Robots: Humans' Dependable Helpers

Research and Development in Robotic Systems

Optical Workplace Monitoring

© Fraunhofer IFF

Experimental Evaluation of Advanced Sensor-Based Supervision and Work Cell Integration Strategies (EXECELL)

In EXECELL, the project partners KUKA and Fraunhofer IFF aim at demonstrating safe interaction between robots and humans in a shared workspace environment. This is to be accomplished by using one of the most current robots, the KUKA LWR 4+, aiming at human-robot collaboration scenarios as well as newly developed sensor systems for flexible workspace surveillance. The project focus is on exploring necessary communication and interaction between the various work-cell components in order to achieve a reasonable safe process. Therefore, a main achievement is the development of a concept for integration of a sensor-system and the KUKA LWR, which is based on an analysis and discussion of available communication interfaces concerning the individual communication tasks in possible use cases.

© Fraunhofer IFF

© Fraunhofer IFF

For the generation and establishment of safety spaces we use a novel safety system that is based on conventional camera and projector technics and which was recently developed at the Fraunhofer Institute for Factory Operation and Automation IFF. While safety space boundaries are directly projected onto surfaces present in the environment, a violation of these safety spaces is detected by the monitoring cameras if an object disrupts the emitted light rays.

Established safety spaces.
© Fraunhofer IFF

An important objective of the experiment is the building of an industry-related collaborative workspace by integration of safety system, robot and required hardware accordingly. Further main tasks of the experiment comprise on the one hand the development of planning algorithms used to generate appropriate safety spaces, and on the other hand the adaption of collision algorithms used to detect intrusions of the established safety spaces. Here, the focus is particularly on generation and exchange of robot models annotated by joint angles and velocities, and planned trajectories between subsystems.

The EXECELL project included the development of novel sensor systems for workspace monitoring.

EXECELL is funded by European Clearing House for Open Robotics Development (ECHORD).