January 12, 2016

VTT’s innovation enhances interaction between human and robot

VTT's quick-control system shortens the programming time of industrial robots.
VTT's quick-control system shortens the programming time of industrial robots.
ISTOCK.com/KUZIHAR

The quick-control system developed by VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland shortens substantially the programming time for industrial robots, enabling the use of automation also in short production runs.

Thanks to the VTT‘s innovation, the time required for programming a robot could be only few minutes, when using traditional programming methods it could take an hour or more. Thus it might boost Finland’s competitiveness as a manufacturing economy.

One unique feature of VTT’s new control system is the use of two force sensors.  The purpose of force sensors is to recognize the pressure on the tool.  In the new solution, one sensor is attached to a wireless control stick by which the robot can be steered through the operation step by step.

The control stick and real time operating control system make it possible for a human controller to work in the same working space with the robot. This eases the interaction between the human and the robot. Also teaching of new tasks and direct control of the robot is much faster than before. This is  useful, for instance, in the manufacturing of test pieces and single-item products because heavy objects and even the entire assembly process can be moved in a flexible manner.

In the industrial internet era, fast programming of robots and human-robot interaction will become even more important when flexible production and short runs are essential competitive assets for companies. The measured data of the robot can be stored in a cloud service, which enables different remote analyses, and robot’s performance can also be monitored through the internet in real time.

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