The aim of the international research project LOCOBOT was to develop a low-cost “Robot co-worker” in a modular system that is suitable for industries with high production volume as well as for manufactures with low product volume and high customer specifications. The focus was on the development of a toolkit consisting of hardware and software components and a development environment, in which a robot assistant can quickly and easily be put into operation. The quick and easy configuration of the system was a pre- condition for development.
The main focus of PROFACTOR in this pioneering project included the topics of image processing, model-based engineering and the handling of parts. The focus was also built-upon findings of cognitive vision.
During the project, an assistance system consisting of hardware and software components was developed, which among other things dealt with improving workplace ergonomics. It is characterized by the position detection of work pieces in an unstructured environment and is equipped with a flexible robot arm. The gesture recognition process formed the basis for human-machine cooperation.
In the industrial use case the main challenge was picking heavier parts such as car batteries and starter motors. An excellent object localization and manipulation planner developed at PROFACTOR made it possible to visually localize the relevant components even in hard to reach and unstructured environments. The robotic ad-hoc process flow was then adjusted subsequently.
The results of the project allows greater flexibility, adaptability and scalability in production. The modular assistance system developed can be used in the sense of a “Plug & Produce” solution for various applications.
Low cost toolkit for building robot co-workers in assembly lines
EU – FP7- FoF.NMP.2010-1 Plug and Produce components for adaptive control
01.08.2010 – 31.07.2013