Dummy Tool, the future of industrial robot programming system

From some time now, robot teaching process was led by two techniques, always based on the displacement of the robot itself. On the one hand -taking into account light and collaborative robotics- the robot can be configured in a weightless mode that allows the operator to move its own joints and tool over different positions, while saving these points. This task is generally related to small robots, since moving large weights, and therefore large inertias, might become not only a dangerous task, but also technically complex. Another possibility, this time related to these larger robots, would be to move the robot along its path using a joystick or relative coordinates by recording these points.

These methods present another disadvantage: making the programming movement in a considerable rigid and slow way. In this context, the Dummy Tool was born, as an innovative solution, particularly exploitable in industrial environments.

This system would represent a robot programming tool that makes it possible to capture trajectories in 6 degrees of freedom, effortlessly. The Dummy Tool is a lightweight, ergonomic device that gives the operator full freedom of movement. The operator just needs to walk along the routes he wants the robot to work on, flick a switch on the specific sections to record the required trajectory, and a system of cameras within the operational cell will capture the visual information and transform it into 6D coordinates. “6 degrees of freedom or 6 DoF” defines the motion of a rigid solid in a three-dimensional environment. Thus, the position recorded by the system will have for each point 3 coordinates defining its position and 3 angles defining its orientations.

The Dummy Tool’s system also has an artificial intelligence layer that refines these trajectories by adapting them to the geometries of the parts to be worked on (if CAD files are available) and by smoothing the trajectory and thereby erasing possible noises and disturbances induced by the operator. In this way, the result will be a smooth and geometrically consistent curve that fits the work surface.

Ultimately, Dummy Tool enables a faster, more ergonomic, and more accurate robot programming process than what has been achieved by previous systems. It will also be an adaptable process to the working cell in which the teaching process and robot work is taking place, making a subsequent adaptation of the trajectory to the specific cell own errors unnecessary.

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  • For aircrafts that are no longer in service, the owner considers the trade-off between direct resale and disassemble & recycled. Besides that, HELACS project (Holistic processes for the cost-effective and sustainable management of End of Life of Aircraft Composite Structures) is focused on the study of the second one of these options.

  • AITIIP Technology Centre leads HELACS, a European project which aims to develop a dual methodology of controlled comprehensive dismantling in order to make possible the classification, recycling and reuse of aircraft parts made of thermoset and thermoplastic composites that have reached their end of life. Annually, the aeronautical industry is depositing more than 40,000 tons of end-of-life composite material waste in landfills. Thanks to the recovery of materials, the technology proposed by HELACS will benefit the change towards an energy efficiency model.

  • You can now download the official HELACS project brochure. A project comes to transform the dismantling process of the aircraft of the future. HELACS employs novel robotics to recycle composite materials of large components. The HELACS process is based on the application of high water pressure that will selectively chop the thermoset parts into a dimension suitable for recycling. In addition, the pyrolysis process is used for the carbonization of the thermoset matrix to reuse the carbon fibers that overcome this chemical decomposition.

This project has received funding from the Clean Sky 2 Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement Nº 101007871
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