After utilizing robots for more than 30 years for classic industrial automation applications, service robots form a constantly increasing market, although the big breakthrough is still awaited. Our approach to service robots was driven by the idea of supporting lab personnel in a biotechnology laboratory. After initial development in
Germany, a mobile robot platform extended with an industrial manipulator and the necessary sensors for indoor localization and object manipulation, has been shipped to Bayer HealthCare in Berkeley, CA, USA, a global player in the sector of biopharmaceutical products, located in the San Francisco bay area. The determined goal of the mobile manipulator is to support the off-shift staff to carry out completely autonomous or guided, remote
controlled lab walkthroughs, which we implement utilizing a recent development of our computer vision group: OpenTL - an integrated framework for model-based visual tracking.
While still not common in day-to-day business, mobile robot platforms form a growing market in robotics.
Mobile platforms equipped with a manipulator for increased flexibility have been used successfully in biotech
laboratories for sample management as shown on the well-known ESACT meetings. Navigation and object
recognition is carried out by the utilization of a mounted machine vision camera. To cope with the different
illumination conditions in a large laboratory, development of an adaptive light source was indispensable. We
present our approach of rapid developing a computer controlled, adaptive LED light within one single business
day, by utilizing the hardware toolbox EasyKit and our appropriate software counterpart EasyLab.