HRI support application for operator

  • BASIC INFORMATION
  • INNOVATION
  • EXPLOITATION
  • MEDIA
  • MODULES
Name of demonstration

HRI support application for operator

Main objective

Industries need to increase quality level of process in terms of precision and repeatability, to reduce throughput time in assembly stations, to enable traceability of the performed operations and to reduce operators’ ergonomic stress (e.g. by reducing the applied physical strength). This can be done with the introduction of automation and robot systems to the assembly lines that will take over the strenuous tasks. Driven by industry needs for the flexibility of human operator as also robots automation,this use-case demonstration aims at increasing operator’s “safety feeling” and acceptance when working close to large industrial robots by visualizing data coming from a robot’s controller and by displaying visual alerts to increase their awareness for a potentially hazardous situation.

Short description

To this direction, is demonstrated an HRI framework for operator support in human robot collaborative operations. This Use Case consists of high payload industrial robot, a monitoring system and an AR application. The combination of the Hardware and software of this Demonstrator provide to the human operators:

  1. Assembly instructions
  2. Robot behaviour information for increasing safety awareness
  3. Safe working volumes
  4. Production status information

Also, interfaces on smart wearable devices enable the easy and direct human robot interaction while the HRC execution is orchestrated and monitored through a service – based controller.

 

 

Owner of the demonstrator

University of Patras

Responsible person

Dr. Sotiris Makris makris@lms.mech.upatras.gr

NACE

C29.3 - Manufacture of parts and accessories for motor vehicles

Keywords

Human Operator Support, High payload robot, Augmented Reality , Robotic cell, Safety awareness.

Potential users

SMEs or bigger companies that are interested in exploiting the synergy effect of humans and high payload robots in their production line ensuring the operators safety and making him/her feel safe close to robots

Benefits for the users

The proposed operator support application improves the agility of the assembly system by providing assembly guidance for the operator and increasing safety awareness.

    • The synergy effect of the robot’s precision, repeatability and strength with the human’s intelligence and flexibility is great, especially in the case of small-scale production. 
    • Additionally, the introduction of robots to support assembly operators reduces the need for physical strength. Therefore, it is possible for older people to continue working inside the production facility, having to undertake. In this direction the AR tools need to be enriched with further functionalities to support this collaboration in a user-friendly way. 
    • The assembly guidance provided through the application helps unexperienced operators to familiarise themselves with new tasks faster and easier.

– Pop-up messages provide recovery instructions to the operators in case of a malfunction.

– Unexperienced operators can be allocated to work in HRC cells and new processes limiting the training requirements thus providing agility in the system on re-allocating human resources according to the production needs

Innovation

– Co-existence of humans and high payload robots in a collaborative environment, sharing both workplaces and tasks. 

– Reinforces operators’ critical position in manufacturing in the transition to agile manufacturing.

– Contributes to agile manufacturing by supporting dynamic knowledge transfer to the human operators in a way that is perceivable and does not limit operators’ capabilities

– Increases operator’s “safety feeling” and acceptance when working close to large industrial robots by displaying visual alerts for a potentially hazardous situation.

– Allows real-time communication between the operators and the execution system.

– Supports remotely assembly workstations.

Risks and limitations

- The safety monitoring system is not operating optimally to non-ideal environmental conditions (e.g. insufficient lighting).

- The use of the AR Glasses can be challenging for unfamiliar operators.

Technology readiness level

6 - Safety approved sensors and systems are commercially available

Sectors of application

Various company sizes dealing with product assembly and can to manufacturing systems that aim to increase automation in their processes., Companies that have already robotic cells in their production line and want to introduce the operator to work with them.

Potential sectors of application

Each company that deals with products assembly and has introduced robots to support operator can enrich the collaboration with this AR application.

Patents / Licenses / Copyrights

License pricing should be customized as per each individual end user's requirements. The agreement will be made upon contact with the module owner.

Hardware / Software

Hardware:

Industrial robots

Augmented reality glasses

Smart watch


Software:

Open source software (ROS)

RosBridge

ROS Java

Unity

Vuforia

Photos
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