CNTR Guest Lecture on Robotic Inspections

Man giving a talk in front of a screen and CNTR roll-up
Dr. Dorian Scholz gave a talk about the state of the art and future of robotics

As part of the CNTR Guest Lecture Series, Dr. Dorian Scholz, Co-Founder of Energy Robotics, came to Frankfurt to speak to PRIF researchers about recent technological progress in robotics. The overview over different types of robots showcased how diverse the areas of application for robotics really are. The field has seen immense advancement in recent years, with robots becoming more capable and reliable. 

In his presentation, Dr. Scholz gave an introduction into the current state of robotics, typical use cases, and common challenges. Robots interact with their environment in a sense – plan – act feedback loop. They perceive their surroundings using cameras and Light Detection and Ranging (LIDAR) sensors. On this basis, they can decide how to navigate, record and manipulate their environment to perform a number of tasks. This is especially useful in situations that are too hazardous for humans or in which navigation for human staff is binding a lot of skilled labor. These robots are commonly used for inspection and surveillance of industrial sites, in the removal of explosives or in radiation mapping. 

As Artificial Intelligence moves into Deep Learning networks, robots are becoming more capable in semantically understanding their environments. These advancements, in combination with a continuous improvement of the hardware, make robots increasingly fit for more complex surroundings. Ultimately, the goal is to develop robots that will be effective in dynamic, visually noisy situations, in which they will be expected to coexist and cooperate with humans.

The presentation by Dr. Scholz was followed by a brief discussion with the researchers from PRIF about aspects like the possibility of using robots for arms control verification missions and the direction in which robotics are heading. We thank Dr. Scholz for his visit and for his fascinating presentation.

Dr. Scholz is the Chief Product Officer and Co-Founder of Energy Robotics, a leading player in the global market for autonomous inspection robots in the oil, gas, and chemical industries. He holds a doctoral degree from TU Darmstadt, specializing in robotics. His responsibilities include overseeing web and user interface design, cloud-based software development, and ensuring robust IT security.

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