EXECELL - Experimental Evaluation of Advanced Sensor-Based Supervision and Work Cell Integration Strategies
Robots currently used in industrial applications are located behind fences in order to prevent contact between humans and robots and to ensure safety. Increasingly, however, there is a need for a new class of service and assistance robot applications that will allow for a common workspace for robots and humans. The next generation of hyper-flexible cells combines the cognitive advantages of humans with the speed, accuracy, and strength of robots to allow for a new variety of tasks to be efficiently carried out. This, in turn, calls for a new generation of networked robots with tightly integrated sensor systems which allow for closer interaction between humans and robots. Therefore, the Execell’s goal is to develop and experimentally demonstrate safe interaction between humans and robots of various types and sizes.
The Execell work cell will be equipped with a 2½D sensor system developed at the Fraunhofer IFF, which reliably detects humans and other objects in three dimensions under a variety of conditions. An algorithm for dynamic, online planning and monitoring of safety volumes will be used, in order to fully realize the potential of the experiment. This algorithm will take the motion of the KUKA LWR into account when defining the safety volumes, and will detect situations in which the robot needs to react with a lower velocity or to stop completely. The algorithm has been recently developed and demonstrated at the Fraunhofer IFF using the mobile robot.