Advancing robot control service deployment with Staex


Fraunhofer IPK and a team of students at TU Berlin used Staex to remotely control their robots over the Internet.

Images © Fraunhofer IPK.
Images © Fraunhofer IPK.

In a collaborative effort that bridges academia and industry, the renowned Fraunhofer Institute for Production Systems and Design Technology IPK, situated in the heart of Berlin, has joined forces with a team of talented students from TU Berlin to explore the practical integration potential of Staex — a pioneering platform for remote robot control over the Internet.

Initiating in December 2022, the collaborative project was helmed by Axel Vick, a member of the scientific team at Fraunhofer IPK. The institute's partnering activities are a testament to their commitment to enhancing corporate competitiveness through their application-oriented research and development. Their comprehensive research spans the entire value-added cycle, underpinning innovation and growth.

Traditionally, robots communicate within a single local area network. The crux arises when accessing these robots from external networks necessitates the employment of ad-hoc gateways or VPNs. Staex introduces a novel perspective to this challenge, by outfitting each robot with a cellular router that facilitates secure communication via the Staex VPN over the internet. This innovative approach offers twofold benefits: seamless, bidirectional interaction between robots and servers, and streamlined data collection of critical telemetry and insights from robots. Moreover, the network autonomy granted by Staex mitigates the complexities arising from reliance on third-party administered Wi-Fi networks.

The student team from TU Berlin, comprising Dominik Weiss, Jens Joshua Bobach Ramírez, and Aozhen Wei, embarked on configuring FastRTPS to operate atop the Staex network. As a notable proof of concept, they successfully executed a turtle simulation across two distinct local area networks. Throughout the project's duration, the students garnered proficiency in ROS 2, fortified their grasp of fundamental networking principles, and acquired adeptness in addressing the limitations of multicast-based node discovery.

Moving forward, the collaboration between Staex, Fraunhofer IPK, and TU Berlin is poised to continue with fervor. Staex is enthusiastic about the prospect of extending this cooperation, offering continuous support and expert advice for the seamless realization of upcoming projects.

About Staex GmbH

Staex GmbH is an award-winning software company based in Berlin. Established in 2019, Staex had been excubated from Deutsche Telekom and provides a unique software-defined infrastructure consisting of a secure overlay network and service orchestrator. Their solutions empower businesses to run software seamlessly, operate geographically distributed and fully decentralized infrastructure, and leverage the benefits of IoT and Industry 4.0 innovations. Staex's contributions have been acknowledged through prestigious awards such as the Deep Tech Award by the Berlin Senate, Winner Security in the Innovation World Cup, and runner up of Paris Blockchain Week.

About Fraunhofer IPK

Fraunhofer IPK is a research and development institution in the field of production technology. With our distinctive IT competency, we offer system solutions, individual technologies and services for digitally integrated production. We provide comprehensive support to companies from product development, planning and control of machines and systems, including technologies for parts manufacturing, to comprehensive automation and management of factory operations. We also transfer production engineering solutions to areas of application outside industry, such as traffic and safety.

As an institute of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, we tailor our work to fit the needs and requirements of our customers and partners. With its market orientation and high real-world value, our R & D helps to sharpen their long-term competitive edge. We develop forward-looking novel solutions and modernize, optimize and upgrade existing technologies and applications.


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Staex logo.

Staex is a secure public network for IoT devices that can not run a VPN such as smart meters, IP cameras, and EV chargers. Staex encrypts legacy protocols, reduces mobile data usage, and simplifies building networks with complex topologies through its unique multi-hop architecture. Staex is fully zero-trust meaning that no traffic is allowed unless specified by the device owner which makes it more secure than even some private networks. With this, Staex creates an additional separation layer to provide more security for IoT devices on the Internet, also protecting other Internet services from DDoS attacks that are usually executed on millions of IoT machines.

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