The aim of the project is to significantly reduce the development effort for robot solutions in professional service robotics. In order for service robotics to be used increasingly, SeRoNet creates solutions that can be used to economically place tailor-made systems on the market. The core of the project will be an IT platform with the aim of bringing together service robot equipment suppliers and operators and replacing the classic linear value chain with a value added network in which all players cooperate dynamically according to their competences. The platform is intended to make reusable components for professional service robotics applications easily accessible, thereby increasing the transparency of providers and components available on the market. The definition of uniform interface standards, developed in close consultation with international bodies, aims to increase the reusability of components and facilitate the development process through systematic descriptions of components, systems and requirements. In order to establish this growth-based, open platform, there will be an open call for participation in summer 2019. Another goal besides the establishment of the platform for economic robot development are three pilot demonstrators, which should prove the robustness of the platform and development tools as well as the quality of the available components and services.
The key innovation is the creation of a broad ecosystem for professional service robotics in which users, system service providers and component manufacturers interact in a structured manner and collaboratively design and develop robotic systems. The classic linear value chain, in which a robot user negotiates an application specification with a system integrator, then implements it with his suppliers and delivers the result to the user, is replaced by a dynamic, networked approach. Here, the user, system integrator and component manufacturer work together via (online) software tools in all phases from the specification to the commissioning of the robot system, thus avoiding costly errors and changes. SeRoNet focuses on the growing importance of this form of collaborative software development by creating an open platform for robotic research that is explicitly designed for long-term operation. As a shared ecosystem, this bundles the resources of all actors involved in the development process and can facilitate efficient technology development. Benefits for everyone involved in this ecosystem: So far, manufacturers and solution providers are developing and maintaining their components themselves without systematic feedback and knowledge of user requirements. This requires a great deal of customization and is therefore expensive and time consuming. Ecosystems allow each company to specialize in its core competencies and to deliver components that can be used in many different ways as a supplier, or to offer a complete solution together with other stakeholders as a solution provider. Development cycles are rapidly reduced and quality improves. Overall, the goal is to make it easier for manufacturing companies to gain access to new technologies and to further distribute professional service robotics applications in Germany.
The prerequisite for such cooperation is the definition of standards, which is promoted in the SeRoNet project by the project consortium in close cooperation with established committees and on the basis of existing standards and practiced practice. Essential in this process is that on the one hand (software) interfaces and functional characteristics of components are defined sufficiently clearly to allow a smooth interaction of elements of different manufacturers, and on the other hand the platform is open for future technological developments, which are not yet foreseeable today , Likewise, component manufacturers must be able to promote and exploit the unique selling points of their products, their unique selling points.