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The Netherlands is one of the few countries in the world with an organised robotic sector. The Delft University of Technology also known as TU Delft is the largest and oldest Dutch public technological university, located in the city of Delft, Netherlands. It counts as one of the best universities for engineering and technology worldwide, typically seen within the top 20.
Considered as the best university of technology in the Netherlands, TU Delft students and researchers have developed various popular robotics technologies in the past including Flame, the first humanoid robot possessing the ability to walk like humans, DelFly — Micro air vehicle and the smallest ornithopter so far fitted with a camera and more.
They also run a 5-month educational program, Robotics Minor for the third year BSc students of Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Design, Computer Science, and Electrical Engineering from the Delft University of Technology. And this team of students have recently built eight robots for the real world.
A robot that removes weeds, another that travels deep below the sea and another one, that can fish blue algae from the water. These, together with five other robots, were on display at the demo day of the TU Delft Minor in Robotics on January 30, 2019.
Let’s take a look below, at what all of them can do!
Weed Whacker Bolts ’n Bears
Weed Whacker from the team Bolts ’n Bears is a lightweight weeding robot. It can find and remove the weeds all by itself. It prevents the necessity for heavy machinery, which cannot access the weeds easily. Also, this robot will reduce the use of pesticides drastically. While developing this robot, the Bolts ’n Bears team had collaborated with Odd.bot, a startup in the Netherlands.
Deep-sea explorer from LOBSTER
Deep-sea explorer from LOBSTER student team is a small and autonomous robot, which quickly reaches the deep sea and clicks photos and readings. It returns to the surface of the sea with the obtained information. The aim of this team is to retain the world’s fascinating deep-sea environment by making it simple to reach the deep sea for inspection as this process is quite complex as well as expensive.
Algae Removing Vessel from Blooming Robotics
During summer, the Dutch water bodies were inhabited by blue-green algae (Blauwalg). This toxic micro-organism made it difficult to carry out water-related activities. To resolve this worldwide problem, the team at Blooming Robotics has come up with an autonomous blue-green algae removal vessel. It will traverse through the contaminated waters and remove the layer of algae on the water surface. This team has collaborated by the Dutch company Deltares.
Aircraft engine maintenance from nFocus
Aircraft engine maintenance is a time-consuming task that can even take up to 80 hours to be fixed. The student team nFocus has come up with this interesting robot that can perform the initial inspection of an aircraft engine independently. In addition to the technical aspects, this robot involved in aircraft engine maintenance also integrates the existing and upcoming processes of engine servicing. This team is backed by KLM Engine Services, one of the largest aircraft engine maintainers in Europe.
Cheese ripening robot from Easy Cheesy
One of the fully autonomous robots showcased at the demo day is the cheese ripening robot from the team Easy Cheesy. This robot can drive through a cheese-ripening warehouse and handle the ripening process of over 3,500 16kg cheeses. How it manages to ripen such a huge mass of cheese is that it turns the same to prevent sagging. Also, it gives a special fungicide coating to make sure the cheese is in good condition throughout the ripening process. The team Easy Cheesy works with the client Lely.
Amphi from Indepth Dredging
Indepth Dredging team along with Boskalis, one of the world’s largest dredging companies has come up with an autonomous dredging solution called Amphi. The robot Amphi aims to make the process of dredging sustainable, scalable and autonomous. Usually, large ships are employed to dredge ports and waterways and these ships will consume a lot of manpower and fossil fuels. But the underwater robot Amphi travels through the riverbed or seabed to suck the sludge and moves it to a central pump, thereby simplifying the process.
Portable drone show by bHive
Team bHive joined hands with TU Delft’s MAVLab to develop portable drone show to help put drones and independent aerial vehicles in a positive light. These drones can be transported in a box and demonstrations can be performed anywhere, be it outdoors or indoors. These drones fly out of the box and return to the box after the show.
Coffee Corner from Drost Robotics
At the TU Delft Science Centre coffee corner, there is a coffee machine and a fridge. To convert this coffee corner into an interactive environment, the team Dorst Robotics has come up with the coffee corner robot. It aims to automate the process by using a robot arm and a modular system. The intention of this project is to make ordering a drink and other exhibits in the museum more fun and educational.
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