Mobile dual arm robotic workers with embedded cognition for hybrid and dynamically reconfigurable manufacturing systems

Summary

The productivity of the serial production model is compromised by the need to perform changes in the production equipment that cannot support multiple operations in dynamic environments. Low cost labour is no longer an option for EU manufacturers due to the fast rise of wages and the increasing costs of energy and logistics. Manual tasks cannot be fully automated with a good ratio of cost vs robustness using standard robots due to: high product variability, dedicated process equipment and high cost of maintenance by expert users. The answer to this challenge lays in the creation of production concepts that base their operation on the autonomy and collaboration between production resources.

The vision of THOMAS is: "to create a dynamically reconfigurable shopfloor utilizing autonomous, mobile dual arm robots that are able to perceive their environment and through reasoning, cooperate with each other and with other production resources including human operators".

The objective of THOMAS are to:

  • Enable mobility on products and resources. Introducing mobile robots able to navigate in the shopfloor and utilize dexterous tooling to perform multiple operations.
  • Enabling perception of the task and the environment using a) the individual resource’s and b) collaborative perception by combining sensors of multiple resources
  • Dynamic balancing of workload. Allowing the resources to communicate over a common network and automatically adjust their behaviour by sharing or reallocating tasks dynamically.
  • Fast programming and automatic execution of new tasks by a) automatically generating the robot program for new products and b) applying skills over the perceived environment to determine required adaptations
  • Safe human robot collaboration, eliminating physical barriers, by introducing cognitive abilities that allow the detection of humans and their intentions

THOMAS will demonstrate and validate its developments in the automotive and the aeronautics industrial sectors.

 

More information
Web resources: http://www.thomas-project.eu
https://cordis.europa.eu/project/rcn/205544/factsheet/en
Start date: 01-10-2016
End date: 30-09-2020
Total budget - Public funding: 5 624 225,00 Euro - 4 510 700,00 Euro
Call topic: Machinery and robot systems in dynamic shop floor environments using novel embedded cognitive functions (FoF.2016.02)
Twitter: @THOMASEUProject
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Location

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Innovation Action (IA)

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Significant innovations and achievements

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Economic sustainability Supply chain and value network efficiency Flexibility Innovative re-use of equipment Social sustainability
Increasing human achievements in manufacturing systems Material efficiency Waste minimisation Occupational safety and health

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Manufacturing the products of the future Customised products
Resource efficient, sustainable products Domain 2: Adaptive and smart manufacturing systems

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Advanced manufacturing processes Replication, Equipment for flexible scalable prod/Assembly ,... Integration of non-conventional technologies and conventiona... Mechatronics Control technologies Intelligent machinery components, actuators and end-effectors Advanced and ubiquitous human machine interaction Information and communication technologies IoT - Internet of Things
ICT solutions for modelling and simulation tools Modelling and simulation methods of manufacturing processes ... Engineering tools Data storage Data processing Human Machine Interfaces Programming Languages Programming Frameworks – Software Development Kits (SDKs)

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Manufacturing system levels and life-cycle stages Manufacturing system levels Field Device Work station
Integration/ configuration of manufacturing systems Use-phase of manufacturing system (producing products) Production of product

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Autonomous Smart Factories Pathway

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Business model aspects of digital platform deployment
Added Value