The ROBERTO project will develop an integrated system that allows the safe use of industrial robots with high load capacity, in work environments shared with operators, without fencing.

The project will allow us to boost and maximise the exploitation level of the robotic solutions presently present in industrial lines, adapting them to flexible manufacturing processes of short lots, under the concept of co-worker robot.

Framed within the 2016 Innterconecta Program, the project consortium is led by DGH Ingeniería and is completed by ONTECH, I3TE, ITERA, GRUPO COPO and IZMAR. AIMEN participates as a collaborating body.

The ROBERTO project combines cutting-edge technology to create an integrated system that allows the safe use of industrial robots (high load capacity), in shared work environments, without fencing.

For this, it is necessary to develop new technological solutions in terms of perception and control, which allow the development of a dynamic multi-level security system for use in robotic flexible manufacturing processes, designed for the manufacture of medium / large pieces, usually linked to short production lots. The robotic solution must be compact (small footprint), economical and easy to use, with the aim of adapting to a safe and shared manufacturing environment, without fencing and focused on the user.

The developed system will be validated in two demonstration scenarios, representative of real operating environments: the automotive industry and the metal-mechanic sector.

Main Innovations

The use of robotic industrial manipulators without fencing, high-speed and loading capacity, together with the ability to work in a shared environment safely, avoiding collisions with the worker, and collaborating with him on the factory floor, will provide new possibilities to the manufacturing industries, which demand new flexible robotic solutions and with a fast capacity to adapt to new products / parts to be processed / manufactured.

Owing to the foregoing, ROBERTO proposes the combined development of active multi-level security systems adapted for the safe use of high-speed industrial robots and load capacity in shared space, a programming methodology with a high level of abstraction, the development of multifunctional tools for integrated sensorisation and real-time image processing and the development of an innovative sensor system based on low-cost sensors for detecting and locating operators / objects.

The possibility of validating the prototype developments in two relevant manufacturing environments (automotive and metal-mechanical industry), will allow to quantify significantly the benefits obtained in variables such as: increase in the flexibility of the manufacturing line, reduction of engineering costs and associated physical components, reduction of employment costs associated with repetitive tasks or reduction of times in which operators are exposed to non-ergonomic operations.

In this way, the use of collaborative robotic solutions such as those proposed in ROBERTO, will provide flexible technological solutions that allow promoting the change of the productive model towards a mass customisation (tailor-made manufacturing), increasing in turn the efficiency of SMEs devoted to the manufacturing and opening new market possibilities, both for technological developers and new robotics users.

Cross-sector Collaboration

The ROBERTO project, with a budget of 1.65 million euros and a total duration of 27 months, is part of the 2016 Innterconecta Programme.

The consortium, led by DGH (the first Spanish company to implement a system based on collaborative robotics in the automotive sector in Spain), is completed by ONTECH (a technological company specialising in the development of advanced sensor systems), I3TE (a company with extensive experience in the development of industrial electronics for location and prediction of movements), ITERA (technology-based company that develops multifunctional tools), GRUPO COPO (company specialising in the manufacture of foams and fabrics for seats within the automotive sector) and IZMAR (company specialising in metal processing for several industrial sectors).

This group of companies has the collaboration of AIMEN Technology Centre.

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