New Partnership to Develop Embedded Solutions for Rugged Robotics

congatec and Etteplan aim to provide OEMs and system integrators with application-ready solutions designed for the digitalization of mobility in rugged environments By Mike Ball / 22 Mar 2022
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COM Express module for embedded computingcongatec has confirmed that it has partnered with Etteplan, a technology service company specializing in software and embedded solutions for the manufacturing industry, in order to develop new smart mobility and robotic solutions for rugged environments.

The partnership combines congatec’s capabilities in designing and building edge computing-ready Computer-on-Modules for rugged applications with Etteplan’s comprehensive expertise in embedded software and rugged system platform engineering. The partnership aims to provide mobility OEMs and system integrators with application-ready solutions designed for the digitalization of mobility in rugged environments. Typical targets include heavy construction machinery, and agricultural machinery for farmers and cooperatives.

The digitalization of mobility in rugged environments is an enabler not only for more efficient logistics, optimized fleet management and improved predictive maintenance, but also for new business models such as pay-per-use and agile subscriptions with configurable features and agile services.

The partnership’s first joint project will be the Etteplan Rugged Evaluation Platform for logistics vehicles and forklifts. The platform provides a precise positioning solution by integrating an RTK-enabled GNSS unit with accelerometer, gyroscope and magnetometer to one rugged industrial device that is powered by congatec’s Computer-on-Module. The device is capable of providing a positioning solution with an accuracy of +/- 10 cm. congatec’s Computer-on-Module offers versatile options for edge computing along with flexible industrial networking capabilities, making it easy for OEMs to develop and productize their ideas, services and products with the Etteplan Rugged Evaluation Platform.

Designed for harshest environments and automotive voltage ranges up to 36V, the Intel Atom processor-based platform comes with a wide operating temperature range of -40 to 85°C and IP65/67 protection. For connectivity towards the vehicle communication networks, it offers extension options for real-time Ethernet (TSN), RS232, RS485 and CAN. Further edge connectivity options include Wi-Fi and Bluetooth as well as LTE/5G. Ambient pressure, humidity and temperature sensors round off the feature set. The platform is already available as a prototype and can be ordered for solution engineering purposes immediately. Customization is possible on a project basis for larger quantities.

Jaakko Ala-Paavola, Director of Digital Solutions at Etteplan, commented: “We want to serve this market with best in class solutions for excellent user experiences. Collaborating in this context with the world leading vendor of Computer-on-Modules is a strategic lever that enables us to move forward faster with tailwind from congatec’s strong engineering team.”

Diethard Fent, Sales Partner Manager at congatec, said: “Through our strategic partnership with Etteplan we will be able to add more value for our customers. In addition to offering Computer-on-Modules designed to meet the harshest rugged mobility requirements, now together with Etteplan, we will also develop customer specific application ready system platforms and cloud connectivity solutions. And our strong sales presence all over the world will give a good platform for future success.”

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact