Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

PRACE – the mobile production assistant

25.03.2014

As part of the EU research project PRACE, scientists from Fraunhofer IPA have collaborated with partners from industry and research to develop a teachable, two-armed robot system.

The concept follows the master-apprentice principle: learning by demonstration. The aim is to enable the worker to quickly and easily impart new skills to the mobile production assistant simply by demonstrating the relevant activities. At Automatica 2014, Fraunhofer IPA will show how the PRACE demonstrator works.


The PRACE demonstrator palletizes metal components for subsequent coating.

source: Fraunhofer IPA

The goal of the EU research project PRACE is to develop a teachable, two-armed robot system for the partial automation of small batch production processes. The concept is based on the principle of learning by demonstration. The mobile production assistant learns from the worker how to carry out certain activities by itself. Similarly to a master-apprentice relationship, the worker shows the robot how to carry out the relevant tasks.

The mobile production assistant follows what the worker does and categorizes this new knowledge in its knowledge database. When the robot applies its newly acquired skill, the worker corrects and refines the robot’s actions as required until the desired result is achieved. At little expense, PRACE can be intuitively taught and quickly used for a variety of handling and manipulation tasks. This increases flexibility, cuts costs and makes the system especially attractive for small and medium-sized enterprises.

Safe and mobile two-armed manipulation for every user

For shorter set-up times, PRACE dispenses with protection systems and must therefore be operated at a lower speed of the individual robot arms. The two-armed robot provides a normal work output, while the combination of two-armed manipulation and mobile platform makes it possible for the output to be increased and for new applications in mass production to be cost-effectively automated. This is currently being trialled in production at Bosch as part of the PRACE project. Modular construction also allows the use of individual robot components and their combination with other systems.

The demonstrator from the PRACE project is based on Fraunhofer IPA’s rob@work 3 platform, ABB’s “dual-arm concept robot” and a tracking system from Magellium and DTI. In addition, the scientists from Fraunhofer IPA and Lund University are integrating a control for mobile manipulation to enable the planning and implementation of collision-free manipulation by both arms without the need for complex programming by the end user. Also, the robot system employs safe navigation methods to increase the workspace of compact manipulators: PRACE is capable of responding in real-time to dynamic changes in its environment in order to avoid collisions. “We have many years of experience in software development for the manipulation and navigation of autonomous systems. Fraunhofer IPA is focusing in particular on the development of components for localization and path planning in dynamic environments,” says Alexander Bubeck, Project Manager in the Robot and Assistive Systems department.

PRACE demonstrator in action
At Automatica 2014, PRACE will be used to carry out the preparations for a coating process: different parts for coating require simple and flexible programming of the mobile two-armed robot system. The process involves the following three steps:

• Demonstration of the new task:
The tracking system follows the movement of a teach-in tool used by the worker to demonstrate the desired motions of the system. There is also a database of robot actions (such as the recognition of components). A simulation is displayed during the teach-in process to show the worker the movements of the “robot apprentice” in real-time.

• Refinement phase:
After the teach-in phase, it may be the case that the PRACE demonstrator is incapable of executing the newly learned motion sequence to the required standard. In individual steps, therefore, the worker must further refine the robot’s motions using a tool-integrated camera system, force regulation or manual intervention to ensure that the robot is also able to carry out delicate operations, such as introducing a needle into a holder.

• Automated execution:
The new robot application can then be executed without intervention by the worker. The robot system autonomously improves its execution of the motions by, for example, using the second manipulator for execution or by shortening the travel trajectories.

PRACE stands for “Productive Robot Apprentice” and is an EU-funded research project (grant agreement no. 285380) as well as part of the 7th EU Framework Programme.

Partners in the project:
Fraunhofer IPA (Germany), Robert Bosch GmbH (Germany), Teknologisk Institut (Denmark), Lund University (Sweden), Magellium SAS (France) and ABB AG (Germany).

More at Automatica – 6th International Trade Fair for Automation and Mechatronics
3 to 6 June 2014
New Trade Fair Centre Munich
Hall A4 | Stand 530

Contact
Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Bubeck, phone +49 711 970-1314, alexander.bubeck@ipa.fraunhofer.de

Weitere Informationen:

http://www.automatica-munich.com
http://prace-fp7.eu/
http://www.ipa.fraunhofer.de

Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut

Further reports about: Automatisierung IPA PRACE Produktionstechnik Trade activities individual motions programming

More articles from Power and Electrical Engineering:

nachricht One Step Closer to a Single-Molecule Device
28.05.2015 | Columbia University School of Engineering and Applied Science

nachricht Researchers develop intelligent handheld robots
27.05.2015 | University of Bristol

All articles from Power and Electrical Engineering >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Lasers are the key to mastering challenges in lightweight construction

Many joining and cutting processes are possible only with lasers. New technologies make it possible to manufacture metal components with hollow structures that are significantly lighter and yet just as stable as solid components. In addition, lasers can be used to combine various lightweight construction materials and steels with each other. The Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen is presenting a range of such solutions at the LASER World of Photonics trade fair from June 22 to 25, 2015 in Munich, Germany, (Hall A3, Stand 121).

Lightweight construction materials are popular: aluminum is used in the bodywork of cars, for example, and aircraft fuselages already consist in large part of...

Im Focus: Solid-state photonics goes extreme ultraviolet

Using ultrashort laser pulses, scientists in Max Planck Institute of Quantum Optics have demonstrated the emission of extreme ultraviolet radiation from thin dielectric films and have investigated the underlying mechanisms.

In 1961, only shortly after the invention of the first laser, scientists exposed silicon dioxide crystals (also known as quartz) to an intense ruby laser to...

Im Focus: Advance in regenerative medicine

The only professorship in Germany to date, one master's programme, one laboratory with worldwide unique equipment and the corresponding research results: The University of Würzburg is leading in the field of biofabrication.

Paul Dalton is presently the only professor of biofabrication in Germany. About a year ago, the Australian researcher relocated to the Würzburg department for...

Im Focus: Basel Physicists Develop Efficient Method of Signal Transmission from Nanocomponents

Physicists have developed an innovative method that could enable the efficient use of nanocomponents in electronic circuits. To achieve this, they have developed a layout in which a nanocomponent is connected to two electrical conductors, which uncouple the electrical signal in a highly efficient manner. The scientists at the Department of Physics and the Swiss Nanoscience Institute at the University of Basel have published their results in the scientific journal “Nature Communications” together with their colleagues from ETH Zurich.

Electronic components are becoming smaller and smaller. Components measuring just a few nanometers – the size of around ten atoms – are already being produced...

Im Focus: IoT-based Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation System

Development and implementation of an advanced automobile parking navigation platform for parking services

To fulfill the requirements of the industry, PolyU researchers developed the Advanced Automobile Parking Navigation Platform, which includes smart devices,...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

International symposium: trends in spatial analysis and modelling for a more sustainable land use

20.05.2015 | Event News

15th conference of the International Association of Colloid and Interface Scientists

18.05.2015 | Event News

EHFG 2015: Securing health in Europe. Balancing priorities, sharing responsibilities

12.05.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Quasi-sexual gene transfer drives genetic diversity of hot spring bacteria

29.05.2015 | Life Sciences

First Eastern Pacific tropical depression runs ahead of dawn

29.05.2015 | Earth Sciences

Donuts, math, and superdense teleportation of quantum information

29.05.2015 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>