Be it the packing and quality checking of fruit, the polishing of steel moulds or the filling of a spray-painting machine, all these processes have one thing in common: they are usually done manually because there is no robot or automated process that can do the job as efficient as a human worker. Today, setting up a robotic system takes at least 3 months and the costs are immense. SMEs usually only have small production batches due to seasonal on-off production. State-of-the-art systems don’t provide the flexibility they need to stay competitive on a global market. For these reasons SMES in Europe rarely use advanced robot technology.


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.