SPINEA Plays a Central Role in Transforming the World’s Cities

Global human population is rising at a rate of about 1.1% a year and urban centers, which receive the bulk of that growth, are reaching the limits of what today’s technologies and organizational structures can deal with. Seventy percent of climate-changing emissions come from cities, and traffic congestion is reaching intolerable levels.

Public transportation, robots and electric vehicles will all play a role in the solution, but EDAG Group, a leading global, independent engineering services provider, is approaching it holistically, integrating many previously siloed systems into a single, integrated “smart city” ecosystem that’s cleaner, safer, more efficient and more connected.

To drive the robots at the center of that ecosystem, EDAG is relying on customized DriveSpin® actuators from SPINEA. Here’s how it works:

At the center of the EDAG solution is a networked fleet of modular robots capable of performing autonomously the various services that city living requires like trash disposal, gardening, transport, deliveries, street cleaning and much more. EDAG CityBots will operate around the clock in defined areas where private vehicles, other than bicycles, will no longer be allowed. Software-optimized traffic flow will reduce pollution and stress, so the people who live and work there can enjoy increased comfort, mobility, and safety.

The modular EDAG CityBot system relies on a single, electrical-powered tractor that, by adding various attachments, can be used in a nearly infinite number of ways. “The idea is to create a constant traffic flow throughout the city,” says Josef Strohbach, territory sales manager at SPINEA. When a tractor finishes one task, it will change over to another module and do something else. While some tasks must be completed during the day, others can be done at night, thereby evening out the flow of traffic.

The SPINEA team is working with EDAG Group to deliver DriveSpin actuators for the tractor’s electric wheel hub motors, providing efficient, all-wheel steering that allows it to move each wheel independently drive forward, backward, up, down and sideways.

Unlimited use cases. One common SPINEA solution.

“Only a few products in the world could meet the space constraints and torque density requirements for this application,” says Strohbach. To fit in the space envelope, the actuators must be as small and flat as possible, while carrying the torque required for the tractor to be able to steer accurately in whatever situation it encounters.

“Only a few products in the world could meet the space constraints and torque density requirements for this application.”

Josef Strohbach
Territory Sales Manager, SPINEA

vertical space added

DriveSpin actuators combine SPINEA’s TwinSpin® reduction gear with an AC servomotor. “It’s not typical for a gearbox to work continuously, but our cycloidal gears are ideal for the 24/7 nature of EDAG CityBot work,” he says.

When the EDAG team approached SPINEA, they were working on a short timeline, and SPINEA’s standard actuator fit the specifications with application-tailored modifications. “The modularity of our DriveSpin actuators makes for quick development,” says Strohbach. “Our team was able to react and respond quickly to customize for the customer.”

Shaping the future of the world’s cities

EDAG Group has been testing the CityBot ecosystem at its facility in Fulda, Germany and is moving to the next stage, testing a larger system in the living laboratory “Campus Free City” of Frankfurt’s Deutsche Bank Park stadium, funded by the Federal Ministry for Digital and Transport. There, EDAG CityBots will perform everything from transporting mobility-restricted visitors to watering trees to keeping beer booths supplied. The testing phase is slated to last until shortly before the 2024 UEFA Euro Championship games in June.

EDAG is in discussions with airports and cities around the world to integrate the EDAG CityBot ecosystem into local infrastructure. It’s an exciting time, says Strohbach. “It’s a totally new technology and application for transportation and for SPINEA. We’re so happy to be involved this early in the process — to help shape the future of mobility and the world’s cities.”

Timken is working with manufacturers to deliver increased efficiency and performance as the electric commercial vehicle market expands around the world. Read more.
Spinea DriveSpin Standard actuators.