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Advanced man-machine interfaces for robot system applications

Résultats exploitables

AMIRA has implemented easy-to-use interfaces and support tools for an efficient application of robot systems and robotised work cells. This contains robot and PLC functionality. Even though the last three years have brought some changes, still looking at the variety of currently used user interfaces on the work floorshows, there need for a methodical and user centred development of robotic user interfaces. The results of AMIRA that aid this are: -Suitable concepts for efficient graphical user interfaces for robotics. -Verified software prototypes and detailed specifications. -Development methodologies and processes. -Procedures and tools for verification of results. -A widely approved style guide as the base of the user interface developments. As it can be observed in the far advanced IT sector, the user interface is the key factor to make complex functions usable for the end user. This means that those robotic companies that can wrap up their sophisticated robot functions in an easy to use user interface have a significant advantage on the market. The future will show that, for the majority of robotic applications, the necessary robot functions are commonly available and thus the price and the usability of a system will determine the decision to select a particular manufacturer. Hence, the results of AMIRA are all oriented towards the ability of the robotic industry to develop suitable user interfaces that use the capabilities of the available technologies. The benefit for the robot manufacturer is the easier use of robots in new application areas and an increase in the number of robot applications. The robotics market is characterised by the presence of many robot manufacturers producing the robot arm, as well as their own control system. As a consequence, the man-machine interfaces and devices available are very heterogeneous. At an International level, robot manufacturers have not accepted proposals for the standardisation of robot programming languages, e.g. a common interface for end-users. One reason may be that robot programming languages are closely related to the functional level of the robot system, here manufacturers aim to succeed against their competitors in the different application areas. However, the benefits of a standardised method of robot system application have been identified. Robot manufacturers have proposed developing standards for programming and manipulating industrial robots, with the help of graphical user interfaces, comprising graphical elements for user interaction. The goal is to eliminate the language-based programming by using a programming system based on graphical tools like windows, menu-techniques, icons, etc. Benefits for the user are to program different robots using the same GUI style, which reduces the cost of learning new programming systems, and furthermore it reduces the possibility of miss-operation. A common user interface style guide, which was developed and specified in the project, has the potential to become a de facto European industry standard. This will lead to an improvement of the competitiveness of European companies. Project URL: http://www.cee.etnoteam.it/amira/