PhD 11 Months Evaluator - Sebastian S. Hjorth, Aalborg University, Denmark

Activity: ExaminationInternal examination


Title: "Robotic control for Human-robot collaborative disassembly systems"

In order to tackle climate change and limit the amount of newly extracted resources from the earth, it is no longer enough to just focus on the improvement of efficiency for new products or just recycle product’s raw materials. As this can also be unnecessary, due to the fact that new products from the same company more often share the same or slightly modified subcomponents with a previous iteration. In such cases, it would be more resource and climate-friendly to requalify or remanufacture these subcomponents, such that they can be reused in new products.

Therefore, policy providers have discussed and promoted the so-called circular economy business models (CEBMs). However, in order to make CEBMs viable for manufacturers, it is necessary to automate the disassembly process. One of the main technological enablers that facilitate the automation of the disassembly process is the industrial manipulators. However, such disassembly system face the challenge of variability and uncertainties concerning the state of the product, e.g., inhomogeneous materials, the mixture of materials, component location and the variation of the structural rigidity of the components. This variability and uncertainty can make it impossible for a fully automated system to complete the process in an economically viable time or even complete it at all.

Therefore, it is necessary to keep the human-in-the-loop and create a hybrid automated disassembly cell in which humans and robots support each other to complete a given disassembly task. Such implementation introduces a new set of challenges to the disassembly process with regards to the collaboration between humans and robots, i.e. task sharing/allocation/programming and safety in human-robot interaction/collaboration.

Consequently, the goal is to investigate the possibility to integrate a robotics solution into this process, which can work safely hand-in-hand with the human workforce.

The project so far has been focused on investigating the current state of the art of the research area, as well as developing a control strategy for enforcing the workspace restrictions on a purely energy-based approach. The current focus of the project lies within the investigation of the passivity of the developed control scheme. Moreover, the focus will shift towards the research of how such control schemes can be utilized within a disassembly process.
Period25 Feb 2021
Degree of RecognitionInternational


  • Robotics
  • Disassembly
  • circular economy
  • Energy-based control
  • Simulation
  • Artificial Intelligence
  • Sustainability
  • human-robot collaboration