Robotics Case Study

From corporate golf days to international sporting events, grass advertising provides a unique opportunity for businesses to gain a competitive advantage. In the past, the grass signage industry used manufactured stencils to lay down advertiser logos on sports fields, but these were expensive and lacked flexibility. Five years ago, engineers at Queensland-based GrassAds Pty Ltd combined their knowledge of various industries and skills to create a more affordable way to apply grass advertising. Using proprietary software, digital images are wirelessly communicated to an autonomous robot (GrassAds’ “Logobot”), which drives around the field, recreating the image directly onto the grass. Once the robot has drawn the outlines, company personnel paint within the lines.

GrassAds’ robotic technology was originally designed using the Lantronix WiPort® device server to enable the wireless connection between the robot and its control and positioning systems. When GrassAds began working in larger stadiums, interference issues arose due to the huge amount of wireless activity in use in these facilities. GrassAds’ engineers recognized that the wireless connection needed a boost and began investigating various options.

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  • VENDOR
  • CUSTOMER
  • Queensland-based GrassAds Pty Ltd is a mechatronics company that uses robotic technology to deliver affordable creativity in grass advertising. More cost effective and stylized than traditional grass advertising techniques, GrassAds’ technology allows numerous sponsors to inexpensively change logos weekly and offers unlimited options in size and creative content to its clients. The company has developed and proven this patented robotic technology in the Australian market and it is now developing its international capability
  • SOLUTION
  • Having worked with Lantronix in the past, GrassAds’ engineers felt that the most logical solution was to test out the PremierWave EN Embedded Linux Wireless Application Server. According to electronics engineer Zachary Halls, “Because the PremierWave EN has 802.11 a/b/g/n—as compared to the WiPort’s 802.11 b/g— it was a simple and easy way to expand the range of the WiPort.”

    Like the WiPort, PremierWave EN takes the complexity out of RF design and networking, allowing OEMs to minimize engineering risk, shorten development time and reduce development cost. “The PremierWave EN was an easy fix to our connectivity issues, and it saved us significant cost and time,” says Halls. “But the biggest advantage of going with the PremierWave EN was dealing with the people at Lantronix. They made recommendations for the current WiPort-based system that significantly improved the performance of our system as a whole.”
  • DATA COLLECTED
  • OPERATIONAL IMPACT
  • Impact #1
    GrassAds’ upgraded robot can accurately create images of any size or complexity. Customers can now take advantage of new capabilities, such as the ability to frequently change logos or create advertising at racetracks, airports and other hard surface areas.
    Impact #2
    GrassAds can offer the same grass signage services that it provides to national clients—like NRL, AFL, cricket and rugby unions—to smaller businesses and work at any venue, including stadiums, sports complexes, schools, race tracks and more.
    Impact #3
    GrassAds has been successful in gaining a large market share in Australia within the grass signage industry and has completed high profile work in both the U.K. and the U.S.
  • QUANTITATIVE BENEFIT
  • INDUSTRIES
  • Equipment & Machinery
  • FUNCTIONS
  • Discrete Manufacturing
  • ENABLED CAPABILITIES
  • Infrastructure Access & Security
    Remote Access & Control
  • CONNECTIVITY PROTOCOLS
  • Wi-Fi
  • RELATED CASE STUDIES
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