Robot, Cobot and Computer Vision: the Industry 4.0 technologies

In the industry of the future humans and machines will collaborate together even more: computers, robots and other technological tools, like AI or computer vision systems, won’t be any more ‘the tools of the trade’ but active collaborators in the production. This industrial revolution is already happening nowadays thanks to the use of automated mobile robots and cobots with integrated computer vision.

There are numerous advantages for industries for using robots: production efficiency, process automation, precise movements, cost reduction, and resources optimization. New generation robots and cobots are also easy to program and can be fully integrated into the existing production processes.

Cobots, collaborative robots for industry 4.0

Collaborative robots, also known as cobots, are versatile instruments that can have a key role in the automation of production processes, even for small businesses. In order to be more efficient, cobots need to be integrated with other key elements, like computer vision systems. A high-quality computer vision system is crucial to use a cobot to carry out operational tasks and quality controls. 

A cobot can move independently thanks to computer vision: the robot can detect a landmark that guides its movements, localize a product to perform a pick-and-place task, read a barcode or avoid an obstacle. A cobot can be used for assembling, packaging, storage or logistics

Thanks to high-resolution cameras, a collaborative robot can identify patterns and perform quality controls to detect anomalies and promptly intervene on the production line. The cobot evolution will bring to a real collaboration between humans and machines: analyzing the captured images, the robot will understand what the worker needs for a specific task. 

Cobots can perform tasks that can be potentially dangerous. For example, in a chemical firm, there are tasks where there is a real risk for intoxication or contamination. The global pandemic taught us that cobots can be used for sanitizing rooms.  

Using Machine Learning Technologies, cobots can have a real collaborative role. They can collect data to monitor machines, perform predictive maintenance, prevent errors, and also make decisions based on objectives and verified data. 

Mobile robots with Computer Vision

Thanks to the integrated computer vision systems and machine learning technologies, Automated Guided Vehicles, known as Agv, can perform different tasks, change their paths and avoid obstacles. They can carry heavy loads, avoiding worthless tasks for the operators. They can walk long distances, never stop, carry heavy goods without suffering fatigue. 

Agv robots can move independently thanks to physical landmarks or guidelines that guide their movements through the path. The main risk is that markers need to be regularly replaced. 

Lgv robots (Laser Guided Vehicles) are innovative mobile robots that can navigate thanks to a laser that scans the entire area and they don’t need landmarks. Versatile and flexible, Lgv robots use sensors and cameras to freely move around. 

MAS Elettronica solutions for Computer Vision and robotics 

MAS Elettronica designs and creates specific solutions for AI and Computer Vision, fundamental elements for mobile and collaborative robotics.  In our catalog, we can highlight: 

If you need more information about MAS Elettronica solutions,

 

 


2021, numerous successes for MAS: technological solutions, partnerships and events

As 2021 is gone, it’s time to do a wrap-up of the year. It has been an intense year, full of events, partnerships and new technological solutions. We stop just for a brief moment, as we want to revisit what happened in 2021 but we are ready to look forward to continuing in our mission: build a technological and innovative future. 

2021 events to show our technological solutions

  • July 2021: the first webinar for our clients organized by MAS and KOAN. During the event, “Usage of Linus and Yocto on MAS SBC MINA i.MX8 platform”, Marco Cavallini, CEO of KOAN, and Sandro Mascetti, CEO of MAS, showed step by step how Yocto works. Yocto is an open-source project born in 2010 to help developers to design personalized systems based on Linux. 
  • December 2021: our LIFCL Evaluation Board was presented during the workshop organized by Arrow Italy and Lattice Semiconductors. 
  • Ospiti di TTM Technology: Stoccarda Vision (October 2021) and Sicurezza 2021 (Milan, November 2021) with SBC NVIDIA Lightfront, the board designed for J CUBE Inc which have the performance and capabilities needed to run modern AI workloads, making it possible to add advanced AI to any product.

2021: strategic partnership for MAS Elettronica

  • Partnership with Schurter Electronics to expand the Embedded market in Italy. It is a collaboration aimed at offering better hardware and software support in a competitive and demanding market. MAS supports the sales and operations areas in the Embedded division of Kevin Schurter Spa.
  •  Partnership with TTM Technology to develop AI solutions for computer vision. The common objective for MAS and TMM is to realize the best solution on the market, strengthening multimedia applications and integrating computer vision into AI solutions. 
  • Partnership with First View to distribute MAS products on the US market and to develop new solutions. 
  • Strategic partnership with LASER NAVIGATION for the NVIDIA solutions with the SophyAI software. The collaboration is aimed at sharing specific knowledge and proposing Made in Italy technological solutions for AI, both hardware and software. 

2021: new competencies and technological solutions 

2021 has been an important year full of innovations for MAS Elettronica. We have developed numerous technological solutions, offering valuable opportunities to our clients to develop innovative and efficient products.  

Among our new products, we would like to highlight

  • MAS LIFCL Evaluation Board: the evaluation board for developers, realized with Arrow Italia and Lattice Semiconductors, to evaluate applications’ performance while programming;
  • SBC FRIDA IMX8M: SBC based on the NXP integrated multicore processor i.MX 8M Family: the solution with complete modularity.  
  • NVIDIA SBC Lightfront® AI for JCUBE Inc: this SBC board hosts the nVidia Jetson NANO and XAVIER SOMs which have the performance and capabilities needed to run modern AI workloads, making it possible to add advanced AI to any product. 
  • CPU ANITA IMX8M NANO: a general-purpose system on module compliant with SMARC 2.0. Designed to work in Industrial, Automotive and Consumer environments.
  • CPU AURORA IMX8M PLUS: a general-purpose SOM designed in SMARC 2.0. format and specialized in AI Main applications are Medical, Industrial, Automotive, Consumer and AI.
  • IMX8M e NVIDIA technologies. 

Discover our latest solutions 

We are always available for any questions or requests.

 

 


Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept: why it is important for your project

Designing and realizing a new and successful product, software or service could be a bet, but we don’t necessarily need to appeal to fortune for an idea to be winning. The most efficient way is to elaborate a Proof of Concept (POC): a theoretical planning exercise to test a product’s feasibility that can include concrete elements like a prototype or a pilot. 

The meaning of Proof of Concept

Proof of Concept is a conceptual prototype to evaluate the potential development of a new idea and its investments. It is a simulation of a concept, followed by a real one with testing. To implement a POC it is necessary to draft the project’s objectives and its technical specifications and to create a functional environment where to test the Master Project as it would be real. 

There are other terms often used when speaking about POC: prototype, pilot, and MVP (Minimum Viable Product). They are not synonymous with Proof of Concept but steps of the same process. Once the POC has demonstrated the feasibility of the concept, the next steps could be: 

  • a prototype: a real model of the product; 
  • a pilot: a product released for a small audience;
  • a Minimum Viable Product (MVP): a product with basic features and moderate costs to test the market and receive feedback from clients. 

Prototyping, the concrete element of Proof of Concept

Building a prototype is an important step in the development process as the concept becomes real and it is like a tailored suit. 

MAS Elettronica offers a rapid prototyping service of boards planned in two or three weeks. The prototype objective is to implement the Proof of Concept and at the same time define the technical requirements to produce the boards. A functioning model can highlight the product potentialities and also allow prompt intervention to solve possible criticalities before the final production.  

Among the advantages of prototyping, we can state: 

  • the reduction of defects or errors, 
  • the opportunity to improve the product thanks to the prototype testing, 
  • cost and time optimization, 
  • saving-investment.

Full Custom Production

If the prototype is tailored-made, also the production is customizable. At MAS, the entire production process is curated by our specialized experts and by our valuable partners: from the Proof of Concept to prototyping, from board testing (ICT and functional) to the production and the quality control and packaging. 

Once the POC is done, we study the ideal product to realize the client project. We realize a prototype in a short period to rapidly test functionalities and efficacy, we analyze the results and we promptly take actions to improve the quality of the product.

Personalized testing 

Every project is unique, every client is unique: for this reason, testings are personalized to guarantee the best results. Boards are tested in every component to ensure full operation and technical compliance. The functional tests are carried out through systems of tests provided by the clients or through our proprietary and innovative testing platform, MAS Mastester, developed by the Test Engineering Team of MAS Elettronica. The planning of the test fixture is realized inside MAS.

Are you interested in our customizable services?

 

 


IoT Applications Environmental Sustainability

IoT applications and AI systems: the new frontier for environmental sustainability

Today more than ever environmental sustainability is a crucial topic in international debates. To pursue the ambitious goals for a sustainable future it is fundamental to implement new technologies, like the Internet of Things (IoT) and Artificial Intelligence (AI). IoT applications and AI devices can help man to improve life quality and the environment where he lives. 

IoT, applications for renewable energies

With the rapid growth of renewable energies, the energy sector has become more dynamic. It transformed consumers into producers and created a capillary distribution network. These factors led to important changes to network management with more inspections and monitoring activities to evaluate supply availability. IoT devices can support companies in this transition by collecting real-time data with intelligent sensors. This analytic approach makes consumers more conscious and stimulates them to act responsibly. 

Renewable energies production often relies on weather conditions. If we think about a solar or wind power plant, the weather is an unpredictable factor that man cannot control. IoT systems can monitor plants, organize and distribute energy if the green energy is not sufficient and they can predict the plant functioning.

IoT applications to fight environmental pollution   

IoT applications are fundamental to monitoring air quality and environmental pollution. Thanks to AI sensors, it is possible to promptly detect problems, like a gas leak, send alerts and take immediate action. IoT integrated systems collect data in real-time and upload them in a cloud service to be remotely analyzed from anywhere. Using the most advanced Machine Learning technologies, it is possible to train the algorithm to analyze selected types of data, like PM10 levels, and detect anomalies in recurrent patterns. 

To reduce atmospheric pollution, it is fundamental to intervene in automotive technologies and viability. In the first case, new technologies allow cars to be more efficient. Regarding road viability, traffic lights, using Computer Vision technology, can improve traffic flows and reduce queues

Drones are suitable devices for monitoring environmental pollution, especially in impervious areas or when is required prolonged observation. They can send high-quality images and videos in real-time, monitor vegetation state of health by measuring photosynthesis activity, detect air pollution or produce 3D images to analyze hydrogeological risks.   

We need to mention also light pollution, which is maybe less apparent, but it can reach high levels in big cities. Using AI sensors, that activate lights when needed, it is possible to manage efficiently public and private illumination, avoiding unnecessary energy consumption. 

IoT and AI systems to monitor water quality

Beyond green energy and environmental pollution, IoT and AI technologies can help to improve water quality. In the Baltic Sea, for example, they are using AI devices to analyze leakages of dangerous substances from chemical weapons that are on the seabed, threatening flora and fauna. In Holland, they have designed an AI robot that can pick up cigarette butts on the beaches. 

By using AI and IoT sensors, it is also possible to monitor oceans' seawater and their populations and discover illegal acts, like spillage of toxic industrial liquids or intensive fishings in some areas. IoT applications - monitoring parameters like temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, or conductivity - allow conducting efficient analysis for more sustainable aquaculture. 

Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence to safeguard the environment

Internet of Things and Artificial Intelligence devices are important allies to safeguard the environment and reduce pollution. MAS Elettronica develops Hardware for IoT and AI systems to be used for environmental sustainability.

Our solution for AI and IoT applications is SBC FRIDA IMX8M plus

For more information on our products, services, and technology partners: