A new era for collaborative industrial robots2023-11-28
The industry of today and tomorrow requires modern technology where cooperation takes place between people, between people and machines, and between machines. Machines can monitor themselves, analyse results and autonomously optimise operating conditions and production. The result is greater efficiency and productivity. A new era of industrial robots that can work side by side with humans in above all different forms of small component assembly and material handling has already begun. An international collaboration project in this field was presented at a workshop at Karlstad University.
- During the workshop, we presented an overall introduction to the EU programme Industry 5.0 and the Japan programme Society 5.0, says Jorge Solis, docent in electrical engineering. Industry 5.0 shall, through research and innovation, lead to a more sustainable and human-centred European industry. Society 5.0 envisions a human-centered society that balances economic progress with the solution of social problems through a system that highly integrates cyber and physical space. Society 5.0 is considered to be similar to Industry 4.0, however, it is a more far-reaching concept as it envisions a complete transformation of our way of life.
New sustainable solutions based on collaborative robots
At the workshop, the results obtained so far of combining perceptual ability with cognitive ability to improve the performance of the collaborative robots were presented, as well as our student exchange with Ritsumeikan University in Japan. Mixed reality with multi-modal feedback will be integrated into the various robot platforms to realise human-robot cooperation, improve assembly efficiency and reduce errors. Two different focus areas were demonstrated during the workshop:
1) Integration of a machine learning-based 3D gesture recognition system to make it easier for humans to send commands to a collaborative robot through body language.
2) Integration of mixed reality for visualisation of both 3D cyber space and physical space to enable bidirectional human-robot interaction.
- The comments we received from the participants were positive and they showed great interest in our results so far and in cooperation between academia and industry to develop future industrial systems with collaborative robots. From an industry perspective, there are good opportunities to participate with academia to speed up professional and research development with a focus on collaborative robots, machine learning and mixed realities. It feels great that industry stakeholders within the region showed such great interest to discuss cooperation opportunities, says Jorge Solis.
The aim of the workshop was to present to industry participants the results so far of the project Implementing New Sustainable Solutions Based on Collaborative Robots Using Mixed Reality (MR) and Artificial Intelligence (AI) co-financed by Intsam (VINNOVA) and the ongoing project Human-Robot Co-adaptive Planning for Collaborative Tasks Using Mixed Reality and Artificial Intelligence with partial funding by the International Collaborative Research Program, Ritsumeikan University.