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H2020 ICT-47 Novel safety sensor system for high-power collaborative robotic systems

Country of Origin: Latvia
Reference Number: RDLV20200207001
Publication Date: 9 February 2020

Summary

Latvian research institution is preparing a project proposal for H2020 ICT47 Call - Research and Innovation boosting promising robotics applications. The project is about development of advanced safety system for high-payload industrial robots, automated guided vehicles and humanoid type robots in social care. The research institution is searching for the partner – company/industry with expertise in the industrial robotics industry with an emphasis on implementation of security solutions.

Description

The aim of the project is to develop advanced safety system for high-payload industrial robots and automated guided vehicles (AGV), as well as for humanoid type robots used in social care. One of the key elements for development of the advanced safety system is early human proximity detection by using various sensors and measurement devices. The usage of proximity and/or force sensing skin could allow for early human presence detection and thus prevent the injuries or dangerous situations by stopping or slowing down the robot.
The project has four research areas:
1) Integration and use of novel materials for service robotics - usage of novel materials in robotics and upgrading, recycling of the robot.
2) Application and integration of novel non-visual sensing methods for service robotics (including off-board, ambient and multi-scale sensing) to achieve new functionality. The aim of this research area will be achieved by using different sensor types in addition to camera-based - for example, by using proximity sensing skin with different modifications and measuring circuitry design. Motor current measurements for torque measurements will be made in order to detect impact or external force increase.
3) Development of intrinsically safe physical powerful robotic systems with proximity sensing capability for human-scale collaborative tasks. The development of the sensor skin in addition to other sensing and measuring systems gives an opportunity to equip the industrial robot with high payload to increase the level of safety and enable the human-robot collaboration possibility.
4) Development of variable autonomy systems that significantly extend and enhance the operator’s awareness of the working environment. By using the proximity sensing skin, it provides the ability to sense not only human presence to the robot system, but also detection of some of the environmental parameters or sudden unexpected changes at the workplace of the robot system.
The draft work package breakdown structure:
WP1 - Management and communication
WP2 - Development of fibre, textiles and sensor elements
WP3 - Development of electronics and measuring circuits
WP4 - Safety level increase in cobots and industrial robot applications
WP5 - Mobile robot safety system development
WP6 - Humanoid robot safety & collaboration system development
WP7 - Industrial & application tests and validation
WP8 - Lifecycle assessment, reliability and social aspect evaluation
The project coordinator is seeking for one partner to complete consortium – company/industry with expertise in the industrial robotics industry with an emphasis on implementation of security solutions. The company should be involved in implementing security solutions and testing them according to ISO standards. A university can also be a partner in a project if it has the above experience and can prove it.
EIO deadline: 27 February, 2020.
Call deadline: 22 April, 2020.

Advantages and Innovations

The high payload robots in the context of this project are industrial robots used in different areas of manufacturing with payloads ranging from 5 to 600 or more kilograms. The second high-payload robot group in the project is automated guided vehicles used to transport different objects inside the manufacturing plant. The weight being transported could go up to 10 tons. As these robots are associated with fast moving of high mass, the inertia and potential impact damage is significant. Currently used safety systems for such robots are safety fences, lights curtain and different beam-type proximity sensors. These systems are safe in the case worker or person in manufacturing plant is aware of the dangers and tries not to get inside the working area of these high-power robots. If there is a case a technician or other worker has gotten inside this working area and the robot system is not aware of human presence, it could end with different levels of accidents. To eliminate such cases, the sensor system should be developed to detect the human presence around the moving robotic system with full effective sensing angle so that the system can react to detected presence with stopping the movement or decreasing the speed to the safe one. In the case of unforeseen impact, the system would continue to operate causing potential damage to manufacturing plant, causing injuries to the human or damaging itself. To eliminate such operational mode, the continuous load monitoring should be done. In case of unexpected impact, the monitored load parameters should differ from expected and the robotic systems could react to new data as a stop and warning or other reactive actions.

Stage Of Development

Proposal under development

Requested partner

The project consortium is seeking for the partner – company/industry with expertise in the industrial robotics industry with an emphasis on implementation of security solutions. The company should have expertise in implementing security solutions and testing them according to ISO standards. A university can also be a partner in a project if it has the above experience and prove it.
The active role of the partner is expected to be in following WPs:
WP3 - Development of electronics and measuring circuits;
WP4 - Safety level increase in cobots and industrial robot applications;
WP7 - Industrial & application tests and validation of experiments.

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