In an industry where cadence and efficiency are crucial, the automotive sector faces the challenge of automating the assembly of moving parts. In response to this pressing need, TECNALIA, with the support of Stellantis, within the European project ODIN, is developing mobile manipulator robots capable of assembling moving parts in real-time. This innovative solution promises to revolutionize the way online assembly operations are approached, significantly enhancing efficiency and safety in automotive manufacturing plants.
Undoubtedly, one of the most pressing challenges in the automotive industry is the need to perform assembly operations on the move. In an environment where efficiency and precision are paramount, operators are compelled to carry out tasks on a production line that never stops. Often, they must move along with the line to keep pace. This scenario presents a series of challenges, including the need to maintain strict cycle times, ensure assembly quality, and, at the same time, ensure the safety of workers.
TECNALIA, as a leading entity in technological research and development, is developing a groundbreaking solution with the support of Stellantis within the framework of the ODIN project. This innovative solution materializes in the form of a highly specialized mobile robot. The distinctive capability of this robot lies in its ability to carry out assembly operations on moving parts or pieces adapting robot trajectories continuously instead of using point-to-point trajectory programming. This feature is essential in an automotive production environment, where parts may be located on a moving conveyor belt or in autonomous guided vehicles (AGVs), which are common in automobile assembly plants.
The mobile robot is being developed by TECNALIA aims to track and assemble moving parts, maintaining the required quality standards and cycle times in production precisely and efficiently. This solution represents a significant advancement in the automation of the automotive industry and has the potential to radically transform the way online assembly operations are approached, improving efficiency and safety in manufacturing plants.
The proposed solution consists of a mobile robot with an onboard arm, meaning it is a highly specialized mobile manipulator. This robot is equipped with an integrated industrial camera. The industrial camera enables the robot to accurately detect the target part or piece in motion in the production environment.
What sets this solution apart is the visual servoing algorithm developed by TECNALIA. This algorithm takes into account all degrees of freedom of the manipulator arm, as well as the planar degrees of freedom of the mobile platform, all within a single control loop. This seamless integration of movements allows the robot to perform assembly operations precisely and efficiently on the moving part.
In summary, the solution being developed by TECNALIA represents a significant advancement in automating assembly operations on the move in the automotive industry and has the potential to radically transform the way these challenges are addressed in the future, improving both efficiency and safety in automobile manufacturing plants. Furthermore, it is worth emphasizing that this development is being achieved within the European project ODIN, highlighting the collaborative and innovative nature of this endeavor.