HOPE Technik: How TR 93 Enhances Autonomous Mobile Robot Deployments

With the growing demand of Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) for public use, Singapore has been setting standards for AMR safety. One of them is Technical Reference TR 93:2021 Data Exchange Between Robots, Lifts and Automated Doorways to Enable Autonomous Operations.

An AMR, incorporating HOPE Technik’s middleware BEACON, transporting clean laundry in a nursing home.

Singapore’s Autonomous Mobile Robot Landscape and TR 93 

Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) have been making a huge impact in Singapore’s manufacturing industry, and they are set to revolutionise public and community spaces as well. In the near future, AMRs will be increasingly deployed in various locations such as libraries, hospitals and nursing homes to provide autonomous deliveries of essential items like books, medicine and meals.

With the growing demand of AMRs for public use, Singapore has been setting standards for AMR safety. One of them is Technical Reference TR 93:2021 Data Exchange Between Robots, Lifts and Automated Doorways to Enable Autonomous Operations. TR 93 is Singapore’s first national standard to establish guidelines for the communication between robot and lift as well as robot and automatic-doorway operations.

More importantly, TR 93 informs innovators, system integrators and facility owners on the best practice in integrating multiple brands and fleets of AMRs in robot, lift and doorway infrastructures to achieve interoperability, which is the ability of different systems to exchange data with one another to work together seamlessly.

The shorter development time for a TR compared with a Singapore Standard helps companies to address urgent industry needs. In the case of TR 93, companies can better and quickly meet the rising demand for AMRs in Singapore.

How TR 93 Addresses This Company’s Pain Points

HOPE Technik Pte Ltd, a Singapore-based engineering firm founded in 2006, specializes in professional robot solutions. It was also a member of the working group set up to develop TR 93.  

Mr Lim Joo Siang

1. Integrating AMRs That Speak Different Languages

Launched in 2022, the solution, known as BEACON, is a Robotics Middleware Framework that allows seamless information exchange and collaboration between multi-brand AMRs.

BEACON follows the TR 93 guidelines for optimising multi-brand and multi-fleet control in robot, lift and doorway operations, such as prioritising urgent tasks for specific AMRs, boosting resource-sharing and deconflicting parallel commands from AMRs.

2. Increasing Productivity in AMR Deployments

In the past, for every AMR project, HOPE Technik had to develop an AMR interface controller to enable communication with clients’ lift or doorway architecture.

Mr Lim explains: “We want to be more productive by deploying the same AMR interface controller across different projects. However, we had to keep redeveloping it to suit each client’s unique system. As a result, we spent a lot of time redeveloping interfaces.”

With TR 93, communication between an AMR and a lift or doorway system is standardised through a set sequence of interface commands regardless of the architecture. By using this sequence of commands, BEACON becomes the bridge between the AMR and various systems.  Since it began using BEACON, HOPE Technik has been able to reduce AMR deployment time by around two to four weeks. The time saved can be used to take on more projects or on developing strategic business initiatives.

Mr Lim adds: “With a TR 93-compliant middleware such as BEACON, we also shorten the time taken to introduce a second, different-make AMR into the same operating environment, since there is now a lot less complexity in integrating diverse AMRs with the lift and door controls.”


TR 93: Quick List of Benefits 

·     Integrate muti-brand and/or different-make robots effectively

·     Enable interoperability, where different systems can communicate and work together

·     Increase productivity when deploying subsequent, different-make robots into the same operating environment

·     Save cost when deploying subsequent, different-make robots into the same operating environment

·     Increase the safe operations of robotic solutions

·     Future-proof robotic solutions, making them more adaptable and flexible for changing scenarios


Business Benefits of TR 93 Compliance

1. Reduced Costs in AMR Deployments

Each time HOPE Technik introduces an AMR into a new environment, it pays a fee to the lift or doorway operator. The operator then collaborates with HOPE Technik to develop an integrated interface for the various systems. The fee comes up to around $18,000 to $30,000 per integration work.

By using the TR 93-compliant BEACON as a middleware, there is no need to repeat the integration step when it comes to deploying a second and different-make AMR into the same operating environment. This helps HOPE Technik to save on integration fees when they deploy new AMRs for the same client.

2. Strengthening the AMR Industry’s Reputation for Safety

TR 93 provides the guidelines to ensure the safe operation of AMRs and lift or doorway systems. This includes provisions for emergency situations, exceptional handling behaviour or process and physical safety measures.

For example, in the event of a fire alarm being triggered, BEACON changes the lift mode and activates an emergency response behaviour in AMRs by sending them to the nearest parking point via a course that does not obstruct the fire escape route.

Through TR 93, HOPE Technik aims to boost the AMR industry’s reputation for safety and strengthen the overall industry deployment of AMRs.

Future-proofing with TR 93

Mr Lim concludes: “TR 93 makes communication and hence interoperability possible across multi-brand AMRs, multiple fleets of AMRs and lifts and doorways of widely differing architecture. This facilitates the smooth implementation of AMRs in Singapore’s public spaces, especially in the city’s numerous multi-storey buildings. By complying with TR 93, HOPE Technik can also future-proof our AMR solutions and allow our robots to adapt easily to changing environments and diverse systems, be it for our clients in Singapore or beyond.”

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