Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
SES 5.3: Collaborative Robotics in Smart Manufacturing
Wednesday, 28/Jun/2017:
11:20am - 1:00pm

Session Chair: Pedro Neto
Location: Aula O (first floor)

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87. Safeguarding and supporting future manufacturing processes by a projection- and camera-based technology

Christian Vogel, Christoph Walter, Norbert Elkmann

Fraunhofer-Institut für Fabrikbetrieb und -automatisierung, Germany

The International Federation of Robotics (IFR) forecasts that the number of newly installed industrial robots will reach 1.4 million by 2019. With this increase of robots in industrial automation, the demands for human-robot cooperative workplaces are also set to rise. Workplaces that allow concurrent work of humans and robots in a shared environment require that the human is safeguarded at all times. But in future industrial manufacturing the hard-safety aspect won’t be the only requirement to such cooperative workplaces. Soft-safety, interaction functionalities and worker assistance will contribute to an overall flexible and innovative human-robot workplace. In this article we propose a trendsetting technology that can fulfil all of the aforementioned requirements to future workplaces featuring human-robot cooperation. This technology, which is based on projection and camera techniques, was applied to an industrial manufacturing process to enable safe and interactive cooperation between humans and robots. A demonstrator as well as the single functionalities and benefits will be presented in this contribution in detail.

The projection- and camera-based technology is capable of establishing safety zones of arbitrary shape, size and position directly into the shared workspace of human and robot. By connecting this safety system to the robot’s controller, the safety zones can be dynamically generated on basis of the robot’s joint angles and velocities. Here, the approach formula described in ISO/TS 15066 is used to calculate the safety distances that will form a minimal safety hull enclosing the robot at any time. The safety system incorporates the calculated safety hull to generate and emit a border in the form of a line (i.e. the border of the safety zone) that separates the human and robot. If this projected line is disrupted by an object such as a human’s hand or fingers, the surrounding cameras recognize this safety zone violation robustly. A safety zone violation results in the reduction of the robot’s speed or even an immediate stop. From the perspective of the human co-worker, it is generally advantageous to be aware of the current safety zone, giving them the possibility of actively avoid safety violations. This will lead to an improved availability of the robot and the entire system. Visualizing additional symbols to represent intended robot movements will further enhance the user acceptance.

The main benefits of this projection- and camera-based approach for workspace surveillance are the minimized (none-) dependence on environmental light conditions, intrinsic safety, high potential for safety certification and overall valuable functionalities. Here, the capability of providing virtual interactive buttons that allow the control of robot (start/ pause motion), system (choose/ manage task) and process (confirm production step) is very useful. Besides interaction, the system also offers the visualization of safety-, robot- or process-relevant information directly into the shared workspace supporting the human in work, configuration, and even failure diagnosis.

The interaction and visualization capabilities as well as the safe workspace surveillance provided by this projection- and camera-based technology will be presented on basis of an industrial demonstrator featuring a screwing application.

88. Safeguarding collaborative mobile manipulators - Evaluation of the VALERI workspace monitoring system

José Saenz, Christian Vogel, Felix Penzlin, Norbert Elkmann

Fraunhofer-Institut für Fabrikbetrieb und -automatisierung, Germany

The project VALERI focused on the validation of mobile manipulators for use in aerospace production. This paper focuses on the development and application of a 2 ½ D workspace monitoring system for safeguarding tools when working in close proximity to human operators. Following a brief overview of the set-up and operational principles of the workspace monitoring system, we will detail the assumptions made in the risk assessment and the methods used to minimize the size of the necessary protective distance. An experimental validation and an outlook for future work will also be described in this contribution.

160. A Skill-based Robot Co-Worker for Industrial Maintenance Tasks

Paul Jakob Koch, Marike Koch van Amstel, Partycja Dębska, Moritz Alexander Thormann, Adrian Johannes Tetzlaff, Simon Bøgh, Dimitrios Chrysostomou

Aalborg university, Denmark

This paper investigates the concept of a sensor-based robot co-worker working in flexible industrial environments together with and alongside human operators. In this particular work, a realisation of a robot co-worker scenario is developed in order to demonstrate the implementation of a robot co-worker from the starting point of an autonomous industrial mobile manipulator. The cobot is applied on the industrially relevant task of screwing by the use of a skill-based approach. The technical work on the human-robot interface and the screwing skill is described.

182. Minimum distance calculation for safe human robot interaction

Mohammad Safeea, Nuno Mendes, Pedro Neto

University of Coimbra, Portugal

The ability of efficient and fast calculation of the minimum distance between humans and robots is vitally important for realizing a safe human robot interaction (HRI), where robots and human co-workers share the same workspace. The minimum distance is the main input for most of collision avoidance methods, HRI, robot decision making, as well as robot navigation. In this study it is presented a novel methodology to analytically compute of the minimum distance between cylindrical primitives with spherical ends. Such primitives are very important since that there geometrical shape is suitable for representing the co-worker and the robots structures. The computational cost of the minimum distance between n cylinders is of order 〖O(n〗^2). In this study QR factorization is proposed to achieve the computational efficiency in calculating the minimum distance mutually between each pair of cylinders. Experimental tests demonstrated the effectiveness of the proposed approach.

209. Interactive simulation of human-robot collaboration using a force feedback device

Uwe Dombrowski1, Tobias Stefanak1, Jerome Perret2

1TU Braunschweig, Germany; 2Haption Gmbh, Aachen, Germany

The role of robots in manufacturing processes is undergoing a revolution. Tremendous gains in productivity and flexibility can be achieved by removing the fences and letting humans and robots work together in the same workspace. However, new risks have to be addressed, and new means of optimization are needed. Through the use of collaborative robotic systems in final assembly, also the demands on the methods and tools of the digital factory, especially the simulation, are increasing.

In this paper, we demonstrate the use of interactive simulation as a tool for workcell validation and optimization. The proposed technique combines real-time physics simulation and motion capturing systems in order to immerse the design engineer or production planner inside a responsive virtual model of the factory. The user can interact with components and tools, as well as with the robots performing their assigned tasks, including collaborative steps. The handguiding function of sensitive lightweight robots can be simulated using force feedback devices. For example, it is possible to experience the new impedance mode of a KUKA LBR iiwa in an intuitive and tangible, but completely simulated way. Future application scenarios can be directly tested in the assembly process simulation. Thanks to this first-person 3D experience, a better understanding of the risks, complexity and potential improvements can be reached. With this knowledge, it is possible in early planning stages to define the first working and protection areas for safety programming. These are necessary for the human-robot collaboration to be safe. Virtual auxiliary geometries in the form of combined spheres represent the used robot tool in safety control. The radii of the different spheres can be determined in relation to the size and position of the previously defined areas. In this way, in addition to safety, the process reliability can be optimized in the simulation, too.

Referring to the structure of this paper, first the requirements of the interactive simulation are defined. Then the state-of-the-art of the domain is reviewed. The paper describes the implementation and gives some figures about the performances achieved. Then the method is illustrated on a real-case scenario in the automotive industry and some key results are given. Finally, the paper shows how the same approach can be beneficial for other aspects of advanced manufacturing, such as ergonomics and human factors, intuitive robot programming, and virtual training.

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