Get in touch

Blog June 16, 2021 Timian Puk Kayso IoT Sales Manager , Tele2 IoT

Denmark Leading in Robotics – What Role Does IoT Play?

Back in the 1970s, Denmark was one of the first countries to invest in wind turbines as part of a national policy, a move that eventually enabled the country to become a global leader in wind power technology. Fast forward to today and the government has turned its attention to robotics, with Denmark’s Minister of Industry, Business & Financial Affairs unveiling the world’s largest hub for collaborative robots – or cobots – in Denmark’s third largest city, Odense, in 2020. Roughly 8 500 people already work in the Danish robotics industry, which is a significant change from 15 years ago, when Denmark really didn’t have any robotics industry to speak of. So why is Denmark putting its might behind the robotics industry and what role does IoT play in it?

The Danish government’s support of the robotics industry is the next generation of Danish green initiatives, designed to promote a more sustainable, livable society. The government is actively working with stakeholders– universities, institutes, private enterprises – to give them what they need to innovate, grow, and remain competitive by focusing on the industry’s key needs in order to deliver tangible results. One initiative is called Inter Urban Vehicles, which focuses on how to successfully deploy robots into urban areas.  But this isn’t the only area where robots are being developed and used across Danish society.

The use of autonomous robots in agriculture fields, where weeding is costly, labor-intensive, and often involves the use of harmful chemicals that have negative environmental consequences, is also being utilized.

Manually monitoring fields 24/7 is nearly impossible and leads to the use and usually over-use of chemicals to control weeds. This is where robots such as weed killing robots come in – they can identify weeds in a field and electronically zap them, reducing the need for weed-killing chemicals, which not only has a positive impact on the food we eat, but also on the health of the soil in the fields. Beyond that, there are already semi-autonomous grass cutting robots – the big ones you see on the side of highways – in operation in Denmark, saving on manpower and time, and operating much more precisely and safely. These types of robots are enabled through the use of IoT, operating around the clock, controlling the machines and collecting various kind data, like temperature, water in the soil, and growth of weeds to, for example, support better food in the future.

Another area where robots are making a difference is in the health production sector.  Copenhagen University Hospital in Gentofte, Denmark is exploring the use of robots to automate the handling of blood samples, and Danish company Novo Nordisk already has cobots incorporated in their production line. Using robots/cobots to handle samples means you are reducing both human error and human intervention. Robots automate the process usually done by humans, and with the data collected from connected robots you are able to make the robots increasingly intelligent as more data is gathered. That same data also allows you to understand where there are challenges in the robot, allowing you to place sensors where needed to get alerts when there is a problem. In other words, it’s classic predictive maintenance – instead of putting robot maintenance on an arbitrary schedule, you will be alerted when there is wear and tear or a part needs to be replaced. This reduces human intervention in sterile environments, along with saving money and manpower.

There are some people who are somewhat nervous about how robots and humans will interact – and for the Danish government their initiatives are a way to carefully move forward. But if I’m honest, when we talk about robots, we’re not talking about some dystopian Terminator scenario, where smart robots take over the world, creating chaos wherever they go. What we’re talking about is making robots smarter and more responsive in order to benefit society, businesses, and individuals. Robots allow dangerous jobs to become safer and society to become more sustainable, and IoT is a prime enabler of this happening.

If you would like to learn more about how IoT can enable your business, please get in touch.

Timian Puk Kayso
Sales Manager
Tele2 IoT

Timian Puk Kayso
IoT Sales Manager
Tele2 IoT