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Festo and CLEVR: Initiative to Revolutionize Industrial Automation

Published 08-03-2023, last updated 01-02-2024 2 min read
Digital Workplace

Amsterdam, Esslingen, March 8, 2023— Industry leaders Festo and CLEVR have announced the release of CLEVRAssist, a groundbreaking new AI-based solution that is set to transform the field of industrial automation. The new technology will enable machines to learn and adapt to their environments, offering a range of benefits to manufacturers, including increased productivity, reduced downtime, and improved safety.

The Future of Industrial Automation

CLEVRAssist is the result of a joint research project resulting from the collaboration with the Festo Learning Center - the education and training institute of Germany's leading international automation technology company - and the German Research Centre for Artificial Intelligence (DFKI). Together, the three partners have developed a prototype industrial assistance workstation that enables true interactive and situational learning: Festo designed the semi-automated assembly workstation with all the necessary automation components, while DFKI developed the sensor technology as well as the AI-based analysis of human movement data. 

Intelligent and adaptive qualification concepts from Festo

Festo Learning Center is an important qualification partner for the industry and has developed a prototype industrial assistance workstation that provides instruction and guides users through each step of the partially automated process. In this prototype industrial workstation, data generated in the work situation is collected by the automation components and the system recognises, for example, whether a certain part of the appropriate length has been installed, or whether a torque wrench has been used correctly. Klaus Herrmann, Head of Research at the Festo Learning Center, emphasises that the new generation of assistance and learning systems needs to be context-sensitive, intelligent, and adaptive to support workers to gain the more advanced qualifications they need.

Real-time activity tracking and process mining with AI from DFKI

DFKI has addressed the challenge of deploying artificial intelligence (AI) to identify and analyse movement patterns based on the sensor-based human movements captured at the assistance workstation. DFKI developed an AI component that collects position data from sensor points on the wrists, elbows, and/or torso in a real-time activity tracking mode and performs process mining based on neural networks. The AI generates personalised recommendations for action that are tailored to the human user in the form of context-sensitive and personalised recommendations for the next work step.

Software in control: CLEVR's low-code application

The CLEVRAssist app brings together all the data flows and manages communication with the user. It operates at three main levels to achieve this: the cloud-based Mendix platform, IoT interface to collect all the data from the workstation's peripheral devices, and digital mapping of data in its processes. The CLEVR application handles communication and interaction with the learning human at the assistance workstation in accordance with didactic best practices and dynamically adapts the assistance to the personal needs of the user.

"We are excited to bring CLEVRAssist to market as the core of a new generation of digital assistance systems," said CLEVR’s CEO, Jeroen Hanekamp. "With CLEVRAssist, we are leveraging the latest technology in low-code software and automation, combined with AI-based analysis of movement data, to provide a unique solution that enables true interactive and situational learning."

In conclusion, CLEVRAssist is a game-changing technology that has the potential to revolutionize the field of industrial automation. By enabling machines to learn and adapt to their environments, the technology offers a range of benefits to manufacturers, including increased productivity, reduced downtime, and improved safety. 

With the combined expertise of Festo and CLEVR, CLEVRAssist is poised to become the go-to solution for industrial automation in the years to come. To find out more about this collaboration, a case study has been put together by all the parties—it can be accessed here .

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