Cognitively enhanced robot for flexible manufacturing of metal and composite parts


COROMA project proposes to develop a cognitively enhanced robot that can execute multiple tasks for the manufacturing of metal and composite parts. COROMA will therefore provide the flexibility that European metalworking and advanced material manufacturing companies require to compete in the rapidly evolving global market. The main output of COROMA project will be a modular robotic system that will perform multitude of different manufacturing tasks in an autonomous way to adapt to the production requirements.

The robot will be capable of performing drilling, trimming, deburring, polishing, sanding, non-destructive inspection and adaptive fixturing operations. Using a simple interface the robot will receive basic commands that require a minimum programming effort from the human operator.

The robot will autonomously navigate in the workshop and will automatically perceive the manufacturing scene and locate the part that must be manufactured and even handle some of the required tools. Learning from previous experiences during displacement, tool grasping, part localisation and the manufacturing process itself, the robot will improve its performance. It will be able to interact with other machines in the shop floor and to work on a part even while other manufacturing operations are being performed by these other machines.

Safe human-robot and machine-robot collaborations will be paramount and the robot will automatically react to the presence of both humans and other machines.

The modularity of the COROMA robot will permit to customize it to meet specific requirements from different manufacturing companies. These challenges require a project consortium where the latest robotic technologies meet knowledge from manufacturing experts, including both industry and academia. COROMA project consortium presents a perfect balance between manufacturing and robotics sectors players.

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Start date: 01-10-2016
End date: 30-09-2019
Total budget - Public funding: 7 258 991,00 Euro - 5 979 445,00 Euro
Call topic: Machinery and robot systems in dynamic shop floor environments using novel embedded cognitive functions (FoF.2016.02)
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Significant innovations and achievements Significance of the results for SMEs
Specific use case requirements Lessons learned

    The COROMA modular platform is an innovative approach that has developed seven fuctional modules to improve the performance of already existing robotic systems:

    • CORO-OPTIP: this module equips the robot with process awareness to detect, for example, vibrations during drilling that will trigger a reaction, or check tool wear if a sanding operation is being carried out.
    • CORO-MOB provides the robot with mobility, so it can move autonomously through the workshop.
    • CORO-SAFE offers artificial vision so that the robots can detect the presence of humans and make way.
    • CORO-COOP focuses on providing developments for a communication platform so that the robot can interact with other machines and robots.
    • CORO-SENSE is a vision module implemented by means of camera systems and laser technology, so that it can understand the environment and find the part on which they must work.
    • CORO-PROG minimum programming module allows the robot to respond to operator’s instructions, and to respond to visual instructions in a simple way.
    • CORO-HAND allows the robot to pick up tools and provide the system with dexterity.

    COROMA provides the flexibility that European metalworking and advanced material manufacturing companies require to compete in the rapidly evolving global market.

    COROMA will have a positive impact on employment in the European industry, as:

    • companies using this new robot concept will require new, different professional profiles.
    • European market share in robot production could go down if great innovation efforts are not made in this field.
    • the effective collaboration between humans and robots will alleviate the most arduous manual tasks entailing repetitive joint and muscular movements. The automation of these operations will help to create highly specialized jobs in European industry, and to avoid the relocation of jobs that would otherwise be manual in countries with a lower hourly rate.


    In this way, the overall results of the project are:

    1. The creation of collaborative robot-machine environments
    2. A positive impact for robot manufacturers
    3. Boosting the implementation of robotics in component manufacturers

    Three industrial use cases have been addressed, corresponding to the Energy, Aerospace and Naval sectors.

    On each use case, several robot manufacturing operation opportunities have been identified, with a large variety of applications that ensures industrial demonstrators on-site at the facilities of each one of the involved end-users.

    The following operations have been addressed in the project:

    • Energy Sector: rack base weld grinding, nozzle non-destructive inspection, tube deburring
    • Aerospeace Sector: Jet engine part finishing, aircraft and T-profile machining 
    • Naval: Mould master model manufacturing

    Each one of these insdustrial scenarios requires of different operational functionalities provided by each one of the CORO-modules. In the first two of them, the COROMA module must be able to localice and idetify the workpiece, generate the required trajectories for machining or inspection, execute the operations on it, avoiding collisions with objects and operators, and improving the overall performance by learning techinques. The Naval Sector applications sets the bar one step higher, as robot mobility along the workshops must be added in order to find a workpiece bigger than the robotic system itself.

    • Industry has a good disposition to integrate the techologies developed and applied in COROMA: we must continue approaching final applications of robots in manufacturing environment.
    • Even though we've not reached TRL 9, it is clear from our industrial prototypes, that the results are good compared with those of manual operations.
    • Even though the final system application substitutes manual operations, new high level tasks are created, so job loss is not a direct outcome from robotisation.
    • In fact, high level Robotics and automation in European industry is a must in order to avoid manufacturing operations to migrate to low cost countries.
    • There is a need of standards (safety/ risk assessment) for mobile robots in industrial environments.

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Flexibility Economic sustainability
Occupational safety and health Lead time

      The same characteristics that allow COROMA to reduce the lead time provide the system with a grater flexibility.  The capablilty to localice the workpiece and to adapt to certain extent the operation to its specific geometry alloews the system to transform worpiees with differetn sizes and geometry.

      In addition to this, the capability to learn from previous operations provides an extra in its flexibility.


      COROMA system reduces the time of operation, through the use of well defined functional modules able to address different manufacturing. Furthermore, it reduces the time devoted to worpiece set-up.

      Clear examples are the end user main machining scenarios, where COROMA system must automatically find, localice, and identify the workpiece, automatically generatig the trajectories for the specific operation.


      COROMA robotic system carries out operations potentially dangerous for human health:

      - repetitive tasks,

      - tasks in difficult-to-reach areas of big workpieces,

      - long-last machining operations on unhealthy materials

      On the other hand, safety fuctionality (while navigating or working near an operators) allows a non risky interation with humans.

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Complex structures, geometries and scale
Domain 2: Adaptive and smart manufacturing systems

      COROMA copes witha a series of applications where workpiece position, size and even flexibility are limitations for a successful automatised operation of the robotic system that performs the manufactiuring process.

      Aerospace, Energy and Naval sectors give the project a wide range of scenarios where the robotic system must show adaptability: automatic finishing grinding of metalic surfaces, thin walls machining, grinding of complex metalic rack weldings, sanding of composite workpieces whose position must be previously localized, or nozzel inspection are the some examples of the demanding tasks COROMA must fface.

      Regarding adaptability, the system is able to generate the operation trajectories needed for each complex workpiece, and to learn along the execution of each operation.

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Intelligent machinery components, actuators and end-effectors
Advanced and ubiquitous human machine interaction

      Several functional modules of COROMA system allows it to interact with the production envionment in an enhanced way:

      • Moving trough the workshop when required
      • Sensing and recognicing the work environment and the wokpiece
      • Avoiding collision with humans, machines and pieces
      • Adapting the robot movements to the orientation of the workpiece
      • Learning from previous experiences for performance improving
      • Communicating and cooperating whit machine tools in a sichronised way

      In some of the use case applications, the interaction with the workpiece:

      • Is made by using the robot as a mobile support, controling the force applien on the workpiece
      • Is made with specific tools adapted in the project: sanding tools, mechatronic hand

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Business model aspects of digital platform deployment

      A results-oriented approach driven by commercial offers with market tension for each of the cases analysed has been adopted. These offers are very close to industrial offers.

      Three main cases have been presented, which are the result of a Exploitation Plan selection process. These cases integrate a technical and economic dimension with different levels of detail:

      • Case 1: Metal part Grinding based on ACITURRI demonstrator
      • Case 2 : Industrial Case FROM BENETEAU DEMONSTRATOR, by Gébé 2
      • Case 3 : Chatter Detection System, by Europe Technologies

      Apart from these three main cases, 2 complementary ones have been identified, but developed to a lesser extent:

      • Case 4: Robotic Mobile Fixture
      • Case 5: Scene Understanding System

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