Co-working robots leveraging advanced human-machine eXperiences and support of operational needs. (Research)
Currently, classical industrial robots are well integrated in large manufacturing companies: they perform heavy-duty tasks, while reliably producing large volumes. For safety reasons, these robots are usually caged and therefore often replace humans instead of assisting them. Setting up a production line with these robots is expensive and requires a specially trained robotic integrator. For SMEs, these robots are too costly (due to small batch sizes and need for special trained personnel) and not flexible enough for the demand of a quickly changing production process. These disadvantages result in limited adoption by SMEs. Cobots (co-working robots) offer a promising, affordable and flexible solution for manufacturing in general and SMEs specifically with a better quality of industrial production using the complementary strengths of humans and robot. The future of robotics is about improved human-robot collaboration (HRC), which will enable people to work longer by lowering human job strain, and will permit a small-scale more customised production more cost effectively. Although research has been done on HRC, it was usually limited to the lab. Therefore, there is a need to research HRC more extensively with real users in a realistic context, taking into account both social and technical requirements of HRC and push the technology outside the lab. The goal of the project is to create knowledge and tools with end users of robotics, robot system integrators and suppliers of advanced modules to improve interaction between humans and robots in collaborative activities, especially in manufacturing.
Period of project
01 January 2015 - 31 December 2016