Advanced RoBOTic Technology for Handling SOFT Materials in MANufacturing Sectors

Summary

SOFTMANBOT is an industrial-end-user driven project that will provide an innovative and holistic robotic system for the handling of flexible and deformable materials within labour-intensive production processes.

The robotic system will be composed by three main pillars including

  • a generic robotic perception system (perception of the product and the human operator),
  • a multi-sensor control and planning platform (advanced control algorithms for shape and contact servoing, AI based task generalization)
  • and smart dexterous grippers (smart mechanical design which will embody grasping/manipulation skills and integrate sensors - mainly tactile -  for identifying precisely the contact state between the product and the gripper) able to handle soft components with high-levels of robustness and flexibility.

The automation solution is aimed to work in close collaboration with human operators in order to help them in the execution of contact-based challenging tasks so that the productivity and job quality will be boosted which will highly contribute to bring back production to Europe.

Special attention will be paid to the integration of novel robotic concepts based on aspects of safety, ergonomics, adaptability, acceptance and user experience. In order to facilitate the assessment of the performance, transferability, scalability and large scale deployment of these solutions, the demonstrations will be conducted under real industrially relevant environments in four pilot demonstrators involving four key manufacturing sectors ( toy, textile, footwear and tyre).

The project is not just aiming at quantitative improvements brought by cutting-edge technologies in a specific sector, but to use technology innovation to support a change of paradigm where handling of soft materials with the involvement of robots become a feasible and widespread alternative for European factories, specially SMEs.

More information
Web resources: https://cordis.europa.eu/project/id/869855
http://softmanbot.eu
Start date: 01-10-2019
End date: 31-03-2023
Total budget - Public funding: 7 558 651,00 Euro - 7 558 651,00 Euro
Call topic: Handling systems for flexible materials (RIA) (DT-FOF-12-2019)
Instrument: Innovation Action (RIA)
Location