FLA2IR—FLexible Automotive Assembly with Industrial Co-workers


This chapter gives an in-depth overview of the activities and technical approaches of the team FLA2IR (FZI, MRK, OPEL) during the European Robotic Challenges to develop and deploy a flexible co-worker robot for the mounting of flexible polymer strips to a car door. The team won the EuRoC challenge with their extremely flexible approach that implements four key achievements. Fast and intuitive setup for new car variants: By developing the intuitive web based teach-in software CAD2Path, teaching times of under 5 min could be achieved. Flexible dexterous manipulation: By using a standard gripper with custom jaws and handling strategies a flexible polymer strip could be mounted successfully. Force based clip assembly: By adding an external force control loop, the industrial robot could push in clips “blind” by feeling the operation. HRC safety concept: The safety was validated by plant safety, even though ROS was used as control authority. The chapter describes the different teaching methods that were developed in the early stages and how the team finally solved the challenge and implemented the various aspects to tackle the extremely hard to automate problem of flexible polymer handling.

Part of the Springer Tracts in Advanced Robotics book series (STAR, volume 136)