CoTeSys Industrie Workshop successful

11/14/2008 : 11:51

The 1st CoTeSys Workshop for Industry, hold in November, 2008, aroused a great deal of interest with industrial experts of automation and manufacturing. More than 70 participants took the chance to learn more about the potential of cognitive capabilities introduced into construction, planning, manufacturing, and process control. The focus of this first workshop was on approaches to implement cognition and artificial intelligence in the production line.

Cognitive technical systems are information processing units equipped with artificial sensors and actuators that interact with the physical world. They expand from hard-wired automation applications to ones that can use substantial amounts of appropriately represented know­ledge, learn from its experience, act to a certain degree autonomously, and respond robustly to surprise events.

In his key note speech Professor Michael Zäh, member of the Executive Group of CoTeSys, emphasized the importance of research projects on cognitive technical systems as they provide a new flexibility in the production process and thus an enormous economic potential. Through their implementation, cognitive features like learning, planning or perception can be accomplished. Furthermore, an interaction with a dynamically changing environment is made feasible. The overall goal of the research projects is the development of intelligent machines and factories, “which one does not have to tell how to do their tasks but rather what to do”, said Professor Zäh.

The overall tenor of all invited speakers was that industry in Germany is forced to make custom-tailored products more profitable. Dr. Christoph Hanisch, Festo AG & Co. KG in Esslingen stressed the fact that human workers will not be replaced by the increasing industrial automation but rather be supported. How this aspect is currently handled in industry was also shown by Dr. Johannes Kurth of KUKA Roboter GmbH. He reported about a first successful prototypical transformation of industrial robots to “production assistants”.

Dr. Frank Wallhoff from the Institute of Human-Machine Communication of the Technische Universität München showed the potential of human-machine cooperation in the assembly of complex and versatile products. The integration of cognitive control in the working area is a highly promising approach.

Andreas Hoch, Schunk GmbH & Co. KG focused in his talk on the application of sensor systems and sensor data fusion which are in his opinion the central aspects for autonomous systems.

CoTeSys – Cognition for Technical Systems – is a Cluster of Excellence dedicated to the investigation and realization of cognitive capabilities such as perception, learning, reasoning, planning, and execution for technical systems. The Cluster coordinates and stimulates research to close the loop between perception and action as a response to events from the environment surrounding the cognitive system. All research within CoTeSys is dedicated to real-time performance of this loop in real world situations.