VAMOS ECOSYSTEM

COMPANIES WORKING IN AUTONOMY AND SMART TECHNOLOGIES HAVE JOINED FORCES

VAMOS Ecosystem is a Finnish innovation cluster that focuses on autonomous mobility in smart spaces. It brings together companies that jointly collaborate, compete, and create solutions based on smart spaces technologies, electrification, and autonomous smart mobility for the global market. VAMOS seeks to connect relevant technology and service providers with end users, value ecosystems, and OEM providers from various vertical industries. VAMOS Ecosystem is funded by Business Finland and the participating companies. You can find the complete list of those companies from Dimecc’s VAMOS webpage, but if we say that Unikie, Cargotec, muRata, VTT, Mevea, Solteq, and Nordic Inertial are among those, you’ll get the idea.

GREEN TRANSITION AS THE MAIN DRIVER

Transportation as an industry, has faced several challenges during the last decade, when the need to perform the green transition has gained proper traction and forced the industry, among many other industries, to look for novel solutions for the coming decades.  Electrification and overall optimization of nearly everything has been considered as no-brainers in this context, and for a good reason, but tighter safety standards, ageing populations (drivers and operators are getting older just like the rest of us) in industrialized countries and the ever-increasing pressure from the global competition environment are all screaming for some additional solutions.

WE NEED MORE AUTONOMY

Coming from GIM Robotics, a Finland-based company providing autonomy and intelligence for various mobile working machines and field & service robots, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if we claim – among so many other stakeholders – that we need to be able to offer future mobile machines, working somehow in the field of transportation, the possibility to have higher level of autonomy whenever justifiable based on combined socio-economy-technology optimization processes – whatever they might be in particular contexts and use cases.

Gacha, the autonomous minibuss from our sister company Sensible 4, has been used in multiple pilots worldwide to demonstrate future autonomous shuttle services. (See sensible4.fi)

FINLAND – THE STRONGHOLD OF MOBILE WORKING MACHINE MANUFACTURERS

The demand for autonomous mobility has been extremely clear here in Finland, where we are blessed with extremely strong mobile working machine manufacturer community. Companies like Cargotec/Kalmar, SandvIk, Normet, Valtra (AGCO), Sampo-Rosenlew, Ponsse, John Deere Forestry, Konecranes, Novatron, and AvantTecno (to name just a few) are all globally well-known market leaders or major players in their own fields.

We have been helping to develop the coolest looking fully electrified street sweeper, autonomous field and service robot called, Trombia Free. This beauty delivers up to 10 times faster area cleaning, but uses only 15% of the energy required for advanced high performance sweeping. (See trombia.com).

LONG-TERM RESEARCH & DEVELOPMENT INVESTMENTS

Based on the above reasons, it is no wonder that Finnish companies, universities and research institutes have been forming various types of joint projects and ecosystems during the past few decades to promote autonomy in the mobile working machine and field&service robot industries to secure enough R&D funds from our national (mainly Business Finland) and European funding sources (the key programme is Horizon Europe). To find out more about those developments and the overall status of the Finnish mobile working machine industry, we strongly recommend  comprehensive report (in Finnish) done by Mr. Jorma Tirkkonen. This 2018 report, titled as LIIKKUVAT TYÖKONEET – KEHITYSPOLKU, was funded by Business Finland. It is an absolute must-read for everybody interested in knowing how Finland has been able to create so many success stories in this highly competitive field.

EARLIER FINNISH ECOSYSTEM

One great example of these past activities worth mentioning is RAAS – Rethinking Autonomy And Safety. This VTT led interdisciplinary ecosystem and service platform for autonomous systems R&D was running from 2018 till 2021. It had representatives from 35 companies and 20 public organizations. The focus areas included: 1) Marine transport and port operations 2) Urban transport 3) Unmanned air, water, land, and space systems 4) Inter-urban transport 5) Mobile machinery 6) Rural transport. You can find more information and relevant publications here.

Autonomous last-mile delivery solutions have got a lot of attention and funding during the last 10 years or so. We developed two autonomous mobile robots for European Union (EIT) funded project called LMAD. This picture is from Otaniemi Campus (Aalto University), where we demonstrated, together with other project partners, last-mile delivery operations from a local grocery store (K-Market Otaniemi) to customers living in Otaniemi. That was already two years ago. More information from LMAD company (See lmad.eu)

TRANSPORTATION IS THE THING

As you can see from the above focus area listing, transport can be justifiably considered as the key research topic when we are considering any autonomous machine operations. After all, moving items(goods) and humans is, in one form or another, one of the main reasons why we are developing innovative autonomous solutions and services for the global markets. Doing that R&D work in a right way and with the right partners can eventually produce solutions, which could have a tremendous impact, not only to safety and carbon footprint of transportation, but also to the overall efficiency and profitability.

VAMOS Ecosystem's example use cases and autonomous vehicles presented in a concept picture (Graphics: VAMOS / DIMECC)

GIM ROBOTICS’ ROLE IN VAMOS ECOSYSTEM

Ecosystem development targets include for example the usual suspects (modularity, open interfaces, and architectures), as well as tools supporting test-driven product development, digital toolchain, and test frameworks. All of which have been important topics for us since the foundation of the company. GIM Robotics’ full stack automation software for mobile machinery is working in all-weather conditions. It enables shared and full autonomy operations and makes the machines more intelligent, precise, and efficient. Our main competence cover real time 3D localization, 3D environmental modeling, and 3D situational awareness. GIM’s universal solutions are not fixed to any environment or sensor technology. Currently we are already participating in two relevant Business Finland founded Co-Innovation projects (PEAMS and MURO) and experiences from both projects will further support this VAMOS Ecosystem’s objectives, to provide winning solutions for autonomous smart mobility on global markets, extremely well.

VAMOS! Let’s GO. Menoksi!

Read more from DIMECC’s press release.

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