Creating outstanding intelligent mobile machines requires the interaction of powerful software with high-tech sensors, powerful yet precise actuators, and high-performance control technology. With the goal of creating an application-neutral, emmision-free and autonomous robot platform, three market leaders have joined forces in partnership. The control technology and sensor specialist Sensor-Technik-Wiedemann, the hydraulics experts from HAWE and the software specialist Robot Makers have joined forces to create ROVO AI. The result is a future-proof vehicle platform that can master a wide variety of applications depending on the implements and software, whether as a snow shovel, clearing vehicle, sweeper, mower, field sprayer, or handling robot.
What started as a casual conversation at Conexpo in Las Vegas between representatives of HAWE and STW quickly became more concrete afterwards. The idea of building an application-neutral mobile robotics demonstrator was born. For this purpose, the appropriate partners in the already existing network were found in Mattro and Robot Makers, and they were also enthusiastic about the idea.
“The genesis of ROVO AI is a great example of the fruitful, often informal creative exchange at trade shows, as well as the importance of a high-quality partner network. It was quickly clear to everyone that the idea had great potential, but that it could only be successful if we bundled all the competencies. We are happy to be part of this unprecedented cooperation of innovation leaders,” describes HAWE CTO Axel Schwerdtfeger. Mattro CEO Hans Jürgen Stadler adds, “ROVO AI will show what true autonomy means in the field of mobile machinery: an implement carrier that can be used for almost any application. Only the implement and the software module need to be adapted to the application. STW and HAWE supply premium hardware, Robot Makers ultimately integrates vehicle and components into an intelligent, autonomously acting unit. Thus, the ROVO AI project represents the ‘state of the art’ in hardware and software for autonomous mobile machines.”
The powerful and electrically powered ROVO from HAWE Mattro is used as the implement carrier. The agile chassis is equipped with a powerful drive and the inhouse exchangeable battery. Already in its standard version, it is optimally prepared for attachments and superstructures of various kinds and can be optimally adapted to the respective desired application by a multitude of options. HAWE also contributes hydraulic and control components that supply hydraulic functions, such as a mower, with the adapted hydraulic power as needed. Sensor Technik Wiedemann (STW) integrates sensor and control technology in the form of the SMX.igs gyro sensors and the HPX high-performance controller into the robot platform. In addition, the machine is connected to the cloud by means of the TCG-4 connectivity gateway.
The software company Robot Makers GmbH brings intelligence to the mobile machine with the powerful autonomy kit MowPilot. In interaction with the hardware, the software enables the automated travel of routes, including coordinated operation of the implement. Building on the existing autonomy kits, however, a wide range of other applications can also be implemented. The automation solution helps to make recurring tasks safer, more efficient and more convenient. In this way, automation creates tangible added value for the user.
“It helps, of course, that all the project partners already knew each other beforehand. This is the functioning network that Hans Jürgen Stadler talked about. The team simply fits together well. We all speak the same language, and coordination processes are pleasantly short. Thanks to this close cooperation, intelligent mobile machines will be able to demonstrate their advantages in an even broader range of applications in the future,” explains Stadler. in an even broader range of applications,” explains Dr. Carsten Hillenbrand, Managing Director of Robot Makers.
STW CEO Steffen Dieterle concludes: “ROVO AI proves that the partners involved are not just talking about the future, but actively shaping it. In addition, the project makes one thing clear: Close networking and cooperation in a spirit of partnership are a must if you want to achieve real innovative leaps.