Technology News: Unmanned Mobile Machines

Mobile Machines
Written by Andy Prosper

In order to enhance energy efficiency and increase the profit margin of companies, automated mobile machines could be one of the possibilities that needs to be explored.

Though there has been great strides in the field of Artificial Intelligence (AI), not much progress has taken place in the development of autonomous mobile machines. In the field of automation, the developers have been facing a great challenge in developing heavy mobile machines. This can be seen in the forest and mining industries where heavy machines are used especially in off-road conditions thereby altering the road conditions.

In the present scenario, the automatic control in machines is based on real-time simulation, the feedback from the machines regarding measurements and pre-programmed control practices. All this is not enough for the mobile machines of the future. The automation should be raised to a higher level in order to optimize energy efficiency. It also needs to focus on the work that needs to be performed.

Mobile Machines of the Future

There needs to be artificial intelligence and high-power computing in order to control machines.

High power computing will use simulation which is much faster than real time. With this, one can predict the behavior in a wide range of mobile machines. When the simulations are up to 500 times quicker than real time, then analysis of a set of possible outcomes can be done and the optimal one can be chosen. With the help of AI, the best function and motion are chosen. With the result, the machines are able to understand the cause and the effect of their movements and operational capacity.

A study was conducted in order to compare simulation models and electronic stability control which was manned in the machines. It was found that the simulation models of mobile machine was extremely efficient. It has efficient computation that allows the machine to predict future events and accordingly choose the optimal movement. This was explained by Aki Mikkola, a professor of Virtual Design.

In the present day mobile machine, this accurate simulation and self-adapting control systems based on AI are not embedded. Though these methods have been successful in the gaming industry, Aki Mikkola and PerttuHamalainen, a professor of Computer Games at Aalto University are trying to implement them in the controls of the heavy mobile machines.

To develop the mobile machines autonomous movements, they will be using the AI-based movement algorithm. The physics-based simulation will replace the game-based simulation to predict the operation of the future autonomous mobile machines accurately and compute efficiently.

Automated Machines to Help Many Industries

According to Professor Mikkola, their results could help many industries. The project is a virtual demonstration of an automated excavator that makes independent decisions. The autonomous excavator adapts to a varied and changing environment. The virtual testing was conducted in LUT’s SIM studio in Lappeenranta.

In the case of unmanned mobile machine, the designing will be based exclusively on its functionality. With the result, there will be a drastic fall in the physical dimensions, weight, fuel consumption and emissions of the mobile machines.

About the author

Andy Prosper