Practical air/ground service robotic system for inspection of industrial compressed air supply and improvement of work environment factors using as example the automotive production

Persons in charge

Dipl.-Ing. Thomas Günther
M.Sc. Antonio Ordoñez Müller


Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), Förderkennzeichen: 01IM12007F

Project duration

January 2013 - March 2016


The goal of the Robot}air{ research project is the development and evaluation of a low-cost air/ground service robotic system prototype to improve the sustainable use of resources and energy through the detection and localization of compressed air leaks. Additionally, work environment factors should be measured to ensure healthy work conditions and to enhance productivity. Periodical inspections of compressed air facilities allow an early detection of leaks. This would result in a reduction of losses and the use of primary energy, as well as lower CO2 emissions and positive effects on the climate in general. Furthermore, in building technology cost saving opportunities should be identified by robot-based multi-modal mapping of the local climatic situation and put into effect. This measures contribute in turn to a sustainable climate policy.

Due to poor accessibility, low product relevance and low energy prices, these areas have until recently been often neglected. However, various studies, including an assessment by Volkswagen AG and a cost-estimate by the research partners based on the EFFIROB analysis, have shown the economic importance and a significant addressable market of these areas.

The project consortium consists of research and industrial development and application partners. They combine scientific and industrial expertise in the fields of mobile robotics, human-machine-interaction, measurement techniques, facility inspection and operation, compressed air systems and ergonomics. In cooperation with the application partners, system requirements are to be collected and a prototype is to be developed. The robust operation and usability of the prototype will be evaluated in the lab and during field studies in the automotive industry.

The Department of Measurement and Control of the University Kassel conducts research in the field of measurement technology: 

  • Automated detection, localisation and quantification of compressed air leaks using ultra sound telemetry
  • Automated thermographic acquisition, mapping and evaluation of thermal emissions
  • Design and construction of a measurement pole to automatically acquire and map work environment factors
  • Development of measurement modules for ground and airborne robotic platforms

Cooperation partners