Advances in Robotics & Automation

ISSN: 2168-9695

Open Access

Reconfigurable and Flexible Industrial Robot Systems


Gunnar Bolmsjo

This paper presents a concept for reconfigurable and flexible robot systems. To reach a technology readiness level where solutions and results can be implemented in industry, the focus in this work is on systems with limited number of robots, and work scenarios which are reasonable complex but hard to automate using standard solutions. Four distinct areas have been identified as important within the concept and further studies: (i) human machine interaction, (ii) safety including collaboration, (iii) programming and deployment, and (iv) planning and scheduling. Feasibility studies have been made which addressed issues (ii) and (iii), in scenarios with collaboration between robot and human, or between two robots. For the chosen work scenario, manufacturing of structures in wood for family houses, challenges related to programming and safety was identified and possible solutions outlined. The concept and the studies indicate that feasible solutions can be found and designed given a reasonable consistent work processes and products. In this study, the processes are similar, nailing and screwing but different sizes may apply, the material is similar but variations may apply, and the construction is different of each product, but include the same type of operations at different locations. Our study confirm that human collaboration improves the ability to implement and use robots as it make it possible to move some operations to the human which otherwise would add to the complexity of the system. Furthermore, programming can also I general be simplified although methods for automatic programming has been tried out. But in some cases, the solution space is limited and the ability to move certain operations to a human simplifies the programming task. However, further work needs to be done in this area specifically related to safety issues for safe collaboration.


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