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Machine vision technology


Research for the benefit of SMEs

PV-SERVITOR-PROFACTOR is IP (intellectual property) created by Profactor in the EU research project PV-Servitor. The IP generated includes machine vision technology, know-how and one invention described in a European patent application.

In our EU research project PV-Servitor our partners researched a service robot for PV power plants for the benefit of SMEs. Several new technologies were generated by RTD (Research and Technological Development) performers. The lead RTD performer of the work package Vision System for Inspection was Profactor. Tasks for research included cognitive vision systems for pollution detection and cell inspection.

Business case

We license our technology to a network of partners. These partners incorporate our technology along their own to create smart, energy-efficient and low-cost service robots. The design of a service robot requires a large amount of R&D investment and expertise. By researching once and licensing many times, we spread the R&D costs over the whole industry, making service robots cheaper. We endeavour to recover our costs from the licence revenues of each technology, leaving the majority of royalties as profits. Over the medium term, we expect royalties to grow faster than licence revenues, and we expect that revenues will grow faster than costs, making us increasingly profitable.

PV-Servitor Business case mr 2012-09-06.jpg

Project details

Start date: 2009-09-01
End date: 2011-08-31
Duration: 24 months
Project Reference: 232062
Project cost: 1,399,331.49 EUR
Project Funding: 1,118,760.66 EUR
Programme Acronym: FP7-SME
Programme type: Seventh Framework Programme
Subprogramme Area: Co-operative Research (all areas of science and technology)
Contract type: Research for SMEs
Subject index: Coordination, Cooperation, Economic Aspects, Scientific Research, Innovation, Technology Transfer, Policies
Other Indexes: photovoltaic, robot, automated cleaning, servitor, cell inspection, dirt detection

Research and Technological Development performer Profactor


PROFACTOR is an Austrian research organisation located in Steyr and focuses on developing new methods for integrated production technologies. The machine vision group at Profactor comprises employees from the fields such as mathematics, computer science, mechatronics, physics and mechanical engineering. This group has gathered extensive experience in thermography, quality control and basic technologies such as image segmentation and machine learning. The main field of expertise is inspection of metallic and composite parts using standard vision and thermography.

Technology partners

Technology partners have a license to use specific technologies. Partners for machine vision technology resulting from PV-Servitor are:

Logo_Robotnik.gif Logo_Shadow.png


Device for inspection of a solar panel arrangement (invention no. 2)


    Stefan Baumgartner, Profactor


Manu Systems AG
c/o TechBase
Franz-Mayer-Straße 1
93053 Regensburg / DE

Fachhochschule Regensburg
Seybothstrasse 2
93053 Regensburg / DE


Record at the European Patent Office
European Patent Application

Download of published project results

Marco Reichel
FP7-SME-2008-1, Research for SMEs, Capacities project 1st periodic report, PV-Servitor - 232062
Publishable summary
Periodic Report - PV-SERVITOR (Autonomous cleaning robot for large scale photovoltaic power plants in Europe resulting in 5% cost reduction of electricity) - Document Date: 2010-11-09



Product information for: Machine vision technology

Publishing date (date of last technical specification): 2012-02-21
Manufacturer: Shadow
Brand: PV-Servitor

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