Arising from research groups of the Federal University of Rio Grande (FURG), which have been carrying out Research, Development and Innovation (PD&I) projects for 20 years, the iTec/FURG – Center for Data Science and Robotics is a unit that connects the academy with the industrial sector. Since the creation of the FURG Technology Park – Oceantec -, these groups, through their laboratories and postgraduate courses, joined in a unit with the objective of fostering the approximation between knowledge and technological demands of society.
ITec was accredited by Embrapii in May 2020, bringing together more than 100 active collaborators and 38 FURG professors. The center is mainly composed of lecturers from the Center for Computational Sciences (C3) and the School of Engineering (EE), but it also houses projects and professors who adhere to the unit’s area of operation: Robotic Systems and Automation; Computational Models; and Sensors.
Performance and experience
The ITec/FURG seeks to foster the approximation between the knowledge generated at the university, in its area of adherence, with the real demands of society and, mainly, of the industrial sector, in an agile and applied manner. The center brings together one of the main groups in Intelligent Robotics in the country, capable of articulating state-of-the-art technologies for the effective demands of the Brazilian market. Due to its competence in Data Science, iTec is the Brazilian ambassador of the Deep Learning NVIDIA Institute, where it is the protagonist in developing solutions involving machine learning.
The center has in its catalog of projects, partnerships with numerous companies from the regional and national scene. Vision, IoT and robotics solutions for autonomous mobile systems, input tracking, production monitoring, intelligent maintenance and process customization have been generating prototypes, products and patents for the productive sector.
An example of success is the Ocelus project, developed with Petrobras, which consists of the creation of technologies based on computer vision for the improvement of equipment and welding processes (TRL 4). Thus, iTec is able to serve companies interested in digital transformation and industry 4.0, aiming at the implementation of these in their processes or products.
Based within Oceantec, the unit has nine laboratories dedicated to the production of research, development and innovation projects, with fleets of mobile land and underwater robots, motion capture, computer vision and geoinformation, for example. Other laboratories include Intelligent Perception; Prototyping and Advanced Manufacturing; Capture of Movements in Industry 4.0; Industry 4.0 – Surfaces and Welding; Intelligent Robotic Automation; Information Management; and Geoinformation Technology.