The purpose of ProgHRC is to develop an innovative robot assistant in which humans will demonstrate kinesthetically complex repetitive or periodic tasks and the robot will learn to perform them with gradual automation. The project will be based on modern demonstration learning methods that will evolve to achieve efficient human-robot collaboration. In addition, modern methods of mechanical vision with depth cameras will be used and developed in order to offer a perception of the surrounding space to the robot, in combination with the handling of objects. This will achieve ease of use, adaptability, and security, enabling the robot to learn from humans how to perform various tasks.
The result of the project will be a portable and flexible working cell with a robotic arm that will be placed on the production line and will be programmed very easily and quickly for this task by humans, without the need for specialized personnel.
The impact of ProgHRC in the national level of economy is to contribute to enhancing SME competitiveness by reducing programming time and associated automation costs such as operator specialization, especially in production lines with frequent rotations that do not justify high-cost automation. However, given the low cost of purchasing cooperative robots starting at €15,000, the required capital and return on investment can now become non-prohibitive.
This project has the following goals:
- Development of a method for easy programming of human robots with demonstration and gradual automation, in complex repetitive and periodic movements.
- Transfer of new technology and knowledge on the gradual automation system by integrating innovative 3D vision methods for adaptability to changes in the environment and the handling of objects under uncertainty in their place.
- Development of security systems on the robotic system for cooperation with humans with innovative methods of avoiding collisions and dynamic obstacles that appear in space.
- Composition of a complete robotic system aiming at a portable robotic work cell that can be used as a tool in several different applications and not just an ad hoc solution.
- Evaluation of the capabilities of the robotic system for gradual automation of work in collaboration with humans, within a real industrial environment in the field of food production.
- Linking the research results with the national strategy of research and innovation in Industry 4.0, in order to modernize and exploit new production processes in the Greek and European economy.