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 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
Dipl.-Ing. Alexander Bubeck, phone +49 711 970-1314, email@example.com
Jörg Walz | Fraunhofer-Institut
The role of Sodium for the Enhancement of Solar Cells
17.07.2018 | Max-Planck-Institut für Eisenforschung GmbH
Behavior-influencing policies are critical for mass market success of low carbon vehicles
17.07.2018 | International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA)
For the first time ever, scientists have determined the cosmic origin of highest-energy neutrinos. A research group led by IceCube scientist Elisa Resconi, spokesperson of the Collaborative Research Center SFB1258 at the Technical University of Munich (TUM), provides an important piece of evidence that the particles detected by the IceCube neutrino telescope at the South Pole originate from a galaxy four billion light-years away from Earth.
To rule out other origins with certainty, the team led by neutrino physicist Elisa Resconi from the Technical University of Munich and multi-wavelength...
For the first time a team of researchers have discovered two different phases of magnetic skyrmions in a single material. Physicists of the Technical Universities of Munich and Dresden and the University of Cologne can now better study and understand the properties of these magnetic structures, which are important for both basic research and applications.
Whirlpools are an everyday experience in a bath tub: When the water is drained a circular vortex is formed. Typically, such whirls are rather stable. Similar...
Physicists working with Roland Wester at the University of Innsbruck have investigated if and how chemical reactions can be influenced by targeted vibrational excitation of the reactants. They were able to demonstrate that excitation with a laser beam does not affect the efficiency of a chemical exchange reaction and that the excited molecular group acts only as a spectator in the reaction.
A frequently used reaction in organic chemistry is nucleophilic substitution. It plays, for example, an important role in in the synthesis of new chemical...
Optical spectroscopy allows investigating the energy structure and dynamic properties of complex quantum systems. Researchers from the University of Würzburg present two new approaches of coherent two-dimensional spectroscopy.
"Put an excitation into the system and observe how it evolves." According to physicist Professor Tobias Brixner, this is the credo of optical spectroscopy....
Ultra-short, high-intensity X-ray flashes open the door to the foundations of chemical reactions. Free-electron lasers generate these kinds of pulses, but there is a catch: the pulses vary in duration and energy. An international research team has now presented a solution: Using a ring of 16 detectors and a circularly polarized laser beam, they can determine both factors with attosecond accuracy.
Free-electron lasers (FELs) generate extremely short and intense X-ray flashes. Researchers can use these flashes to resolve structures with diameters on the...
13.07.2018 | Event News
12.07.2018 | Event News
03.07.2018 | Event News
17.07.2018 | Life Sciences
17.07.2018 | Information Technology
17.07.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering