Fredrik will help industry simplify cooperation between humans and robots
As industry enters a new phase where robots are assuming a greater share of production, the requirements for cooperation between robots and humans are increasing. This is to create safe, efficient and ergonomic workplaces. Fredrik Ore has produced software which will simplify this cooperation.
− The software will facilitate the design process in the creation of a human-robot workplace in industry and enable simulation of the stages of work that humans and robots carry out together, says Fredrik Ore, newly graduated Ph.D. from the Innofacture/Innofacture+ Research School at MDH.
The software has been produced in collaboration with the Fraunhofer Chalmers Research Center, who have programmed the software on the basis of Fredrik’s requirements and evaluations. The idea is that it will be useful in designing work environments in which the robot acts as an assistant to the humans, giving support in ergonomically heavy, difficult or repetitive tasks.
− I want to design future workplaces in a computer environment before the robot is purchased and the station is built. The software is used to analyse and compare different workplaces and different robots. Finding discrepancies in a virtual environment means fewer faults in the actual installation, and thus we are more resource efficient and sustainable in relation to our environment, says Fredrik.
In line with developments in industry, robots and better safety systems have made closer cooperation between humans and robots possible, but the overwhelming majority of robot installations in industry are still being built with physical fences to avoid robots colliding with humans.
− By streamlining the work between humans and robots and thus taking advantage of the skills of our well-educated staff, we will be able to maintain the competitiveness of Swedish industry, says Fredrik.
Researchers in the Innofacture/Innofacture+ Research School
During 2012, while employed at Scania, Fredrik was given the opportunity to apply for an externally employed doctoral studentship in the Innofacture/Innofacture+ Research School, which is run by MDH. This was something that Fredrik could not resist.
− I like developing myself, and when the chance came to take part in contributing to the industry of the future it felt like a matter of course for me, says Fredrik.
Being a researcher in the research school means that the research will contribute towards strengthening Swedish competitiveness on the global market. Since 2012, Volvo Construction Equipment, ABB, Atlas Copco, Bombardier Transportation, Excosoft, Leax, Scania, TPC Components and Volvo Powertrain are part of the research collaboration with MDH, which is funded by the Knowledge Foundation.
− Today we have three externally employed doctoral students at Scania who are researching in the Innofacture/Innofacture+ Research School. This cooperation has given us the opportunity to develop our operations based on current research, says Anders Berglund, Manager Research & External Cooperation at Scania.
Innofacture and Innofacture+
With the aim of strengthening Swedish competitiveness on the global market MDH is operating the research school Innofacture and Innofacture+, in cooperation with a research institute and nine of the country’s largest manufacturing companies. The entire project is unique in that it focuses on both innovation and production for developing production processes in the companies.