GIM Robotics has been working with us to seek solutions to care industry and logistics challenges. The cooperation has provided the company with opportunities to pilot solutions in a genuine urban environment.
GIM Robotics and Forum Virium Helsinki have engaged in cooperation in logistics and healthcare industry projects. CMO Mika Vainio from GIM Robotics details the results of the cooperation.
Could you describe your product?
“We convert mobile working machines into robots with various levels of autonomy and expand the features of existing mobile robots. We are particularly adept at solving problems related to 3D mapping, 3D positioning and 3D situational awareness. Our algorithms allow autonomous mobile robots to operate safely, precisely and efficiently in any environment and under all weather conditions. And the best things is that we can achieve this even with limited or no access to satellite positioning or supporting infrastructure, such as beacons or reflectors. We have delivered solutions to a wide range of industries, but our main fields of expertise are logistics, marine, forestry machines, agricultural machines, defence industry vehicles, railroads and all types of automotive applications.”
Cooperation with Forum Virium Helsinki has been smooth and any problems have been solved quickly and in good spirits.Mika Vainio, GIM Robotics
What kind of cooperation have you engaged in with Forum Virium Helsinki?
“We have been able to leverage our core competency in mobile robotics in two projects: SARA and LMAD. The platforms used in both of these projects were supplied by us. The LMAD project focused on tackling the famous last mile problem with the help of robotics. To this end, the project outfitted our mobile robot platforms SpOv1 and SpOv2 with lockers suitable for storing packages of different sizes and the necessary ordering and control systems. The resulting delivery robots have since been piloted for several years, first in France and then in Finland in the Helsinki region, including at the Aalto University campus in Otaniemi, in the area around Central Library Oodi and Baana, and in Jätkäsaari. The reception has been very positive, and LMAD is continuing the commercialisation of the concept with our help.
In the SARA project, we got to look into a problem that is perhaps even more important and explore and test robotic solutions to it. In this project, we built an autonomous care robot that could interact with elderly people for a nursing home. We designed and produced the mobile robot platform, which was then outfitted with a robotic torso capable of limited interaction and equipped with sensors and actuators that allowed elderly people to play various types of games with the robot. The robot would respond to interaction with lights and sounds and by moving its head and hands. The preliminary results were promising, and the company established in the project is still in operation.”
How has the cooperation gone and what kind of benefits has it provided?
“The projects have been very pleasant experiences and useful for us. They have not only allowed us to develop and improve various types of robot platforms and the necessary software for them, which can be quite extensive, but also provided us with the opportunity to contribute to the study of two immensely important challenges and the seeking and testing of solutions to them. It is difficult to think of a field of research more important than the improvement of elderly care in the coming decades.
The cooperation with Forum Virium Helsinki has been smooth and any problems have been solved quickly and in good spirits. Through Forum Virium, we have gained access to testing areas that have allowed us to carry out valuable pilots in real environments.”
How are you doing now, and what are your future plans?
“We are in an excellent place right now. Our project portfolio is healthy, and we are already in a position to choose which projects to participate in. Now we can finally leverage the algorithms that we have developed and the software built around them through licencing. The sale of machine-specific licences will allow our company to grow faster in the international market of mobile work machines and autonomous field and service robots. Raising the level of autonomy of machines is one of the primary goals of nearly all applicable industries around the globe, so we expect to see rapid growth in the coming years.
We currently have 45 employees and are steadily hiring new talent. If you have a love of robotics and possess the necessary programming skills, do not hesitate to contact us!”
Read more: gimrobotics.fi
Image: The LMAD project pilot in Jätkäsaari, photo by Vesa Laitinen