Researchers at the Institute of Engineering and Computer Systems, Technology and Science (INESC TEC), in Porto, will present, on Tuesday, ColRobot, a robot that will “change the paradigm” of the automotive and aerospace industry, today revealed the responsible.
Germano Veiga, a researcher at INESC TEC’s Center for Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems, explained that by combining state-of-the-art technology developed in Europe, the robot will work “collaboratively with the human operator” during the assembly process.
“The purpose of this project was the development of robots for operations in a collaborative environment, that is, shared between the man and the machine,” he said.
According to the researcher, ColRobot will have different impacts on the industries to which it will be applied since in the aerospace area it is considered as “one of the first attempts of automation with robots“, while in the automotive area it will allow “ automate operations for which robotics still had no solutions. ”
In the case of the aerospace industry, an activity “dominated by human operators,” the robot will serve as a “third hand” when holding the satellite while the operator bolts the components in the object, as it will have “flexible production” to go to the warehouse to “get the necessary tools” for a given operation.
As far as the automotive industry is concerned, ColRobot will be able to enter a vehicle, in this specific case in a van, and to make “ergonomic” screw operations simultaneously with the operator, thus sharing the same space.
“The idea that the robot will share space with the operator safely and efficiently will probably revolutionize and have a contributory impact on the assembly process in the automotive industry,” he said.
According to Germano Veiga, the safety of the operation was “one of the broken barriers“, in that the presence of the robot will not interfere with the action of the man.
ColRobot, which was developed by INESC TEC under a European project funded by 4.3 million euros, will be presented and tested in a Renault vehicle this Tuesday, January 22, at the institute’s premises, where representatives will be of institutions and companies that were part of the project.
Germano Veiga also said that between this and next year plans will begin for the industrialization of the prototype, as well as plans to optimize the robot to other types of vehicles.