Text: Tibor Šuľa podle VUT Brno
So far, researchers at the CEITEC centre in Brno have focused mainly on research in the field of life sciences, advanced materials and nanotechnologies. However, the management of the science centre has decided to add a new focus on the development of controls, sensors, robotic systems and artificial intelligence in these areas.
This decision is supported, among other things, by the fact that researchers at CEITEC of the Technical University (BUT) managed to obtain the RICAIP project. Thanks to him, a testbed of Industry 4.0 is being built in one of the Pod Palackého vrchem industrial halls for approximately CZK 450 million.
“A major impetus for expanding the research focus was also the acquisition of the international project RICAIP in the prestigious European program TEAMING. Thanks to the support of CZK 450 million, a research and innovation centre will be opened at CEITEC BUT this year, the aim of which is to develop technologies using artificial intelligence and robotics for fully automated production, which can be commissioned and used by anyone in the world, “says Radimír Vrba, director of CEITEC BUT. The RICAIP project is a collaboration between the Prague CIIRC CTU, the Brno CEITEC BUT, as well as the ZeMa and DFKI institutes in Germany.
Research and development in the field of cybernetics and robotics is not a complete novelty at CEITEC BUT. Pavel Václavek’s research group has been operating here since the beginning of the centre’s operation. Its members have been working on topics related to the development of highly automated and intelligent systems within the institute for almost ten years. During that time, they have successfully penetrated areas such as electric and autonomous cars, manufacturing technology for Industry 4.0 or intelligent robotics. In the past, researchers have introduced their rescue robots, collaborated on the development of an affordable electric car or its control system. Thanks to its activities, the research group has also established partnerships with many foreign and domestic companies or institutions.
The management of CEITEC BUT promises that the new research program entitled “Technical Cybernetics, Instrumentation and System Integration” will not only build on the previous successes of the centre in this area, but will also follow the current trend of applying the results of excellent research in the application sphere. “Digitization, automation and the use of artificial intelligence elements are at the centre of attention in a number of areas, be it manufacturing or automated means of transport. These technologies will allow routine work to be left to machines and allow people to focus more on creative activities. Our goal is to combine the knowledge of scientists and researchers with the competencies of leading Czech and global companies to speed up the implementation of these technologies, “explains Pavel Václavek (pictured), coordinator of the new research program.