In de wereld van AI en robots hoeft ook inspectie van het spoor in de toekomst geen mensenwerk te zijn. Syracuse staat bij deze innovatie vooraan en begeleidt ProRail bij haalbaarheidsstudies en inpassingen.
How did Syracuse get involved in this project?
Berry van den Ende: Syracuse wondered, in the context of programs to increase safety, why people are still deployed for numerous tasks in (potentially) unsafe situations if there are possible alternatives?
ProRail answered the question as follows:
‘We do not know that. Can you research this for us because this is an interesting angle!’
Is Robotics now – and in the near future – such an alternative and does it make work less unsafe for people?
Michiel Stam: Yes, robotics has the potential to be this alternative, according to our first research into Robotics for Railways. We do not only look at matters such as the state-of-tech, but also take into account aspects such as market development, business models, integration and regulations. Thanks to our excellent network, we were able to immediately exchange knowledge and experience with the Dutch Police and organized a first-ever test by the National Police with its robot ‘Spot’ at the Kijfhoek railway yard
Berry van den Ende: In collaboration with the Innovation department of ProRail, a feasibility study is being carried out into inspection and intervention tasks by robots. In addition to ProRail, we also involve knowledge institutes, robot suppliers, maintenance contractors and international organizations that are working with these robots.
Michiel Stam: We first set the specific goals that robotics can bring about in an organization. Then we develop use cases and investigate technical solutions. We emphasize the organizational integration of robots in the specific operational context of organizations. This means that we ask questions such as: who will develop, operate and manage the robot. Are there necessary adjustments to the (ICT) infrastructure, how does robotics fit into the existing processes and organization?
What is your role in this project at ProRail?
Michiel Stam: Syracuse is leading a feasibility study on behalf of ProRail. In order to test the technical feasibility and to shape upcoming development processes, we have organized two test weeks at the Kijfhoek railway yard with the partners Antea group and ANYbotics. For this purpose, Strukton has laid a special piece of test track on which robots have been tested.