KEBA & Intrinsic: Taking steps toward seamless robotic compatibility
Demonstrating an early integration with KEBA at the SPS trade show 2023.
A core design principle for the team at Intrinsic is hardware interoperability. As they build a platform to make robotics more accessible to solutions builders around the world, they rely whenever possible on open interfaces, industry standards, and existing ecosystems. This week at the SPS (Smart Production Solutions) trade fair in Nuremberg, Germany, KEBA, a technology partner of Intrinsic, is showcasing a new integration, with big potential for the future of interoperability in robotics.
Working together with KEBA, they have integrated KEBA’s robot controller with Intrinsic’s real-time control framework, which underpins Flowstate. This is the first time they’re showing that their systems can work together to pave the way for seamless use of dozens more robot brands in the KEBA ecosystem.
The demo application addresses a common task in electronics manufacturing, printed circuit board (PCB) testing, and demonstrates how Flowstate will be able to support any robot controlled by KEBA’s ubiquitous controller products, across a range of robot manufacturers. Intrinsic's real-time control framework allows for instantaneous reactions to incoming sensor signals, and their platform also allows users to add new hardware modules and capabilities they might need for their application. Intrinsic’s vision is for their partners to easily extend their framework, through new hardware integrations such as KEBA’s controller streaming interface, and unique capabilities for motion control.
In this PCB application, a robot scans and grips circuit boards and inserts these sensitive objects into a circuit board tester. Depending on the test result, the robot sorts the PCBs into corresponding boxes.
The solution was created with Intrinsic Flowstate, which is currently in beta and open to new applicants. Using Intrinsic’s AI-enabled perception capabilities, the robot can detect the position and orientation of the circuit board, and plan the appropriate point to grasp it. Intrinsic’s motion planning skills allow for process adaptation, adjusting the trajectory of the robot based on the current position of the circuit board. In order to sensitively insert the circuit board into the test adapter, Intrinsic’s sensor-based manipulation skills use the data from the force-torque sensor to instantly adjust motions and “detect” a successful insertion.
“We’re demonstrating for the first time that our technologies easily work together. What we’re really excited about is interoperability and the potential this can unlock for the broader ecosystem, including supporting more and more robot manufacturers in new ways,” says Ravi Kolluri, Head of Engineering at Intrinsic.
“With the integration of two powerful ecosystems, we bring together the best technologies of KEBA and Intrinsic to create real added value for robotics applications,” says Christian Augdopler, Vice President Robotics at KEBA Industrial Automation GmbH. “Using Flowstate in combination with the KEBA robotics solution, we can help enable flexible automation solutions that use sensor-guided motion and process adaptation, rather than being hard-coded. We are convinced this will unlock a lot of efficiencies across industries.”
As both teams continue to work together, they will be exploring how to bring this technical integration into the mainstream, in easy to access ways for the industry. They are excited about the significance of this collaborative milestone as they pave the way for even more seamless interoperability in automation, across hardware and software ecosystems.