The Saxion research group Mechatronics together with Benchmark Electronics, specialized in electronics manufacturing, and Bronkhorst High-Tech, a company specialized in mass flow meters, are exploring the use of collaborative robots in their production process in the Tech for Future Project (TFF) RoboTAO.

Research question

How does the future human-robot interaction see in the production environments of the future and what skills do humans and robots need for this?

project Approach

The partners are investigating the use of collaborative robotics in manufacturing and production environment. The focus of the research is the real co-operation instead of sequential task deployment. In this project, a vision system is used to recognize human handling of the product and the intended interference in the production process. However, conventional computer vision algorithms have trouble in the robust localization and detection of products due to changing illumination and shadowing caused by a human sharing the same workspace as the robotic system. To enhance the robustness of the vision system machine learning with neural networks is explored more thoroughly.

Research outcome

With both companies, we investigate the regular assembly step of a product where product housing, connectors and PCB boards are represented by the building blocks. In this representative case, we investigate the assembly process of a DUPLO (LEGO group, Billund Denmark) house in different levels of human-machine interaction. First, the cobot will recognize human interference in the production process, and continue where the human stopped. Later, the cobot will recognize a human is sharing the same workspace with a hand detection algorithm. Finally, the cobot will interact with the human to assemble the DUPLO house by sharing the blocks.

Duration project

Start project: 01-02-2018 - End project: 01-01-2021




Hogeschool in Enschede, Deventer en Apeldoorn
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Tech for Future

RoboTAO RoboTAO-2.jpg RoboTAO

More information about the project?

Roy de Kinkelder

Roy de Kinkelder

Senior Researcher and Project Lead

+31 6 12 00 07 72 linkedin