fencinghuddleAI and Robotics

Nov 14, 2013 (3 years and 4 months ago)


Physical contact between humans and robots is inevitable when
they share a common workspace or even work hand in hand.
Such scenarios often generate a risk of injury for humans. Our
research and development in the fi eld of physical human-robot
interaction is aimed at eliminating this potential risk.
Collision Avoidance
One basic safety technology is based on avoiding contact be-
tween humans and robots. This can be achieved by strictly sepa-
rating workspaces. New systems eliminate this separation by
monitoring workspaces with optical sensors that track people
and the movements, compute dynamic safe zones and also ad-
just a robot’s speed and direction of movement to the situation.
Contact Detection
Direct contact between humans and robots is not always pre-
ventable and is even desirable in some scenarios. Two-dimen-
sional tactile sensors applied to a robot like an artifi cial skin reli-
ably detect contact, measure active forces and stop a machine’s
movements. Conversely, the same sensor may also be employed
as an input device to control a robot.
Hazard Assessment
The risk of injury during a collision depends on the acting
forces. Measuring these forces makes it possible to confi gure
cushioning and protective zones and test the effectiveness of
safety measures.
In addition to the classic application scenarios for robots in
industrial settings, new fi elds of application are emerging for
service robots and assistance systems in manufacturing, the
service industry and the household sector. In the future, robots
will assist with small batch production and mobile robots will
take over transport and routine tasks in labs and households for
These scenarios require new forms of user-friendly human-robot
interaction (HRI). Important aspects include:
– simple communication with a robot, e.g. by spoken language
and gestures,
– direct physical interaction in a common workspace and
– safety systems that prevent injuries to humans or damage to
the environment.
The Fraunhofer IFF’s Robotic Systems Business Unit develops as-
sistance and service robot systems. Our research fi elds include
autonomous mobile systems, multimodal interaction, fl exible
workspace monitoring, sensors for safe interaction with robot
systems and intrinsically safe manipulators. We evaluate the
safety of robots and mobile systems in our lab for safe human-
robot interaction.
Prof. Michael Schenk
Sandtorstrasse 22 |
39106 Magdeburg |
Telephone +49 391 4090-0
| Telefax +49 391 4090-596
Robotic Systems Business Unit
Dr. Norbert Elkmann
Telephone +49 391 4090-222
Telefax +49 391 4090-250 © Fraunhofer IFF, Magdeburg 04/2010
Photos: Title photos Fraunhofer IFF, B. Liebl; 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 Fraunhofer IFF;
6 A. Lander
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1 Tactile sensor system
2 Safe area planning
3 Safe bionic robot kinematics
4 Workspace monitoring
LiSA: Assistant Robot in Life Science Company Labs
The joint project LiSA was supported by the Federal Ministry of
Education and Research. The objective was the development,
construction and testing of a mobile assistant robot suitable for
everyday use, which interacts with staff in life science company
labs and independently takes over routine tasks such as trans-
porting multiplates and loading stations. In addition to simple
multimodal control by natural language and a graphic user inter-
face, above all safety aspects were an integral part of this work.
The LiSA was successfully concluded in the summer of 2009.
BROMMI: Bionic Arm Kinematics for Safe Robotic Applica-
tions in Human-Machine Interaction
Supported by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research and
started in April 2009, the objective of the joint project BROMMI
is the development of a bionic robot system modeled after an el-
ephant’s trunk. Novel manipulators that satisfy the most stringent
safety requirements are being developed on the basis of serial
modular kinematics.
Precise Autonomous Robot Localization in Large Environ-
ments such as Factory Buildings by Visual Odometry
(AVILUSplus SP 3.4)
Continuous localization of mobile units such as automatic guided
transport systems or mobile assistance robots is already a basic
technology in automation and logistics. At the same time, exist-
ing localization systems entail substantial investment in infrastruc-
ture and/or mobile sensor systems. By contrast, visual localization
on the basis of inexpensive digital camera systems provide more
signifi cant potential to cut costs and opportunities to develop
new users and fi elds of application, especially among small and
medium-sized enterprises. (
Fundamentals of Human-Robot Interaction
Current developments in autonomy and cognitive skills in the
fi eld of robotic are basic technologies for intelligent systems. They
include pattern recognition, environment perception, principles of
multimodal interaction and software structures.
Mobile Robots
Many applications in the fi eld of service robotics require the ro-
bot’s mobility. Therefore, we develop solutions for such systems’
position detection and autonomous navigation.
Safe Human-Robot Interaction
We develop components and concepts that make robots and
machinery safe to protect users. This includes optical sensors that
scan workspaces three-dimensionally, tools that visualize and
plan safe areas and safety sensors that detect collisions.
Force and Momentum Measurement
The Fraunhofer IFF has a human-robot interaction lab to evalu-
ate safety measures. Among other things, it is equipped with
state-of-the-art measuring units that capture forces, force char-
acteristics and contact times during a collision with a robot sys-
tem. High-precision force measuring sensors capture transmitted
momentum and force pulses highly temporally resolved. The goal
is to perform standardized and reproducible collision tests. In ad-
dition, a high speed camera can show collisions to obtain more
fi ndings.
Novel, Input Device Based on a Tactile Skin for AR and
VR Environments and Real Machines such as Robots
(AVILUSplus SP 4.2)
This project is researching novel options for interaction, includ-
ing the use of a tactile, i.e. pressure-sensitive, skin. The tactile
skin is being implemented in two scenarios to deform virtual
objects and to facilitate human-robot interaction. (www.avi-
Flexible Manufacturing through Safe Human-Robot
Interaction (ViERforES SP 1 Produktion)
Taking scenarios from large component manufacturing as its
point of departure, this project is developing complex distrib-
uted sensor systems that make workspaces shared by humans
and robots safe. In addition to safe robot control systems,
technologies that reliably detect people and their movements in
the robot’s workspace are needed. At the same time, effective
dynamic safe areas must be established as a function of the ro-
bot’s position and its concrete work step. (
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Prozessfarbe Cyan
Prozessfarbe CyanProzessfarbe MagentaProzessfarbe MagentaProzessfarbe Gelb
Prozessfarbe GelbProzessfarbe SchwarzProzessfarbe SchwarzHKS 99HKS 99