Human & Robot Collaborative Working in an Aerospace Manufacturing Environment

Lead Research Organisation: Cranfield University
Department Name: Sch of Aerospace, Transport & Manufact

Abstract

Collaborative robotics is a 'hot topic' in manufacturing the concept of which is that robots and humans work in close collaboration in a shared workspace to complete a task. This requires specialist robots that are either force limited or able to sense when an operator enters a potentially hazardous area around the robot and either slow or stop their movement. However, current systems are largely passive where it is the operator that has to take evasive action and the robot will simply stop and suspend its task if it detects a possible incursion or contact. This PhD aims to develop an alternative approach whereby the robot can operate dynamically and where possible avoid collision with the operator by modifying its path whilst continuing its task. This should in many cases avoid the need to stop thus increasing performance and efficiency. The research encompasses sensing, path planning and collision avoidance, machine learning and human factors. Furthermore the work will encompass the human factors element by assessing how people will react to this new approach and the level of trust that can be developed between human and robot.
The research is supported by and in close collaboration with BAE Systems who see human robot collaborative working as a transformative technology in manufacturing. The algorithms developed will be demonstrated on a robot platform and demonstrated on a number of tasks selected in conjunction with BAE Systems.

Publications

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Studentship Projects

Project Reference Relationship Related To Start End Student Name
EP/R511894/1 01/10/2017 30/09/2022
1943884 Studentship EP/R511894/1 25/09/2017 24/09/2021 Matthew Story