Siemens Partners with Realtime Robotics to Accelerate the Integration of Industrial Robotic Workcells

July 09, 2020 by Sara McCaslin

A partnership between Realtime Robotics and Siemens aims to make multi-robot workcell cooperation much more feasible for smaller manufacturing companies.

Realtime Robotics recently announced a partnership with Siemens Digital Industries Software that will combine a specialized robotics controller with two powerful software tools to make the implementation and modification of robotic workcells more efficient.


Challenges of Multi-Robot Workcell Deployment and Coordination

Currently a significant, if not prohibitive, amount of time must be spent in both programming simulating multi-robot workcell coordination. Once the programs and layouts are deployed, even minor modifications will require reprogramming the robots involved and additional simulation. This leads directly to automated multi-robot workcells being cost-prohibitive and time-consuming for many manufacturers. Realtime Robotics and Siemens Digital Industries Software, however, recently announced a partnership to address these very issues. 


Partnership with Siemens Digital Industries Software

Realtime Robotics is a Boston, Massachusetts company known for innovative technology related to automation, collision avoidance, and safe collaboration between humans and autonomous robots. Included among their most impactful developments is a specialized processor that can generate safe motion plans in milliseconds for industrial robotics as well as autonomous vehicles. 

This partnership will be combining Siemens’ Tecnomatix Process Simulate software with the Realtime Controller and RapidPlan software. Once integrated, these tools will reduce the time it takes to not just deploy multi-robot workcells but make changes that can prove time consuming and expensive.


Siemens Tecnomatix software's robotics and automation simulation being shown. Image courtesy of Siemens

This is accomplished in part through automation of the motion planning process which reduces the time necessary for planning simulation, and validation. According to Realtime Robotics, proof of concept customer projects is already reporting programming cycle reductions on the order of 70%.

Many manufacturing processes can now be performed by configuring robots, workcells, and even humans to perform their tasks in cooperation.  Image used courtesy of Pixabay


The Realtime Controller

The Realtime Controller combines its powerful proprietary algorithms with special semiconductor technology that operates up to 1000x faster than its conventional counterparts. It is essentially a powerful industrial hardware computing platform designed to easily connect with a PLC and robot controller. Once connected to the controller, they are able to autonomously calculate, communicate, and then execute collision-free motions.

By comparing motion and collision checks in a parallel manner at high speeds made possible by the hardware, the Realtime Controller allows a robot to autonomously select a different path in real-time with almost no time penalty. When combined with Siemens’ Tecnomatix Process Simulate combined with Realtime’s RapidPlan, robotic workcell solutions can be implemented far more quickly. In addition, this combination of technology eliminates the need for teach points as well as the creation/management of interference zones. 

This partnership between Realtime Robotics and Siemens promises to speed up the design, programming, and implementation of multi-robot workcells, making the use and coordination of industrial workcells far more accessible in terms of time, cost, and flexibility.


Siemens’ Process Simulate software in the Tecnomatix portfolio with Realtime’s hardware and software technology. Image courtesy of Siemens. 

Proof of concept projects is already providing promising results, which should come as no surprise given the track record of innovation and practical results achieved thus far by Realtime Robotics.