di F. S.
Thes video shows the robot autonomously picking box cartons and placing them on the loading system of GammaPack’s APL Veloce (AP Group) which is responsible for filling them, at high speed, with long-cut pasta (i.e.spaghetti).
“The world of packaging with its mechatronic solutions is constantly evolving,” says Matteo Piras, CFO of the Altopack Group, “and the Altopack Group has included humanoid robots in its lines sold all over the world through Cyborg Line. We’re talking about a 2021 startup founded by the Italian Altopack and the Norwegian Halodi Robotics that produced the first humanoid robot prototype for the food industry. We’ve all seen humanoid robots in other fields, but seeing them at work in the packaging industry indicates that the industry will be fully automated in the future.”
What applications are best suited for humanoid robots?
“We are going to begin with food packaging, but there will be many other applications. We’ve started experimenting with humanoid robots in mass-market secondary packaging as assistants for cartoning machines (box carton) and case packers (box case). The first solutions we tested began with materials that needed to be replaced every 15 minutes; these operations assigned to humanoid robotics immediately demonstrated their ability to be carried out autonomously with attention and precision.“
“Right now, it’s critical that we understand which applications will be most appealing to these precious assistants as they begin their careers. We collaborate with Halodi Robotics, which creates humanoid robots as well as a development platform. Using this solution is not particularly demanding for an industrial plant and facilitates access to additional uses,” Matteo Piras explains.
Halodi Robotics’ humanoid robots and the future
“In the 1960s, robots first appeared in the industrial sector. Halodi Robotics is a much newer company, founded in 2015. – According to Bernt Øivind Bornich, CEO of Halodi Robotics, the company has developed a unique technology that allows humanoid robots to be inserted into workplaces and interact with people. – “We will have them in our homes in 50 years, much earlier, already within the next five years, they will be widely used in airports, industries and other contexts. We are working with our developers to create future humanoid robots. When we consider projects like Microsoft’s OpenAI and Elon Musk’s Tesla, we compare ourselves to companies like California’s Dyalog, which builds AI applications. Projects involving driving automation, which I was skeptical of, are now in the works, and this technology is being used in several cars in San Francisco. In terms of employment in the industrial world, a similar initial skepticism is belied by the ability of humanoid robots to become increasingly autonomous“.
Artificial intelligence and packaging manipulation
“Artificial intelligence is becoming an increasingly important industry constant. We are teaching humanoid robots the fundamentals of packaging and expect it to take about 18 months” Matteo Piras explains. “Halodi Robotics develops the hardware, while Cyborg Line teaches robots how to interact with machines. We provide continuous feedback to each other in order to improve the final product. Working on the cartoning machine rather than the cardboard box will be associated with specific software that the humanoid robot will use with varying degrees of versatility depending on the situation.”
“The greatest challenges in robotics relate to the enormous challenge of manipulating objects,” says Bernt Øivind Bornich. – “A climber can support the weight of his hanging body with one finger while with the other hand he supports a child, demonstrating the complexity of activities performed with the extremities. We teach the robot to perform general manipulations such as opening a door safely and taking care of the packaging boxes rather than imitate human activities. For this, we create specific applications for the different tasks it has to perform“.
“Cyborg Line is expanding its activities, primarily in the packaging industry, by implementing various application solutions in the Halodi robot platform. When I first met Sten Eirick to see if we could work together, and he explained his vision centered on the incredible technology of his robots, I was struck by the potential of humanoids” Matteo Piras explains. “Today, we’re dealing with their entry into the industrial market, particularly in the packaging sector, where we’re just getting started. When we consider that humanoids can already dance and perform complex tasks, our initial skepticism fades and we are impressed by this solution. With the first applications in packaging, it is easy to see that an infinite number of applications are available for the future of humanoid robotics“.