Development and Commercialization of Completely Teachless/ Intelligent Robot Controller

1. Abstract

In Japan, despite desperate shortage of workers due to declining labor force, automation by industrial robots is not an easy path. The biggest challenge when introducing these robots is “teaching.” This is the process in which robots are programmed their every move, and it is necessary each time their objective products change. The teaching process was a huge obstacle for the introduction of robots, especially in the logistics industry due to its multi-type, rapidly changing products. The “MUJIN Controller Pick Worker” made this process unnecessary by utilizing motion planning AI technology, high-speed parallel distributed computing processing, etc., and putting the system-linked robots under autonomous control, like humans. The achievements of this product are as follows;

  1. Establishment of random bin picking by industrial robots in approximately 2 weeks
  2. Automation of processes in the logistics field, such as piece picking, container conversion, depalletizing, palletizing, and devanning
  3. Realization of the world’s first large logistics center, handling multi-type products with all processes fully automated

2. Technology

The main technology skills utilized in the completely teachless/ intelligent robot controller “MUJIN Controller Pick Worker” are as follows;

  1. Unique Motion Planning AI Technology

We have realized the auto-generation of complicated movements by robots, including interference avoidance, by our uniquely developed motion planning AI technology based on the open source robot movement planning platform “OpenRAVE”, developed by our CTO/Co-founder Rosen Diankov. When the start and goal placements of the work is clear, automation such as picking from deep containers, impossible for conventional devices, becomes possible without teaching.

  1. High-speed Parallel Distributed Computing Processing

Even if there is a movement plan with interference avoidance, or a multi-type three-dimensional recognition, the usage of takt time being able to fulfill the needs of the end user is necessary for commercialization. We have realized the best takt time for utilization using our unique high-speed parallel distributed computing processing technology.

  1. Direct Control of Robots from Various Manufacturers

Our robot control technology can directly control most of the world’s manufactured robots, greatly differing from the after-fitted robot controllers, which only send simple coordinate positions to the manufactured robot controllers. When direct control over robots is available, not only can it move in detail and avoid interference automatically, but it can also obtain feedback from the motor in detail, and it became possible to unify the operation methods of various robot makers and to shorten the introduction span of the robots.

Object 1 MUJIN Controller

Object 2 Piece Picking automated by MUJIN Controller

3. Conclusion

Not only does our technology make automation of processes concerning individual picking and multi-type parts easier, but it can also have other positive effects such as the following;

  1. Increase of SIers due to the lowered level of integration
  2. Increase of clients utilizing robots due to lower installation costs
  3. Introduction of robots into untapped markets
  4. Expansion of the robotics market due to reasons above

The “MUJIN Controller Pick Worker” induces a variety of synergies and can support the expansion of the industry.

Issei Takino*1

Rosen Diankov*1

*1 Member, MUJIN Inc.(〒130-0002 1-1-9 Narihira, Sumida-ku,Tokyo)