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ARFLEX: Open robot control concept

Within the EU project ARFLEX (Adaptive Robots for Flexible Manufacturing Systems), the IMS supported its industry and research partners in the development of an open robot control system. The project goal was to develop a control concept that would facilitate the integration of intelligent sensors in robot applications.

ARFLEX workstation
ARFLEX workstation
ARFLEX components
ARFLEX components

In order to allow persons with no expert knowledge of robotics to use industrial robots in an efficient and profitable way even for small unit numbers, intelligent sensors were used. These allow the robot to adapt its movements to its environment without any additional programming being necessary. A system of external vision sensor, enabling real time localisation of markers placed on the robot, enhances the robot's absolute precision. Besides that, the integration of force sensors allows flexible reaction of the robot to its environment and the application of precisely defined forces on components. These aids facilitate the assembly of parts by robots and prevent the occurrence of unwanted contact forces.

The main task of the IMS in this project was to investigate which of the new control's properties would be interesting for the markets, and how the achieved results could be generalised. All partners could thereby benefit from the IMS' industry experience with assistance systems. Amongst others, the IMS designed a generalised concept for robot controls with a standard interface allowing to influence the robot's path in real time through external sensors.

Links to our project partners:

ACTUA Actuation and Control Technologies S.r.l.,Turin, Italy

Contact partner IMS:

Richard Alexander Hüppi

ZHAW School of Engineering
Institute of Mechatronic Systems
Technikumstrasse 5
8400 Winterthur

+41 (0) 58 934 78 33
richard.hueppi@zhaw.ch