Integration of Mobile Manipulators in an Industrial Production

Ole Madsen, Simon Bøgh, Casper Schou, Rasmus Skovgaard Andersen, Jens Skov Damgaard, Mikkel Rath Pedersen, Volker Krüger

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review

28 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Purpose
– The purpose of this study has been to evaluate the technology of autonomous mobile manipulation in a real world industrial manufacturing environment. The objective has been to obtain experience in the integration with existing equipment and determine key challenges in maturing the technology to a level of readiness suitable for industry. Despite much research within the topic of industrial mobile manipulation, the technology has not yet found its way to the industry. To mature the technology to a level of readiness suitable for industry real-world experience is crucial. This paper reports from such a real-world industrial experiment with two mobile manipulators.

Design/methodology/approach
– In the experiment, autonomous industrial mobile manipulators are integrated into the actual manufacturing environment of the pump manufacturer Grundfos. The two robots together solve the task of producing rotors; a task constituted by several sub-tasks ranging from logistics to complex assembly. With a total duration of 10 days, the experiment includes workspace adaptation, safety regulations, rapid robot instruction and running production.

Findings
– With a setup time of less than one day, it was possible to program both robots to perform the production scenario in collaboration. Despite the success, the experiment clearly demonstrated several topics in need of further research before the technology can be made available to the industry: robustness and cycle time, safety investigations and possibly standardization, and robot and workstation re-configurability.

Originality/value
– Despite the attention of research around the world, the topic of industrial mobile manipulation has only seen a limited number of real-world integrations. This work reports from a comprehensive integration into a real-world running production and thus reports on the key challenges identified from this integration.
Translated title of the contributionIntegration af Mobile Manipulatorer i en Industriel Produktion
Original languageEnglish
JournalIndustrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application
Volume42
Issue number1
Pages (from-to)11-18
Number of pages8
ISSN0143-991X
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

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