NexGenRWP - Simple and Versatile: the new Robotic Co-Worker

This new generation of robots assists with assembly and inspection, carrying out new tasks with ease.

Short Description

Usually one would expect a robot to carry out its programmed tasks in a reliable, albeit quite rigid way. As soon as the nature of the task changes, an elaborate reprogramming process has to be performed, conflicting with the goal of a flexible production. PROFACTOR develops systems that are easily – that is, by the operators themselves – configurable for a multitude of different tasks.

Two robotic use cases

The robot assists manually, for example with a screwing task

The robot functions as a „third hand” by securing the component, such that a worker can perform the required task (tightening the screw) with just one hand. No precise positioning of the component on the workbench is required. The system is equipped with 3D-scanners and object recognition software developed by PROFACTOR. Additionally, it supports gesture recognition by utilizing a “Leap-Motion” sensor. The worker is able to indicate the start of a new task with a simple finger movement.

The robot is responsible for inspection tasks

In this use-case the robot assists during the final inspection of electric scooters prior to their delivery. Completeness as well as fitting of components like brake levers is examined. Furthermore, Stickers and labels are inspected by utilizing PROFACTOR’s long-standing experience in 2D and 3D-quality control. The robot combines the inspection of the individual scooters with the scan of their respective serial numbers. In the case of subsequent complaints, this allows proving the proper configuration of the workpiece at the time of inspection.

And again: even a non-expert is able to independently adapt and configure the „inspection-recipe” for other models or tasks. This is an important step towards flexible production. The project supports the “ICT of the Future” programme with the development of ICT-supported production systems. The collaboration with “GW St.Pölten Integrative Betriebe GmbH” (one of the biggest inclusive workshops in Austria) also shows how these cooperative robotic designs allow for a simple upgrade of existing industrial work places.