An Ontology-Based Approach to Enable Knowledge Representation and Reasoning in Worker-Cobot Agile Manufacturing
Future Internet, Vol.9 (2017), 4, No. 90, 23 p.
There is no doubt that the rapid development in robotics technology has dramatically changed the interaction model between the Industrial Robot (IR) and the worker. As the current robotic technology has afforded very reliable means to guarantee the physical safety of the worker during a close proximity interaction with the IR. Therefore, new forms of cooperation between the robot and the worker can now be achieved. Collaborative/Cooperative robotics is the new branch of industrial robotics which empowers the idea of cooperative manufacturing. Cooperative manufacturing significantly depends on the existence of a collaborative/cooperative robot (cobot). A cobot is usually a Light-Weight Robot (LWR) which is capable of operating safely with the human co-worker in a shared work environment. This is in contrast with the conventional IR which can only operate in isolation from the worker workspace, due to the fact that the conventional IR can manipulate very heavy objects, which makes it so dangerous to operate in direct contact with the worker. There is a slight difference between the definition of collaboration and cooperation in robotics. In cooperative robotics, both the worker and the robot are performing tasks over the same product in the same shared workspace but not simultaneously. Collaborative robotics has a similar definition, except that the worker and the robot are performing a simultaneous task. Gathering the worker and the cobot in the same manufacturing workcell can provide an easy and cheap method to flexibly customize the production. Moreover, to adapt with the production demands in the real time of production, without the need to stop or to modify the production operations. There are many challenges and problems that can be addressed in the cooperative manufacturing field. However, one of the most important challenges in this field is the representation of the cooperative manufacturing environment and components. Thus, in order to accomplish the cooperative manufacturing concept, a proper approach is required to describe the shared environment between the worker and the cobot. The cooperative manufacturing shared environment includes the cobot, the co-worker, and other production components such as the product itself. Furthermore, the whole cooperative manufacturing system components need to communicate and share their knowledge, to reason and process the shared information, which eventually gives the control solution the capability of obtaining collective manufacturing decisions. Putting into consideration that the control solution should also provide a natural language which is human readable and in the same time can be understood by the machine (i.e., the cobot). Accordingly, a distributed control solution which combines an ontology-based Multi-Agent System (MAS) and a Business Rule Management System (BRMS) is proposed, in order to solve the mentioned challenges in the cooperative manufacturing, which are: manufacturing knowledge representation, sharing, and reasoning.
Applying the PROSA Reference Architecture to Enable the Interaction between the Worker and the Industrial Robot: Case Study: One Worker Interaction with a Dual-Arm Industrial Robot
Herik, Jaap van den (Ed.) et al.: ICAART 2017 Vol. 1 : Proceedings of the 9th International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence. SciTePress, 2017, pp. 190-199
International Conference on Agents and Artificial Intelligence (ICAART) <9, 2017, Porto, Portugal>
Involving an industrial robot in a close physical interaction with the worker became quite possible, as a result of the availability of different collaborative industrial robots in the market. The physical cooperation between the industrial robot and the worker usually done under the umbrella of the flexible manufacturing paradigm, where both the industrial robot and the worker need to change their tasks fast and efficiently, to cope with the changes in the manufacturing process. This means that a reliable manufacturing control system must stand behind this physical interaction to achieve the proper communication interaction. A holonic control architecture is an ideal solution for this problem. Therefore, during this research we study the most commonly applied model of the holonic control architecture, then we apply this architecture on our case study, where one worker cooperates with a dual-arm industrial robot to build and produce any new product. Also the research uses the worker's hand gesture recognition as a method to interact with the industrial robot during the execution of a cooperative production scenario.
Combining Adaptive Holonic Control and ISA-95 Architectures to Self-Organize the Interaction in a Worker-Industrial Robot Cooperative Workcell
Future Internet, Vol.9 (2017), 3, No. 35, 18 p.
Self-Organization is a spontaneous trend which exists in nature among different organisms. Self-organization refers to the process where some form of an overall order arises in a group due to the local interaction among the members of this group. In manufacturing, a similar definition of a Reconfigurable Manufacturing System (RMS) can be found. RMS is a system where the production components and functions can be modified, rearranged and/or interchanged in a timely and cost-effective manner to quickly respond to the production requirements. The definition of the RMS concept implies that the self-organization is an important key factor to fulfil that concept. A case study where a cooperation among a variable number of Industrial Robots (IRs) and workers is studied to show the importance of the research problem. The goal of the paper is to offer a suitable generic control and interaction architecture solution model, which obtains the self-organization from the RMS point of view. Ultimately, applying the proposed solution concept to the case study.
Flow Shop Scheduling Problem and Solution in Cooperative Robotics - Case-Study: One Cobot in Cooperation with One Worker
Future Internet, Vol.9 (2017), 3, No. 48, 15 p.
This research combines between two different manufacturing concepts. On the one hand, flow shop scheduling is a well-known problem in production systems. The problem appears when a group of jobs shares the same processing sequence on two or more machines sequentially. Flow shop scheduling tries to find the appropriate solution to optimize the sequence order of this group of jobs over the existing machines. The goal of flow shop scheduling is to obtain the continuity of the flow of the jobs over the machines. This can be obtained by minimizing the delays between two consequent jobs, therefore the overall makespan can be minimized. On the other hand, collaborative robotics is a relatively recent approach in production where a collaborative robot (cobot) is capable of a close proximity cooperation with the human worker to increase the manufacturing agility and flexibility. The simplest case-study of a collaborative workcell is one cobot in cooperation with one worker. This collaborative workcell can be seen as a special case of the shop flow scheduling problem, where the required time from the worker to perform a specific job is unknown and variable. Therefore, during this research, we implement an intelligent control solution which can optimize the flow shop scheduling problem over the previously mentioned case-study.
Towards a Complex Interaction Scenario in Worker-cobot Reconfigurable Collaborative Manufacturing via Reactive Agent Ontology: Case-study: Two Workers in Cooperation with One Cobot
Aveiro, David (Ed.) et al.: IC3K 2017. Proceedings of the 9th International Joint Conference on Knowledge Discovery, Knowledge Engineering and Knowledge Management : Volume 2, KEOD. SciTePress, 2017, pp. 27-38
International Conference on Knowledge Engineering and Ontology Development (KEOD) <9, 2017, Funchal, Madeira, Portugal>
Close Human-Robot Interaction (HRI) has been a great focus of research for the last decades. The outcomes of this focus is a new field in industrial robotics called collaborative robotics. A collaborative robot (cobot) is usually an industrial robot designed to operate safely in a shared work environment with the human worker. This in contrast to conventional Industrial Robots (IRs) which are operating in isolation from the worker workspace, the cobot is changing the concept of automation from fully automated operations to semiautonomous operations, where the decisions of the worker will influence the actions of the cobot and viceversa. Therefore, a communication and information control framework must exist to connect the worker and the cobot together to fulfil this semi-autonomous paradigm. This framework should be able to provide a method to represent the common knowledge which can support the collaborative manufacturing between the worker and the cobot. During this research we are proposing an ontology-based Holonic Control Architecture (HCA) as a proper solution to share and communicate the knowledge needed to achieve complex interaction scenarios between the worker and the cobot.
Using Hand Gestures to Interact with an Industrial Robot in a Cooperative Flexible Manufacturing Scenario
Proceedings of the 3rd International Conference on Mechatronics and Robotics Engineering : ICMRE 2017. New York: ACM, 2017. (ACM International Conference Proceedings Series (ICPS) 01414), pp. 11-16
International Conference on Mechatronics and Robotics (ICMRE) <3, 2017, Paris, France>
Gesture recognition is a booming field of interest for many researchers. The Human-Machine Interaction developed from using wired devices such as the mouse and the keyboard till using touch screens and nowadays is evolving to the gesture interaction. Simultaneously, the machine or the industrial robot in particular is developing as well. The usual trend of using an industrial robot in a typical factory is to isolate it from the workers during the operation, due to the safety regulations. However, nowadays a new generation of a safe cooperative industrial robot exists. These robots are no longer dangerous to work around the humans. In a flexible manufacturing system, a cooperative scenario between the worker and the industrial robot can achieve the flexible manufacturing objectives. Therefore, during this research we propose and implement a holonic control system architecture which connects the industrial robot with the worker together in the same work environment in a flexible cooperative scenario. Moreover, we use the worker hand gestures to generate control events associated with the worker activities. Accordingly, the interaction between the worker and the industrial robot can be established.
Worker-Robot Collaboration in Reconfigurable Manufacturing Scenario with Task Scheduling and Gesture Recognition
Rostock, Univ., Bachelor Thesis, 2017
In the global economy of today, manufacturing enterprises face a new challenge. Product customization is needed to be able to match current customer needs and market demands. Reconfigurable Manufacturing Systems (RMS) offers a solution to this new emerging trend. RMS tries to achieve product customization in its products, but at the same time be able to provide reasonable production rates. One of the new emerging technologies that can help RMS achieve its goals is collaborative robotics. However, many challenges face collaborative robotics for RMS. Challenges mainly exist in the communication and control system, task recognition and scheduling. In this thesis, the author tries to provide a system and a workcell environment that handles these challenges in a basic and simple manner. This includes using technologies such as Holonic Control Architecture (HCA), Multi-Agent System (MAS) and gesture recognition. The system was able to address the following challenges; product customization, system scalability, system flexibility and communication between two different entities with different control paradigms. It is hoped that this thesis will provide a core and a simple system that can be used in the future of RMS.
A Holonic Control System Design for a Human and Industrial Robot Cooperative Workcell
Cunha, Bernardo (Ed.) et al.: 2016 International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions : ICARCS 2016. Los Alamitos, Calif.: IEEE Computer Society Conference Publishing Services (CPS), 2016, pp. 118-123
International Conference on Autonomous Robot Systems and Competitions (ICARSC) <2016, Braganca, Portugal>
As a result of the rapid development in industrial robot technology, a close safe cooperation with the human worker became quite possible. Accordingly an appropriate control system must exist to provide an intelligent tool for their information interaction. Therefore this paper is proposing a novel implementation model for a holonic control system solution. The ultimate goal of the proposed holonic control system is to adeptly manage the information exchange between an industrial robot in cooperation with a human worker in a production workcell. The novelty in the proposed holonic solution is that it merges the advantages of two well-known control architectures. The two architectures are IEC 61499 standard and autonomous reactive agent model. IEC 61499 has been used to implement the holon physical component, to handle the physical input/output (I/O) from/to an industrial robot or a human worker. Simultaneously autonomous reactive agent technology has been used to implement the holon communication component, to handle the information exchange between an industrial robot holon and a worker holon.
A Novel Implementation Approach for Resource Holons in Reconfigurable Product Manufacturing Cell
Gusikhin, Oleg (Ed.) et al.: Proceedings of the 13th International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics : Volume 1. SciTePress, 2016, pp. 130-139
International Conference on Informatics in Control, Automation and Robotics (ICINCO) <13, 2016, Lisbon, Portugal>
Holonic Control Architecture is a successful solution model for reconfigurable manufacturing problems. Two well-known different technologies have been used separately to implement the holonic control model. The first technology is IEC 61499 standard, and the second is autonomous reactive agent. Both of the previous mentioned technologies have its own pros and cons. Therefore this research is merging the two technologies together in one solution body, to magnifying their pros and reduce their cons. Ultimately; it provides a novel implementation model for the manufacturing holons, to be followed in similar reconfigurable manufacturing problems. A human worker in cooperation with a safe industrial robot, has been selected as a case study of a reconfigurable manufacturing problem. The proposed holonic control solution has been applied to the case study, to evaluate the ability of the solution to satisfy the requirements of the case study. The results show the ability of the proposed control solution to provide a flexible physical and logical interaction framework, which can be scaled over more workers in cooperation with more industrial robots.
Industrial Robot as an Efficient Tool for the Worker in the Flexible Manufacturing Paradigm
Rostock, Univ., Bachelor Thesis, 2016
Industrial robots are essential resources in most of nowadays factories and/or manufacturing facilities. The industrial robots have very strong influence to reshape the industrial production concepts. From the moment the industrial robot appeared in factories till nowadays, the trend of using the industrial robot on the shop floor as a replacement of the human being. Therefore the industrial robots involved in mass production paradigm. During the mass production processes the industrial robots are preforming many repetitive tasks which are time consuming and boring for the human being, such as in products assembly and material handling. However in other production approach such as lean or flexible manufacturing paradigm, involving an industrial robot issues an important question, which is how an industrial robot can flexibly adapt to the changes in the production requirements and needs. Consequently the mentioned trend of using the industrial robot as the worker replacement has dramatically evolved, instead a new concept has been risen. The concept is to use the industrial robot along with the worker in cooperative processes. The main aim of this concept is to get both the advantages of the human worker and the industrial robot in a close proximity cooperative work. In other words the new concept offers the industrial robot as a new tool for the workers over the shop floor. The lean manufacturing paradigm has been built upon the idea of eliminating or reducing the "muda" (Japanese for waste or any activity that consumes resources without adding value) in design, manufacturing, distribution, and customer service processes. To apply this concept in a workcell which combines the human worker with an industrial robot, the industrial robot must be able to understand and comprehend the dependencies between his tasks and the human worker tasks. Thus during this thesis we are looking for a theoretical method to organize the task dependencies between an industrial robot in cooperation with the human worker. Then we create our implemented solution which can integrate the industrial robot with the worker based on the tasks dependencies. Furthermore we compose a cooperation scenario, to be used later in testing and validating our conceptual solution on a real case study of industrial robot & worker cooperative workcell.