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Next Level of Smart Industrial Robots Developed by Roboticists

Roboticists from Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) along with co-workers from the Far Eastern Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences (FEB RAS) created a command-and-control plugin for smart industrial robots.

The new software enables the robots to develop superior quality 3D computer models of workpieces swiftly, precisely, and in a completely automatic mode. An article describing the work has been published in the International Journal of Mechanical Engineering and Robotics Research.

The solution put forth by FEFU researchers helps answer the issue of hard programming of industrial robots that stops them from adapting to varying working situations. From that very instant, there is no need in laborious manual re-adjustment of such robots to ready them for production process.

Owing to the new software, one can fit the in-process workpieces on universal positioning devices as opposed to massive equipment engineered for rigid fixation. The plugin even allows for specific deformations and positioning aberrations while still saving time. The robot would take into consideration all the spatial features of a workpiece, automatically sort any scanning mistakes, and acquire a high-quality model to conduct other actions as specified by their control programs. Fixation mistakes will not prevent the robot from working properly.

When workpieces or large scale details are scanned in a production department, the point clouds used by the machine to build up 3D CAD models often have critical gaps. Various factors, such as flares or distortions may cause that. As a result, a machine is unable to recognize and process a workpiece correctly.

Alexander Zuev, Assistant Professor, Department of Automation and Control, School of Engineering, FEFU

He continued, “We have suggested a solution to this problem allowing a robot to detect such gaps automatically and to carry out additional scanning of the missing areas. We also managed to avoid the resource-consuming numerical processing of massive datasets that 3D images are made of. Our software is fast and systemic and helps to obtain high-quality models and further process them in due order."

According to the researcher, the speed of data processing grows because of a special set of mathematical techniques executed in the software. The mathematical apparatus functions with a large array of points forming a 3D image, rearranges them on a plane, and then speedily examines probable scanning errors.

A demonstration robot functioning on the basis of this new technology is presently being introduced in FEFU to show the industry representatives all the processing opportunities of such devices.

The creation of smart industrial robots is a huge trend worldwide. The machines are fitted with technical vision systems that enable them to comprehend what takes place in their working zones and modify their control programs to complete the necessary actions in the most efficient manner.

Although the implementation of industrial robots is fairly slow in Russia than in other countries, the team anticipates that their development would help their country become a leader in this advanced technologies field.


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