Industrial robots will become more flexible thanks to soccer and care robots


Dealing with the unexpected – read: non-programmed events. For the soccer and care robots of TU Eindhoven this is a routine task – after all, you never know what an opponent or user will do next. Industrial robots, too, would benefit from increased independence and autonomy. For this reason, the university together with industrial partners have set up a pioneering research project to provide mobile industrial robots with an open world view that adapts to changes in the environment. An important aspect of this is that the robots learn to understand what they see so that they can better adapt to new circumstances.


The TU/e High Tech Systems Center, the companies Lely Industries, Vanderlande Industries, ExRobotics (ImProvia), Diversey and Rademaker combined with funding support from the Topsector HTSM (TKI allowance) are co-investing 1.5 million euros in the project, which begins in January 2018 and will run for four years. TU/e will appoint four new PhD students to the project, assisted by master students. The project goes under the name FAST: new Frontiers in Autonomous Systems Technology. The industrial partners cover a wide range of applications: agriculture, internal logistics, inspection robots, high-tech bakery equipment and professional cleaning, and the door is open for partners in other fields to join.


The project aims to develop mobile robots with increased flexibility that enables them to operate in  environments that undergo frequent changes. This has many advantages, for instance, the environment does not have to be fenced off, signaled or demarcated and specific zones or reference points will not be required. Since the usual assumption of a static world will be relaxed, and adaption of the robot to its environment will be increased, development time for a robot is expected to be reduced.


This will be realized by creating a so called ‘semantic world model’. ‘Semantic’ means that a robot can give meaning to its observations, recognize situations and objects, enabling the robot to react more appropriate to a situation. It can for example, make a distinction between a pallet with goods, a group of people or a forklift truck – the possibilities for the robot to respond appropriately are manifold. They also have to actively seek information to better assess a situation and, to ultimately, perform their task better. Examples are actively discovering the situation using multiple sensors, by getting information from the Internet of Things, or by consulting a person.


This new information adds to the robot’s world view. The robots therefore learns so that the next time the situation occurs, it can more easily deal with or prevent it. They will also increasingly operate between and with people so within the semantic world model, interaction with people is a key component.


The creation of the project is the result of an industry survey made by the TU/e High Tech Systems Center to establish shared robotics R&D questions in which the expertise of TU/e could play a role. This generated the wish to be able to make mobile robotic systems more autonomous, an area in which the university is a leader. The soccer robot and care robot teams have picked up prizes over the past decade in the RoboCup, the premier tournament for autonomous robotics.


The collaboration between the university and its industrial partners, and between partners themselves, enables experiences to be quickly shared and use cases to be added early on in the development process. This will help shorten the development turnaround and thereby consolidate the Netherlands’ position as top player in the field of mobile robotics. The project also provides a platform for students to gain relevant industry experience, something that, in the context of a growing shortage of engineering top talent, will also boost the competitiveness of the Netherlands.


The TU/e departments participating in the project are Electrical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering & Innovation Sciences.


ExR-1 by ExRobotics



Published: January 2018

ExR-1 in action!


During the Masterclass Robots in Delft, which took place late October, the ExR-1 has been launched.


The ExR-1 is the first IEC-Ex certified inspection robot for unmanned environments.


On You-tube you can see the ExR-1 in action!

Good work, ExRobotics!


Published: October 2017


Introduction of the TH21


ImProvia is proud to say that the TH21 has been introduced at InnoTrans!

This superb machine not only looks great but also has been designed and built to help revolutionize lifting on the rail network. The TH21 has a lifting height of 21 meters and can carry up to 6 tons.

InnoTrans is the industry’s leading international trade fair, occupying all of the Berlin exhibition grounds.


The sales team already had a great response on the product and until this morning, they have RFQ for 20 pieces! In the weeks to come we start testing TH21 and we will finish the project with certification of TH21. The first delivery will take place at the beginning of next year.


Have a look at the following websites to see more of the TH21:



Published: September 2016

Sensabot – the first resident mobile robot certified to work in potentially explosive environments

ImProvia is proud of her contribution to the development of the Sensabot!
Sensabot, the first resident mobile robot certified to work in potentially explosive environments, has been launched by Shell. The robot will work in remote or unmanned oil and gas facilities and is designed to work for six months without requiring maintenance. Operators will be able to use Sensabot as their eyes and ears on the ground to check equipment and respond to alerts faster whilst gathering accurate real time data.

ImProvia is proud of their contribution to the development of Sensabot, the first resident mobile robot certified to work in difficult and hostile environments”.


Read the pressrelease: “Shell launches robot to work in hostile environments

Watch the presentation of the Sensabot by Shell:



Published: 12 September 2016


ImProvia announces the appointment of Samir El Awadi as EVP and Member of the Board

ImProvia, a leading multinational engineering and contracting company today announced the appointment of Samir El Awadi as EVP and Member of the Board as of July 1st, 2016, with a focus on business in the Middle East, Africa and Asia PAC.


Samir joins from Thales Nederland B.V. where he has been the commercial Director of Thales Huizen in the Netherlands since April 2014. Here Samir led the commercial innovation process which was looking at ways of applying Thales’ high value technology in the civilian world. Together with technical researchers and developers, he helped guide the development of tailor-made solutions in the field of healthcare and to position Thales cybersecurity in the Dutch market.  


Prior to that, he was the EVP & CEO of Atos Middle East, a regional subsidiary of the leading global ICT Company Atos International B.V. Samir has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology and the process industries, as well as possessing a broad background in strategic sales, business management and business models. During a long and successful career at Atos, Samir established their global pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, as well as establishing a significant presence in the Middle East market, establishing 4 operating companies in Egypt, UAE, Qatar and important JV in Saudi Arabia. In 2008, he was elected as Commercial director of the year in the Netherlands and he was also ranked in the top 5 in Management Team magazine’s top 50 sales people to watch for 2012.  


Samir said; “I am delighted to have been given the opportunity to support the further international expansion of ImProvia. Making a bridge between cultures and nationalities has always been my inspiration throughout my career and I look forward to leveraging this approach to support the company’s business growth.”


ImProvia’s shareholders and current Members of the board, Mr Peter van de Goorberg and Mr Iwan de Waard said; “We are very proud to announce that Samir El Awadi is joining our team to enable and execute the company’s strategy of developing ImProvia towards a multinational engineering and contracting company that understands the local needs, culture and opportunities of the Middle East, Africa, and Asia PAC regions. ImProvia is confident that Samir El Awadi’s extensive international experience, knowledge and network will contribute to its growth and strategic development in its chosen fields of expertise.”


About ImProvia 

ImProvia is a multinational engineering and contracting company that specializes in electrical/mechanical design, engineering & construction (E&C), engineering, procurement and construction (EPC), project management and electrical/mechanical maintenance. From its extended base of specialists, it also provides a wide range of project-services and consultancy.


ImProvia operates with distinction in a wide variety of demanding markets and areas such as industry, energy, oil & gas, marine & offshore, petrochemical, high-tech systems, wet & dry infrastructure, and the naval & aeronautical industry.


ImProvia has its operational offices in several countries, with its headquarters and three major branch-offices in the Netherlands. It also has a number of international branch-offices in Poland, Germany and Sweden and is continually looking to expand its area of operation.


Further information about ImProvia is available at:


For more information please contact:

Press & Media Relations Manager, Astrid Lausberg, tel. +31 (0) 88 55 043 00.



Published: May 2016