Tuesday, 13 October 2015

Volvo designs robot-controlled refuse trucks

Just as the auto industry is still savouring the wonder of autonomous or driverless vehicles, there are indications that robotic trucks will hit the road soon.
The Volvo Group says it is developing a robot that will interact with the refuse truck and its driver to quietly enter the neighborhood, collect refuse bins and empty them into the truck.
It said this would be done without waking up the sleeping families.
Although the initiator of the project said the new product would be unveiled soon in developed countries such as the United States, for the Nigerian market, it was silent when the robotic truck would be made available. The driverless cars have not been introduced to the country either.
It described the robot-controlled refuse truck as a joint venture being developed in conjunction with the Chalmers University of Technology and Mälardalen University in Sweden, Penn State University in the United States, and a waste recycling company, Renova.
According to a report obtained from its website on Tuesday, the project, Robot-based Autonomous Refuse handling, aims at developing tomorrow’s smart transport solutions.
“The goal is to introduce a robot that, with the help of instructions from a truck’s operating system, can collect refuse bins in a neighborhood, bring them to a refuse truck and empty them. All of this occurs under the supervision of the refuse truck’s driver, who can thereby avoid heavy lifting,” it stated.
It said the purpose of ROAR was “to demonstrate how we, in the very near future, will use smart machines to assist with a broad range of activities in society. This technology can be applied in many areas. Refuse collection is just one example.”
It quoted the project leader for the Volvo Group, Mr. Per-Lage[BA1] Götvall, “Within Volvo Group we foresee a future with more automation. This project provides a way to stretch the imagination and test new concepts to shape transport solutions for tomorrow.”
According to the group, the three universities are part of Volvo Group’s Academic Partner Programme, a network of 12 academic partners collaborating with Volvo for long-term cooperation in research and recruitment.
The students have different tasks and roles. Mälardalens University will design the robot itself.
Source: The Punch


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