Internet of Things: Reference Story PTX tech


The Deep Tech Field of Expertise in Internet of Things: Reference Story PTX tech


Seeing and recognizing are key

4D MMS – that’s the name of the innovative “vision system“ of Berlin-based start-up PTX tech GmbH. They use in addition to the three divi-sions the time information. It is an optical sensor which is used as a fail-safe system that enables a safe collaboration between a person and a robot or a machine. At the end of 2016, PTX tech got the first prize of the Deep Tech Award.


Since the beginning, the interaction between persons and machines hasn’t been only a success story. A story about providing assistance for monotonous or heavy work and about increasing efficiency via mass production. Lower prices for mass products are one of the pillars of our economic wealth.
But interaction between persons and machines has never been without danger. Precautionary machines were surrounded by fences, or with more modern systems, surrounded by light curtains. Whenever a gate of the surrounding is opened (or the light curtain is touched) the whole machine stops with the result of a considerable dead time and waste.

This sort of safety equipment is not state-of the-art any more for the new forms of complex and close man-machine interaction. The robots have to react more “sensible“ getting close to humans. “We enable robots to see and to recognize”, describes Ferdinand Wiegelmann, Managing Director of PTX tech. And simplifying the whole technical system of PTX tech “…it is a 3D laser scanner which detects contactless the environment with eye-safe IR pulses”. At the end of 2016, PTX tech got the first prize of the Deep Tech Award in Berlin.

Cooperation with robotic manufacturers

A smoothly man-machine interaction is the key of digitalization in industrial production of the future. To make this collaboration happen, the robot needs cognitive competencies. There are already so called tactile systems as safety sensor solutions. But these tactile systems only stop when there is a counterforce like a person which is touched. “But the touch of a robot is quite dangerous“, as Christoph Kellermann, CTO of PTX tech explains. Therefore the velocity of robots with a tactile safety system is strictly limited and the weight they handle is very limited, too.

These are some main reasons of robotic manufacturer for their interest in PTX tech. Holger Klempnow, Managing Director of KleRo Roboterautomation und spokesman of industry forum 4.0 (Internet of Things), envisages to implement the vision system of PTX at a first customer project. But the potential of the vision system is not limited to collision avoidance. It is also able to calculate the motion trajectories of moving objects. The motion predictor has a lot of relevance for pick & place applications. Holger Klempnow plans to use it for forecasting com-petencies for an innovative project.

Integrating universities

PTX promotes the expansion of competencies in vision technologies in universities and scientific institutions. There is a lot of market pressure to develop totally new vision systems. It means considerable efforts have to be made so that academic institutions can cope with de-velopment activities in industry.

In industry, especially in automotive, great efforts are taken to cope with international competition. For most people, vision technology (also called computer vision or machine vision) is about process control, quality management or advanced driver assistance. But vision technology is not only for autonomous driving or collaboration between man and robot. In addition to automotive and machinery industry, logistics offer a great usage for vision systems and many applications. All these industries have three-digit sales volumes and offer qualified employment for hundreds of thousands of people.

Together with Technische Universität Berlin, PTX tech agreed upon a cooperation in a research project including three department chairs. This is only the very beginning of an intensive ex-change.

Website PTX tech
Photo: © PTX tech


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