InterAID - Interactive Mobile Manipulators for Advanced Industrial Diagnostics
The main goal of InterAID is to demonstrate the feasibility of applying mobile robots with manipulation capabilities to advanced diagnosis and quality control in industrial environments. The application environment will be the reliability lab of a white goods factory producing washing machines. The proposed system targets the repetitive tasks of taking measurements of the products in order to guarantee standardized and consistent quality control. In particular, the mobile robot should be able to find its way around the reliability lab and approach the single machines autonomously. When the robot is in front of a washing machine, it has to push buttons and to turn knobs in order to power on the machine or change programs. Furthermore, it has to move its special sensors, e.g. microphones or a camera, as close as possible to the machine in order to check that it is operating correctly. Since some of the required tasks, e.g. putting clothes into the washing machines, cannot be automated and will have to be executed by humans, the collision free operation and cooperation of such diagnostics robots with the human operators is essential for their future commercialization.
The goal of this experiment is the design and the assembly of a mobile manipulation robot which is able to solve these tasks. The mobile robot will be equipped with a 7 degree-of-freedom robotic arm and gripper as well as several 3-D sensors for observing the environment. Advanced processing routines will allow the robot to detect obstacles such as open washing machine doors, clothes lying on the floor or humans blocking its path, will be able to adapt mobile platform and arm movements accordingly and thus, ensure its successful, collision-free operation among the human operators.