expedition d - Digital Technologies | Applications | Professions

Company: expedition d – Digitale Technologien | Anwendungen | Berufe
Industry: Education
DENSO Products Used: COBOTTA
Company Location: Germany    
Website: www.expedition.digital


Recent studies have shown that training in the key skills of digital transformation such as becoming a STEM specialist (Scientists, Technicians, Engineers, Mathematicians), improves the innovative strength of businesses and industries. But Germany currently has a shortage of around 263,000 mathematicians, computer scientists, natural scientists and technicians; demographic change is exacerbating this shortage of young talent.

Therefore, interest in STEM subjects must be awakened at school: How do you get students excited about the new digital professional worlds and thus attract the skilled workers of tomorrow?


For the digitalized work environment, young people need qualified support in their career planning. How is digitalization already influencing work environment today? Which professions are emerging and which are changing? And what digital skills are needed?

To answer these questions, the education initiative in Baden-Württemberg is taking a new approach and coming to students: In expedition d - Digital Technologies | Applications | Careers, an experience truck tours (free of charge) to secondary schools throughout the state. The showcase project, which has been in place since the beginning of 2019, is a component of the COACHING4FUTURE program, with which the Baden-Württemberg Stiftung, along with the employers' association SÜDWESTMETALL and in cooperation with the Baden-Württemberg regional office of the German Federal Employment Agency, is working to promote qualified young professionals in the STEM disciplines.

In the double-decker experience truck, young people can experience future technologies live at 26 interactive stations, try their hand at being tomorrow's skilled workers, and learn about the applications and professions for which they are needed.

On board is COBOTTA - the innovative, compact and user-friendly cobot by DENSO Robotics for applications in human-robot collaboration (HRC). These cobots are now indispensable in university teaching and science as well as in corporate R&D - especially in "shared workplaces" where humans and robots work together. In the future, cobots will also be able to interact with humans in real time thanks to facial and speech recognition and will be widely used in industrial production. Cobots such as COBOTTA are so cost-efficient that they are also worthwhile for medium-sized companies. In addition, they can be used flexibly in practice, are easy to integrate and are designed for rapid application changes. They are also easy to program or to learn with intuitively and at the same time can take on increasingly high-value tasks: The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) forecasts a global cobot market share of 34 % by 2025.

Working with cobots is therefore a key qualification for professions such as automation. In expedition d, a cobot station brings this to life: students can program a COBOTTA, guiding it in movement sequences and saving the sequences afterward. The cobot can pick up a workpiece and place it. In the process, students learn how humans work safely with cobots.

With its own weight of only 4 kg, a payload capacity of up to 500 g, the integrated controller and its compactness, COBOTTA is designed for work in confined spaces and in direct cooperation with humans. Therefore, the robot offers high safety standards certified by TÜV Rheinland. With COBOTTA, this is ensured by an inherently safe design as well as "functional safety" in that the torques and speeds of all axes are continuously monitored. The speed (100 to max. 1,000 mm/s) is also adapted accordingly so that, depending on the application and corresponding risk assessment, no safety cell is required.

The handling of the COBOTTA also illustrates how the integration of robots into the Industry 4.0 and IoT-based "smart factories" of the future works. With the COBOTTA World app, typical handling and pick-and-place tasks can be easily created using the intuitive user interface. This allows both force-controlled gripping and other applications as well as the use of image recognition (2D) to be programmed in just a few minutes. With another app "Remote TP", experts can also create complex applications using DENSO's robot programming language PacScript with a virtual robot teach pendant.


expedition d is a didactic-technical showcase project with a unique practical relevance that obviously inspires young people - around 11,000 students (7th grade) in Baden-Württemberg every year. With COBOTTA automation and collaborative robotics can be experienced in a vivid way; the students learn how manual applications can be automated sensibly and efficiently and how humans can be involved in the process: This is how the robotics specialists of tomorrow are won.