Woobot

The main goal of the work carried out is to develop a design methodology (control and physical architecture) of collaborative robotic systems dedicated to assisting and securing operator expert gestures in the context of industrial applications involving strong physical interaction between a human, a tool and a manipulated object.

The collaborative system should improve ergonomics and safety while maintaining the level of industrial performance and preserving the user’s know-how. The application context is the carpentry, in particular wood
shaping.

In order to analyze the task studied, a wood shaping training was conducted in collaboration with a carpentry learning institute which allowed to collect information related to the task (perceived effort, position of the operator, accident circumstances).

To analyze the human-machine interaction, a formalization of the problem as a dynamic exchange of spatial forces inspired by the grasping theory has been performed. This theory presents structural similarities with the studied task. Based on this formalization, a behavior simulator of the system “wood + human + tool” has been developed.

To propose a credible and a realistic assistance solution, accidentogenic situations are simulated. Based on the observation made with these simulations, the use of a collaborative robot to secure wood instability cases has been explored.

An operational space damping behaviour appears to be the most appropriate solution to improve safety in th studied cases. This control mode allows to reduce the impact of the disturbances on the system, without noticeable interfering with the craftsman’s expertise. A mock up representing the previously modeled effort exchange is developed, using a 7 DOF (degree of freedom) robot to produce the damping behaviour. The obtained results are consistent with the simulations.

Future work will include a more complex human model in order to quantify the impact of potential assistance architectures according to relevant criteria of industrial performances, ergonomics/safety and user expertise.

This project is conducted by Nassim Benhabib, Vincent Padois and David Daney. With the collaboration of BTP CFA de la Gironde. This allows to provide realistic information of the task studied and to collect the feedback from the craftsmen.

 

Project in a nutshell:

 

                     

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