Collaborative artificial intelligence – AI Hackathon at ZAL

At the beginning of October, ZAL welcomed an interdisciplinary team from Premium Aerotec to a five-day hackathon in the AI Aviation Lab. The goal was to use artificial intelligence to navigate a robot and to get to know each other better as a group, both professionally and personally. The team of ZAL GmbH provided the optimal framework with professional expertise.

The hackathon began with a one-day introduction: How do you set up a development infrastructure? How to recognize objects with the help of artificial intelligence? How to use the Robotic Operating System ROS for communication between individual devices? How does the Universal Robot work? And how to generate synthetic image data with the help of 3D animation software? The introduction was rounded off by a workshop for agile exchange.

From day two, the Premium Aerotec team was able to apply what they had learned themselves: To solve the set task, the group used the versatile possibilities of the AI Aviation Lab. The camera was used to identify cubes, which were captured by a model based on deep learning. The coordinates were then transmitted to the UR10e robot with a 3-finger gripper, which stacked the cubes on top of each other. The team used the GPU cluster to train a high-performance neural network with the virtually generated cube images. A key to success was the ARTIST toolbox, which helped to get a quick start on implementing the various functions required. The ARTIST-Toolbox helps to implement prototypes, to connect different sensors, and to facilitate the work with computing units and actuators in the AI Aviation Lab.

“The technical discussions with the ZAL experts in the field of artificial intelligence and robotics were a broadening of horizons and the gain in knowledge was enormous. Innovative approaches to developing and industrializing the flexible and intelligent production systems of the future in aircraft construction were quickly found. And this, of course, also with the method of a hackathon. For this purpose, there will now be many follow-up weeks within Premium Aerotec in which intensive development and programming will take place together”, says Matthias Busse of Premium Aerotec about the successful Hackaton.

The team of ZAL GmbH is very pleased to have been able to accompany Premium Aerotec during this exciting week and thanks for the fruitful exchange and the positive feedback. See you next time!