Exploring the Future of Robotics: ARAMMIS Project

Autonomous Robots for Area Mapping, Monitoring and In-situ Sensing


In collaboration with ETH Zurich's Robotic Systems Lab, we are working on a project named ARAMMIS – Autonomous Robots for Area Mapping, Monitoring, and In-situ Sensing. Our focus is to integrate our advanced gas sensing payloads into the wheeled-legged robot. The objective is clear: to delve into the world of autonomous robots, improving their capabilities to map gases with our sensors and provide valuable real-time information on a harsh environment without risking human lives.

INFICON and ETH are two world-class organizations based in Switzerland. By combining their expertise in sensing and mobility, we have the opportunity to create the next level of intelligent mobile sensors.
Prof. Dr. Marco Hutter
Professor for Robotic Systems, ETH Zurich

Integration of the mass spectrometer into the robot

We achieved a big milestone in the ARAMMIS project – the successful integration of our mass spectrometer, Transpector® MPH, with the quadrupedal wheeled-legged robot to provide in-situ gas sensing detection and  gas concentration mapping capabilities to the robots The robot and the mass spectrometer first operated independently, lacking communication. The next challenge achieved was the creation of a fully integrated system where the robot and the mass spectrometer could communicate seamlessly.

integration of mass spectrometer into autonomous robot  - ETH RSL
integration of mass spectrometer into autonomous robot  - ETH RSL

Communication between the robot and our mass spectrometer

To address the communication gap, we developed PUMA (Python Utility for Mass Analysis). This implemented algorithm facilitates communication between the robot's computer and our mass spectrometer. The engineers at the ETH Robotic Systems Lab can then input the data samples into the robots' operating system, which is constructed upon the Robot Operating System (ROS) framework. This achievement represents a major milestone on our journey, bringing us closer to a fully synchronized and autonomous system. We are now working on the live visualization of gas concentrations and the deployment of the integrated system into field missions.

Autonomous Robot for Area Mapping, Monitoring and In-situ Sensing
Autonomous Robot for Area Mapping, Monitoring and In-situ Sensing

Lighter and Smaller Mass Spectrometer

Recognizing the need for a more agile solution, we took on the challenge of creating lighter and smaller versions of our commercial mass spectrometer systems. Our goal was to design a compact mass spectrometer with a smaller footprint. After rigorous efforts and iterations, we have finalized two versions. The first is a field portable system based on our commercial Transpector® CPM and Transpector APX systems, but designed for field deployable applications and autonomous operation. The second one is a lighter version, initially designed for drone and unoccupied aerial vehicle (UAV) applications since it uses a robust miniature turbo pump, a lighter aluminum vacuum chamber and a smaller roughing  pump. We already implemented the modifications to our portable systems which set the stage for comprehensive testing including field demonstrations.

Collaborating with companies such as INFICON is crucial for university research labs, as it provides researchers with valuable insights into real-world challenges. Furthermore, INFICON's cutting-edge mass spectrometers seamlessly integrate with robotic solutions, enabling research in areas where robots can play a pivotal role in identifying and addressing potentially hazardous situations.
Dr. Marko Bjelonic
CEO & Co-Founder Swiss-Mile Robotics AG

Looking Ahead: Robotics Beyond Boundaries

As we move forward, our vision extends beyond ground-based robots. We aim to utilize the same payload bay for robotic applications on drones. This expansion into aerial platforms adds a new dimension to the versatility of our technology, promising pioneering possibilities in various domains. We look forward to the exciting developments that lie ahead as we continue to work on autonomous systems.

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