Vision for Factory-in-a-day project:
- A systems integrator quickly analyzes which tasks can be robotized in shortbatch production work that has been done manually until now.
- 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.
- The parts are printed with Additive Manufacturing and mounted on highly adaptive gripper modules and on other parts of the robots.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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