Drawings by Christopher Bellingwout.


Vision for Factory-in-a-day project:

  1. A systems integrator quickly analyzes which tasks can be robotized in shortbatch production work that has been done manually until now.
  2. Using innovative domain-specific design templates (i.e., parameterize models of fixtures, gripper fingers, etc.) customer-specific components for the new production line are designed.
  3. The parts are printed with Additive Manufacturing and mounted on highly adaptive gripper modules and on other parts of the robots.
  4. The portable robots are transported to the production facility. They can be hired for short periods, together with human temp workers forming a hybrid robot-human production team.
  5. The mobile robots, fixed-based robots, and auxiliary systems such as cameras are unloaded and put in place. They fully auto-calibrate in the unaltered production environment. They connect to existing machinery through a brand-independent software system with drivers for all common components.
  6. The robots are taught what to do. Only minimal information is required, e.g., how to hold an object. The teacher selects a task from a domain-specific task list (i.e., only tasks relevant to mould finishing) and adjusts relevant parameters or demonstrates manipulating new objects.
  7. Done! The robots do 80% of the repetitive work, humans the remaining (hard-to-automate) 20% of the work. The human co-workers have received a short training how to cooperate with the robots. The robots operate without safety fences due to (1) intrinsic safety (low power), (2) dynamic contact-avoiding algorithms, and (3) intention-projection showing the robots’ motion plans to the human coworkers.

Factory-in-a-day aims at reducing the installation time of a new hybrid robot-human production line,from the weeks or months that current industrial systems now take, down to 1 day. The ability to rapidly install (and reconfigure) production lines where robots work alongside humans, will strongly reduce operating cost and open a range of new opportunities for industry – especially manufacturing SMEs – to implement robotic systems which improve productivity, flexibility and competitiveness, while strongly reducing investments and pay-back times.


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