Industrial Integration and Exploitation of Mobile Robotics; Development of the Future Production Assistant - The Mobile Robot "Little Helper"

    Project Details


    Short Description of Content

    Increased customer needs and intensified global competition demand new actions to the field of production and manufacturing in industrialized countries, which means that adjustment and responsiveness play an increasingly important role, that should be prioritized on equal terms with known key issues like; lead times, waste, storage capabilities, etcetera.

    The shift in paradigm from mass production to customized production and the resumption of local production in industrialized countries have created industrial needs for innovative and flexible automation, based on new technologies, which seek greater; autonomy, versatility and robustness.

    Based on the above are generated 2 coherent PhD scholarships with the overall aim to strengthen the established research and know-how in the field of mobile robotics - with special focus on industrial implementation and exploitation - thereby realizing the new paradigm: Design for Industrial Mobile Robotics (DIMR).

    The key issues, in the PhD-scholarships, are:

    Development of an overall industrial mobile robotics concept (flexible and robust automation)Evolvement of mobile robot technologies (industrial maturation of mobile robotics)Development of the future production assistant - that is the mobile robot "Little Helper"

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    Project Categorisation

    Coherent PhD (Simon Bøgh & Mads Hvilshøj)

    Responsible Participants at the Department

    Simon Bøgh (PhD student)

    Mads Hvilshøj (PhD student)

    Morten Kristiansen (Co supervisor)

    Ole Madsen (Main supervisor)

    Project Partnerships

    Aalborg University



    Project Rationale

    As part of the overall PhD project, a (prototype of a) mobile robot is developed that is to be integrated in an existing production setup and environment (at Grundfos in Bjerringbro), and thereby acting as an experimental platform (possibility of inductive research).

    Because of the industrial integration and exploitation the mobile robot has to be safe, intuitive and simple to use and furthermore easily adaptable to various manufacturing systems and tasks - thereby serving as a robust and flexible production assistant and little helper.

    Project Content

    The overall PhD project is divided into the following parallel PhD studies:

    1) Intrinsic and extrinsic architectures of mobile robotics in industrial context

    The aim of this PhD scholarship is to investigate and develop architectures for integrating mobile robot technologies in industrial context. The focus is on developing a system architecture that incorporates an integrated production planning and control environment with use of mobile robotics.

    Key issues:

    Manufacturing Systems IntegrationDigital manufacturing - ICTPlanning (resource allocation and scheduling, level of automation)Manufacturing system architectures, hierarchy and infrastructureInformation models (communication and interfaces)

    2) Safe and flexible interactions between mobile robots and industrial environments

    The aim of this PhD scholarship is to investigate and develop methods for safe and flexible interactions between mobile robots and industrial environments. The focus of the scholarship will be on safety issues and user interfaces enabling fast (re)programming and (re)configuration of the mobile robot.

    Key issues:

    Safety engineering - HRI and pHRI (physical Human-Robot-Interaction)Intelligent-Man-Machine-Interface (iMMI) and Human-Computer-Interaction (HCI)Intuitive and simple learning and programmingCognitive issues and ethics

    Economic Estimates and Financial Sources

    The project is partly internal and partly external funded.

    Grundfos contributes with financial and work related support.

    KUKA contributes with equipment (both hardware and software).


    The project will run over the period; February 2009 - February 2012.

    Effective start/end date19/05/2010 → …


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