The SMErobotics Consortium has produced a Project Video to explain its vision & mission, its main research and development topics as well as its four main demonstrators. Each of the four demonstrators is displayed in a demonstrator video explaining the workflow of a robotic system in a real-world SME-environment.
The following chapter by chapter description of the Demonstrator D3 video showcases the workflow of "Assembly with sensitive compliant robot arms".
Link to video: 00:00
[Overview over the working enovironment for manual riveting. A worker rivets aluminium profiles and later attaches them together with screws.]
"Many assembly tasks in small and medium-sized enterprises are still performed manually. The products are frequently based on identical parts and simple processes, such as riveting or screwing. Even so, the final product is often unique and one-of-a-kind production is not easy to automate."
Link to video: 00:29
[Another worker pushes a robot cell on a trolley into a general human work place such as the "Gripper riveting station".]
"Future robotic systems must be easy to transport to manual workplaces. Also, the robot must be able to cope with the required flexibility of production. This means that workspace-specific configuration needs to be reduced to a minimum through the use of state-of-the-art plug-and-produce technology."
Link to video: 00:50
[The worker loads the riveting data by entering a specific ordering-number. A Preview of the riveting task - a "large-scale gripper" - appears on the screen.]
"This example shows the automatic riveting of aluminium profiles for later assembly of large-scale grippers. Each product is unique and made from a specific set of profiles. The position of the rivets differs from one job to the next."
Link to video: 01:09
[A preview of a bar arrangement indicates the worker what kind of bar has to be placed at what position within the robots work space. The worker places different kinds of bars at the indicated positions.]
"Based on the product’s CAD model, the system determines the processing locations of the bars and shows the arrangement to the worker."
"While the worker is placing the bars, the riveting sequence is automatically planned and converted into a robot program. This includes grasp and motion planning as well as force-controlled alignment and peg-in-hole skills. The system must be flexible enough to support manual definition of the riveting positions."
Link to video: 01:44
[The robot picks up the first bar with the attached gripper and transfers the bart to the riveting station. For exact positioning of the holes underneath the riveting machine, the robot carefully shakes the bar horizontally. When the riveting process is finished, the robot returns the bar to its original position in the working area and continues with the next bar.]
"Automated planning reduces the setup time for the robotic system to less than 10% compared with manual assembly."
"Also, the use of compliant robot arms makes riveting operations significantly more robust than with a conventional position-controlled robot.
Even though the worker does not need to interact with the robot while it performs the task, the fact that there are no fences means that safety must be ensured by collision detection."
Link to video: 02:17
[The robot picks up the bars in a predefined order. As soon as it detects a missing bar, it continues with the next bar in line. A riveting process of this next bar is shown in detail.]
"Built-in sensors enable the robot to detect missing parts or other uncertainties within the process. Instead of just stopping, the robot will therefore continue with the job by processing the next item."
Link to video: 02:34
[An error message appears on the screen indicating a missing bar. After the worker added this missing bar to the work space, the robot finalises the not yet executed tasks of the process.]
"To allow close interaction between worker and robot, the worker is shown an error message and given clear instructions on how to proceed."
"This demonstrates how a non-expert will soon be able to use a robot system based on automatic program generation and compliant robot skills."
Link to video: 03:09
Original statement (German):
Worker: "Um Produktionsschwankungen ausgleichen zu können ist es wichtig, dass Roboter auch an manuellen Arbeitsplätzen arbeiten können. Der Roboter wird einfach an den Arbeitsplatz heran geschoben und kann sofort loslegen, ohne dass man zusätzliche Schutzzäune benötigt oder Zuführelemente oder Sonstiges. Für eine solche Einzelstückfertigung ist es natürlich wichtig, dass das System zum einen einfach zu programmieren ist und zum anderen aus CAD Daten automatisiert Prozessparameter, Bahnpfade etc. extrahieren oder berechnen kann."
Worker: "To balance out variations in production, the robot must also be able to work at a manual workplace. It is simply moved to the workplace and can then start work immediately without the need for protective fences, feeding of parts or other things. Such one-of-a-kind production requires the system to be not only easy to program, but also capable of automatically extracting or calculating process parameters, paths, etc. from CAD data."
Link to video: 03:40
[The robot assembles the aluminium profiles together, attaching them with screws.]
"To improve capacity utilization and cost effectiveness, a robot system must be able to perform a wide variety of tasks, such as assembly and screwing."
Link to video: 03:54
[SMErobotics logo animation including all the logos of the consortium partners]
"Europe’s leading robot manufacturers and research institutes have teamed up with the European Robotics Initiative for Strengthening the Competitiveness of SMEs in Manufacturing - To make the vision of cognitive robotics in manufacturing a reality."