From June 03-06, 2014, the SMErobotics Consortium did showcase its technologies on the AUTOMATICA 2014 trade fair in Munich, Germany. Our booth (no. 131) was in Hall A4 - in the same hall with the booths of project partners Fraunhofer IPA, DLR, DTI, KUKA, and Reis and not too far from the booth of partner COMAU.
Using the KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot in an assembly setting for small production runs, Fraunhofer IPA will demonstrate that sensor-controlled robots allow a high-quality and profitable automation of previously manual processes. Easy to program, an intuitive use like a tool and the capability of coping with modern-day conditions at manual assembly workstations, such as chaotically arranged components, are making the robot highly useful for an effective human-robot interaction.
The sensor-controlled welding robot GoWeldRob from Reis Robotics and Fraunhofer IPA is capable of localising components, automatically generating programs, learning from the welder and collaborating with him. Easily and quickly reprogrammable to handle new components, it draws on previous welding experience and can thus apply old knowledge to new tasks. The goal is to significantly reduce the programming effort for automated production in small and medium-sized welding businesses.
Taking the example of an assembly task, COMAU will demonstrate how a worker can teach the “Smart Dual Arm” robot to know where to find the components and how to join them together. This enables the robot system to automatically generate the production process. Further, component specific fixtures for holding a workpiece in place, can largely be dispensed.
DLR and KUKA demonstrate simple and flexible automation solutions for the assembly of metal structures using the KUKA LBR iiwa lightweight robot. The shop-floor worker can “program” the assembly process by just “showing” the desired arrangement without the need for complex manual robot programming. The assembly process is automatically planned and transformed into a robot program for execution. This transformation incorporates grasp and motion planning skills as well as forced-controlled alignment and peg-in-hole skills. Besides development of advanced methods for planning and handling of robots, the aim is to create a flexible and easy-to-use system. Intelligent skills based on the robot’s capabilities allow the uncertainties of a real SME environment to be addressed.
DTI presents a cost-effective robot cell for general manipulation tasks (e.g. “bin picking”) or for machine feeding as a “Plug’n’Produce” system for a wide range of different production processes. This allows the profitable automation of currently manually produced small batches and variable product cycles.
Project partners Güdel and Lund University present the skills-based portability of robot programs, including both manually written and automatically generated programs, applied to both serial and parallel kinematic robots. Interoperability between the two different types of robots is demonstrated by wood-working with real-time coordination of the arms over Ethernet, with self-calibration and robot-learning functions connected to a knowledge base for continuous improvements and reuse of task specifications. Another feature is the ability to transfer a task description from one type of robot to another without the need of reprogramming.
Project partner fortiss presents intuitive interfaces for human-robot interaction. Based on techniques such as augmented reality and semantic knowledge, these systems can be used without the need of expert knowledge in robotics. Therefor fortiss demonstrates the intuitive interfaces for teaching a pick up task to the robot by just pointing at an object. The system thereafter automatically interfers the required parameters to successfully execute the task. Further the test-bed developed by fortiss presents the ease of use of cognitive robotic work-cells and the capability to cooperate with human co-workers.
Several software applications that both ensure economically efficient use (SME-Trainer in exhibit no. 5) and provide the necessary functionalities for SME-compatible robots will be integrated into all seven exhibits. This includes planners that generate robot programs as well as software modules for the intelligent integration of different automation components (in exhibit no. 6).