[openpicus]: Ciao Lukas, would you please tell us a little bit about HighStep Systems?
[Lukas Blabol]: The company is marketing a novel method of access to high altitude workplaces on pylons, masts, tower cranes, wind turbines and similar high rise buildings. and produces a system consistsing of two components: an aluminium rail and a portable climbing device.
The rail is installed along the total height of a building and it remains there permanently. User, mainly people dealing with buildings mantainance, can climb devices along it. Objects can be attached to the rail in a quick and easy manner.
HighStep is presently offering two different devices that enable climbing: The HighStep Easy and the world’s first portable elevator, the HighStep Lift. They are designed to transport service personnel, tool kits and construction material.
HighStep products are manufactured in Switzerland and Germany. The main market is Europe with a rapidly growing demand in Asian countries.
[openpicus]: Lukas, and what about the HighStep Robo, the Telecontrolled Climbing Device?
[Lukas Blabol]: To keep buildings in good serviceable conditions they have to be controlled on a regular basis. HighStep has developed a small elevator, the HighStep Robo. It is equipped with a camera. Service technicians remain on ground and operate Robo and camera by remote control. The inspection’s results are saved on disc or uploaded to the internet. Service personnel can avoid climbing unless the Robo-inspection shows that maintenance is needed.
In its base version, the HighStep Robo’s is driven by two 150 watt Maxon motors fed by a 48 volt lithium ion accumulator (NASA is using Maxon motors in its spacecrafts Pathfinder and Curiosity). The Robo is controlled by the openPicus Flyport wi-fi.
The Flyport takes care of:
- controlling the motors by means of varying speeds in both directions
- monitoring the accumulator with alarm-function
- applyin collision-protection on both sides
- adding a freely programmable IOs for additional purposes
- providing a user-friendly interface optimized for smartphones and tablets.
- setting up communication with the Robo within seconds by simulating an ad-hoc W-LAN network.
[openpicus]: What have been the more considerable benefits in using Flyport?
With access to Flyport’s extensive online documentation and various programming examples it is easy to connect very effectively to IOs, to receive signals and interpret them. Communication via USB is faultless and system-updates can be installed within minutes. The webserver meets the requirements after few adjustments. Changes in status, operating controls and alarms are implemented by conventional Java Script. HTML and PHP are used for the website which is compatible with the average browser.
OpenPicus products guarantee considerable economies of time and money if compared to a conventional circuit board. Development time has been cut from several months to only two weeks. For less than 100 $ Flyports & Nest offer a complete programming environment that can be applied immediately.
[openpicus]: Wow! thanks for this awesome feedback! And what’s in HighStep Robo’s Future?
The Robo is being prepared to be used in narrow tunnels and shafts to measure tectonic stability. It should also become able to operate autonomously in task like fire-fighting or perform all kinds of routine measuring tasks, alerting the user in case of irregularities.
[openpicus]: Lukas, we are proud to be part of this product!