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Human-robot coexistence and interaction in open industrial cells (01a Articolo in rivista)

Magrini E., Ferraguti F., Ronga A. J., Pini F., De Luca A., Leali F.

Recent research results on human-robot interaction and collaborative robotics are leaving behind the traditional paradigm of robots living in a separated space inside safety cages, allowing humans and robot to work together for completing an increasing number of complex industrial tasks. In this context, safety of the human operator is a main concern. In this paper, we present a framework for ensuring human safety in a robotic cell that allows human-robot coexistence and dependable interaction. The framework is based on a layered control architecture that exploits an effective algorithm for online monitoring of relative human-robot distance using depth sensors. This method allows to modify in real time the robot behavior depending on the user position, without limiting the operative robot workspace in a too conservative way. In order to guarantee redundancy and diversity at the safety level, additional certified laser scanners monitor human-robot proximity in the cell and safe communication protocols and logical units are used for the smooth integration with an industrial software for safe low-level robot control. The implemented concept includes a smart human-machine interface to support in-process collaborative activities and for a contactless interaction with gesture recognition of operator commands. Coexistence and interaction are illustrated and tested in an industrial cell, in which a robot moves a tool that measures the quality of a polished metallic part while the operator performs a close evaluation of the same workpiece.
Gruppo di ricerca: Robotics
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