The REMODEL project aims to reduce the psychophysical stresses of the workers, by introducing robot platforms to perform the repetitive manipulation tasks of DLOs (Deformable Linear Objects i.e. cables, hoses, etc., which are currently being performed manually by human workers).
The intention is not to replace the workers with robotic platforms, but to transition them to more qualified and decision-making roles. The industries that predominantly require efficient DLO manipulation include switchgear manufacturing, wire harness manufacturing and assembly, and hose packaging, to name a few. These applications are the initial areas of focus which the project consortium intends to automate.
The idea proposed by the REMODEL project is to create an incremental skill-based robot knowledge system, with a few iterations of Teaching by Demonstration, allowing the robot to operate with less supervision, such that, the worker can focus on supplementary tasks with higher levels of complexity, thereby increasing productivity. The worker can teach the robot the sequence of operations to manipulate the DLOs, and the developed application could be easily reconfigurable to adapt to the varying changes in the product.
The project intends to develop robot platforms capable of manipulating flexible materials (DLOs), to optimize manufacturing processes by integrating the best attributes of dual-arm robot manipulators (i.e. speed, accuracy, strength and repeatability for less skilled tasks) and humans (i.e. physical dexterity, cognitive reasoning, creativity).
The project REMODEL aims to reduce the psychophysical stresses of the workers, by introducing robot platforms to perform the repetitive manipulation tasks of these DLOs (which are currently being performed manually by human workers). The intention is not to replace the workers with robotic platforms, but to transition them to more qualified and decision-making roles.
The impact of REMODEL is particularly important for European industries, as they currently face challenges in achieving flexibility and efficiency to improve their competitive position in the world market.
The shortage of a strong workforce in the industrial sector has necessitated the outsourcing of the aforementioned processes (requiring extensive DLO manipulation), to regions outside of Europe, having a lower labor cost, and subsequently compromising the global competitiveness of the overall industrial sector. The successful outcome of REMODEL is a step towards changing this.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 870133.
Pablo Malvido FresnilloDoctoral Researcher
Alma Mater Studiorum – Università Di Bologna (Italy), I.E.M.A. s.r.l. (Italy), Elimco Aerospace SLU (Spain), Elvez (Slovenia), Volkswagen Poznan (Poland), Enki (Italy), Università degli Studi della Campania - Luigi Vanvitelli (Italy), Fundacion Tecnalia Research & Innovation (Spain), Tampere University (Finland), Technische Universitaet Muenchen (Germany) Politechnika Poznanska (Poland)