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Self reconfigurable intelligent swarm fixtures

Objective

A step beyond flexible/reconfigurable fixtures for higher continuous adaptation of production resources respect to production objectives and technical conditions in the knowledge-based factory is achievable today by synergic convergence of the NMP themes of flexible fixtures, parallel robots and new/smart materials with the ICT themes of robot swarms with networked embedded control. Today’s smartest adaptable fixtures have limited adjustment capability, are mostly operated manually, are usually setup off-line with help of external measuring equipment, e.g. laser. Significant increase in effectiveness and decrease in cost may come from on-line fully actuated configuration/reconfiguration, large adaptability to different shapes and the capability to dynamically concentrate the support in the region where manufacturing is actually performed, doing that on-line and without moving/removing the part from the fixture. We propose the new concept of self adaptable swarm fixtures composed of mobile agents that can freely move on a bench and reposition below the supported part behaving as a swarm, all without moving/removing the part from the fixture. Each fixture agent is composed of: *A mobile platform, *a parallel robot fixed to the mobile platform, *an adaptable head with phase-change fluid and an adhesion arrangement, to sustain/clamp the supported part perfectly adapting to the part local geometry. A hybrid control system is adopted and each robot is treated as an autonomous agent exhibiting its own behaviours. Behaviour based translocation of the robots to destination positions is adopted to reduce planner complexity, with *no need to plan exact trajectories and *no significant increase in complexity when extra units are removed/added. The area of manufacturing of thin metal sheets is considered (aircrafts and automotive bodies). The project objective is to develop a swarm fixture for a large range of sheet shapes to fully replace the specialized fixtures today used.

Field of science

  • /engineering and technology/electrical engineering, electronic engineering, information engineering/electronic engineering/robotics/swarm robotics

Call for proposal

FP7-NMP-2007-SMALL-1
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Funding Scheme

CP-FP - Small or medium-scale focused research project

Coordinator

UNIVERSITA DEGLI STUDI DI GENOVA
Address
Via Balbi 5
16126 Genova
Italy
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
EU contribution
€ 749 560
Administrative Contact
Ettore Ginestra (Dr.)

Participants (5)

Exechon AB
Sweden
EU contribution
€ 474 683
Address
Orrvagen 26 A1
19255 Sollentuna
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Karl-Erik Neumann (Mr.)
PIAGGIO AERO INDUSTRIES SPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 199 987
Address
Largo Angelo Fochetti 29
00185 Roma
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Alessandro Morando (Dr.)
POLITECHNIKA WARSZAWSKA
Poland
EU contribution
€ 609 720
Address
Plac Politechniki 1
00 661 Warszawa
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Administrative Contact
Jadwiga Osowska (Ms.)
ZTS VYSKUMNO-VYVOJOVY USTAV KOSICE AS
Slovakia
EU contribution
€ 419 302
Address
Juzna Trieda 95
041 24 Kosice
Activity type
Private for-profit entities (excluding Higher or Secondary Education Establishments)
Administrative Contact
Juraj Spakovsky (Mr.)
CENTRO RICERCHE FIAT SCPA
Italy
EU contribution
€ 195 793
Address
Strada Torino 50
10043 Orbassano
Activity type
Research Organisations
Administrative Contact
Massimo Casali (Dr.)