CoMeMak

Short title: CoMeMak

Long title: Cobot Meets Makerspace: Demokratisierung der kollaborationsfähigen Robotertechnologie in öffentlichen Werkstätten

Sponsor: FFG (Österreichische Forschungsförderungsgesellschaft mbH)

Duration: April 2019 - März 2022

Abstract:

Despite the great potential and increasing sales of collaborative robots (cobots), they are currently only used in a very limited number of industrial applications. The reasons for this are the high safety requirements, the comparatively slow movements of the robots in fenceless and collaborative operation, and the corresponding limits of economic use. In addition, there is a lack of intuitively usable tools for robot programming as well as documented and beneficial best practice applications that can be easily transferred and used in the industrial environment.

Therefore, this project focuses on Austrian makerspaces. These are communal workshops where people without any relevant training (the so-called "makers") are guaranteed access to industrial machines free of charge or for a fee. Makerspaces offer basic training to interested individuals, who are then left to their own devices as they work. With the emergence of the Makerspaces format, a protected space for creative technical task and solution finding exists for a broad interested audience of non-experts. By introducing cobot technology to the GRAND GARAGE® in Linz, the project addresses a number of problems in the areas of intuitive robot programming, robot safety, and gaining knowledge from the use of cobots by interested laypeople.

The aim of the project is to create the socio-technical basis for the introduction of collaborative robots in Makerspaces, so that Austrian private individuals and companies are guaranteed unrestricted access to this technology.

The use of the crowdsourcing method in the environment of Makerspaces allows, thanks to the creative energy of the Makers, to completely rethink the Cobot tool and to reinvent its possible applications. This starts with the way of programming, continues with the way of designing the human-robot collaboration and ends with the combination with other tools and machines. In the process, the Makers will be supervised throughout by experts from the participating project partners on the topics of safety and robot programming.

Results:

The planned project results include a new web-based intuitive programming and simulation environment for cobots, which will be further developed and improved by the maker community, as well as an online knowledge base with use cases and design patterns for human-cobot interaction in production. The aim is to transfer these results to industry, for example by evaluating them in the training center of an Austrian engine manufacturer and by establishing contacts with other manufacturing companies.

Partners:

  • JOANNEUM Research Forschungsgesellschaft mbH
  • GRAND GARAGE, CAP.future GmbH
  • RIC (Regionales Innovations Centrum) GmbH

Contact:

Dr.-Ing. Tudor B. Ionescu, M.Sc., M.A.

Telefon: +43 1 58801 33058
E-Mail: tudor.ionescu@tuwien.ac.at