The robot effortlessly picks up one castor after another from the pile in the box and puts them into the channel. No matter how the wheels are lying, the robot manages to get an exact grip.
Operations run smoothly and automatically when assembling the various parts of an office chair at the SB Seating production unit at Røros. But when it’s time to fit the wheels, humans must intervene. The five wheels lying jumbled in a box have to be picked up and then aligned in a row before robots can take over again and attach them to the feet of the chair.
Researchers from SINTEF now believe they have found a solution that could make production more effective and reduce costs.
Robots that can see and grasp
We are in a light and spacious laboratory in Trondheim. This is where the work to optimise the industrial production line has been taking place.
Researcher Sigurd Albrektsen is sitting at a PC that calibrates the settings of two robotic arms and a box of castors. He tells us that one of the robots is fitted with a gripper tool, while the other has 3D vision (laser and advanced camera) that recognises the various parts and identifies their position.
“The robotic gripper can pick up castors in four different ways”, he explains while pressing the start button. “That’s important, because the castors are all in different positions”.
Since SB Seating produces one chair every 20 seconds, the researchers have to enable the robot to pick out a wheel every 4 seconds. During the next few seconds, the wheels are quickly picked up out of the box by the robotic gripper.
Development at an advanced stage
Svein Peder Berge at SINTEF ICT tells us that ‘bin-picking’ has been a problem with which all researchers have been grappling for many years. “The current pick-and-place robots are very good at picking up parts arranged in specific positions, but not if they are unsorted in a box.
Now we can use a drawing (CAD model) to tell the robot which castor they must pick up. We teach the robot to recognise the wheel and its position in the box, so that it can grip it accurately and pick it up, regardless of its position in the box.
Solution with a wider perspective
Stein Are Kvikne at SB Seating says that picking up castors was chosen as the most relevant task because the company currently uses a robotic assembly cell to mount castors into the foot socket.
“At the moment, the wheels have to be picked up manually and arranged by an operator. This job is very challenging for a human being, and not exactly optimal from an HSE perspective. This consideration will be uppermost if we decide to automate this particular operation”, says Kvikne. “We will also get further productivity benefits in the form of a better working environment, enabling us to make better use of the operator’s core skills”.
However, Kvikne emphasises that SINTEF’s robot reveals applications that are of interest far beyond picking out castors:
“They demonstrate a generic technology in which many different components can be handled by the same system. The combination of 3D vision, a flexible robot/gripper and a 3D CAD model of the component means that we can pick the component directly out of the transport packaging without any extra handling.
We are now very close to having a system in which we would want to invest, both from a technological and a financial perspective”, relates Kvikne.
The Latest on: Robots that can see and grasp
via Google News
The Latest on: Robots that can see and grasp
- Fort Wood Robotics University develops new robot to be used by all serviceson December 7, 2019 at 3:28 pm
“This is probably the first robot that has crossed over to every branch,” he said. “It keeps cost down.” He said it can be configured differently depending on a unit ... “I would never turn anybody ...
- Amazon abuses workers and the climate because it canon December 6, 2019 at 5:06 pm
Here in the U.S., workers picked up on that theme as dozens gathered outside Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos’ Manhattan apartment to insist that they are “human beings, not robots.” A majority of ...
- How Nordstrom uses robots and shelves inspired by ants to deliver lipstick fasteron December 6, 2019 at 1:46 pm
But smaller buildings can get closer to metros. Tompkins Robotics, meantime, has developed a parcel-sorting solution it calls t-Sort Plus, which uses autonomous robots that travel the shortest route ...
- Landzo Announces US Launch of Robot Toy Companion Quincy That Helps Children Learn to Spell, Count & Drawon December 4, 2019 at 9:06 am
“Kids can simply scan a picture card and watch the robot artist teach them how to draw step by step. Quincy also loves to spell words and play simple math games. It's mesmerizing to see the children ...
- Liquid crystal polymer learns to move and grab objectson December 4, 2019 at 8:06 am
The dog learned to associate the bell with food, and then drooled when it heard the bell ring, even if it didn't see anything to eat ... If you give a typical mechanical robot a strawberry it might ...
- Tim Echols in Japan: Sushi, robots and fancy toiletson December 3, 2019 at 8:00 am
Not only did I not see trash on the sidewalk, road or median ... precise items or instruments, or creating robots that can do the same. Being precise requires patience and attention to detail. The ...
- Cohesio Group wins Australia's first ever 3PL AMR project for retail store and e-commerce fulfilment with Bolloré Logisticson December 2, 2019 at 7:30 pm
MELBOURNE, Australia, Dec. 3, 2019 /PRNewswire/ -- Bolloré Logistics has appointed Cohesio Group to implement an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR ... We are thrilled to see the company take the initiative ...
- Black Friday robot vacuum deals continue: Shark, Roomba, and moreon November 30, 2019 at 7:21 am
SEE ALSO ... deals Robot vacuums are a hot buy this year — as they were in 2018 as well. And it's for good reason. Who doesn't want a little robot helper to do one of the worst household chores. (If ...
- New $3,250 robot can carry your groceries home. Or you could just get a wagon.on November 24, 2019 at 10:59 pm
The first cargo-carrying robot marketed directly to consumers is on sale this holiday season. But how many people are ready to ditch their second car to buy a two-wheeled rover that can follow them ...
- Robots that can see, learn and grip—like humanson July 28, 2019 at 3:00 am
Robots that can see, learn and grip different items are advancing quickly ... Soft Robotics Inc., based in Cambridge, Massachusetts, makes pliable grippers that can grasp brownies, raw meat, a square ...
via Bing News