collaboration between robots and people, as well as technologies enabling robots and people to work together safely and efficiently:

  1. Energy-efficient robots reacting fast in a changing environment and collaborating with each other and with people.
  2. Robots (automated vehicles) navigating safely in industrial environments and intuitively instructable by people.
  3. AI systems assisting operators in executing their tasks
Flexible production in the manufacturing industry

In the manufacturing industry, there is increasing demand for production of customized products at the cost of traditional mass production.  Consequently, companies need good process monitoring, optimally controlled processes, flexible production lines, people with the right expertise, etc.  On top of the current trend toward more digitalization and automation, AI makes it possible to cope with large variability and complexity.

·Smart Maintenance and Prognostic Health Management of industrial assets

Machines in factories or in the field are monitored for an optimal planning of their maintenance and to achieve a high availability during their entire lifecycle.  

Robots Collaborating with People

Energy efficient Robots in a Dynamic Environment  

Assembly with collaborating robots

AI-Assisted Assembly Operator

Intuitively instructable autonomous industrial vehicles

Safe Autonomous industrial vehicles: People Detection and Tracking

Flexible production in the manufacturing industry

Control of complex production systems and quality control of products - 3D Printing

Optimalisation of flexible production lines

Control of a machinepark: similar machines learning from each other

Smart Maintenance and Prognostic Health Management of industrial assets

Smart Monitoring: data-efficient and energy-efficient real-time anomaly detection on industrial machines

Preventive Maintenance and Prognostic Health Management of industrial machines