Robot Assistants as Simple and Effective Tools in Manufacturing Environments
A safe and flexible co-operation between robot and operator may be a promising way to achieve better productivity at the manual workplace. Thus, robot assistants can be thought to be simple and effective tools in manufacturing environments for fetch and carry jobs, assembly, handling, machining, measuring etc. Key components and methods supporting these next generation robot systems are currently under intense investigation and it is expected that first scenarios of workers co-operating with manufacturing assistants for selected tasks are within one to three year’s reach from now. In this paper, key issues in the evolution from robots to robot assistants will be addressed and typical scenarios for midterm realizations will be given. Fundamental requirements regarding intuitive programming lead to advanced control architectures, which incorporate multi-modal man-machineinterfaces and automatic task planning.
Keywords: Man-Machine-Interaction, Robot Assistant, Safety, Manufacturing Scenarios, Task Planning, Robot Programming.
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