Optronic's expertise key in intelligent systems research

Article posted 17 May 2013

Optronic's expertise in optical sensors is what caught the attention of Björn Åstrand, assistant professor at Halmstad University, and manager for a project within CAISR, a long-term research program on intelligent systems. The acronym stands for Center for Applied Intelligent Systems Research and is funded by Halmstad University and the Knowledge Foundation with support from Swedish Industry.

"We're delighted that Optronic wanted to be a part of this," says Åstrand. "We needed an industrial partner with expertise in optical sensors and perception technologies."

Currently, Åstrand and Optronic exploring the possibilities of using automatically guided vehicles to perform inventory work. For the project, Kollmorgen's LS5 sensor, where Optronic has manufactured the sensor, as well as Fotonic's P70 smart camera, has been tested in different applications.

"Everyone who has worked with inventories knows that it's not the most inspiring part of a workday," says Emil Hällstig, research coordinator at Optronic. "If we can find a way to effectively automate it, I think everybody will be happier."

So far, fields of interest have included mapping, obstacle detection where identification of static structures such as loading pallets and pallet racks.

"Optronic's expertise in both manufacturing and developing is very important, as they can provide advanced feedback on sensor and camera applications," explains Åstrand. "The group of companies we have associated to this project and our research form a very exciting mix and we're highly anticipating the results further down the line."

The focus of the CAISR centre is aware intelligent systems. The subject expertize is in signal analysis, machine learning and mechatronics. The centre also has an emphasis on cooperating systems. Several industrial partners are collaborating with researchers from the University in joint projects. Among the companies involved in the CAISR-project are besides already mentioned Optronic and Kollmorgen, also Toyota Material Handling, and Volvo Technology.

The key application areas that the centre does research in are intelligent vehicles and health care technology.