RE2 Robotics, a developer of intelligent mobile robotic manipulation systems, has been awarded $1.9 million in funding from the U.S. Department of Energy Solar Energy Technologies Office (SETO) to develop a robotic system for the outdoor autonomous manipulation of photovoltaic panels (O-AMPP).
The O-AMPP program will enable RE2 to apply its outdoor, autonomous robotic technology, which uses state-of-the-art computer vision and machine-learning techniques, to the solar construction industry. RE2’s mobile robotic arm capability will be optimized to support the transfer, manipulation and placement of photovoltaic (PV) modules to enhance the process for solar field assembly.
“RE2 will utilize its extensive experience and technological foundation in autonomous manipulation to customize and integrate a robotic arm for this program,” says Dr. Amanda Sgroi, principal research scientist at RE2 Robotics. “Our machine-learning and artificial intelligence modules, RE2 Detect and RE2 Intellect, will be applied to ensure that the system is capable of autonomously manipulating and placing PV modules to construct a solar field.”
The SETO Fiscal Year 2020 funding program supports projects that will improve the affordability, reliability and value of solar technologies on the U.S. grid and tackle emerging challenges in the solar industry. RE2’s program falls under the Innovations in Manufacturing – Hardware Incubator topic. These hardware and manufacturing innovations will lower the costs of solar energy technologies, facilitate the secure integration of solar electricity onto the grid, and support a strong U.S. solar manufacturing sector and supply chain.
Award and cost-share amounts are subject to change pending negotiations.
Photo: Jorgen Pedersen, president and CEO of RE2 Robotics