Market evolution and the rapid change of consumers’ needs have highlighted the imminent disappearance of many mass production methods in favor of new solutions that are able to quickly respond to spontaneous needs and trends. It is necessary for workpiece handling and, more generally, in-bound logistics systems to become easily adaptable to different goods, more quickly and efficiently.
Europe plays an important role in the sector of conveyor system, covering 23% of the global market. Food industry is expected to be a leading segment. It is used to enhance food quality, productivity, operational efficiencies, and safety. The material handling robotics market value is rocketing up. A growing number of manufacturers are implementing more affordable, versatile and agile robots to optimize operations, like assembly, picking, packing, palletizing, part transfer and machine tending.
The challenge is to handle soft and deformable products. Robots handling rigid objects have become increasingly advanced over the past few years but technologies for grasping these products do not always transfer well to deformable objects. A rigid food container can be grasped strongly and decisively. But if it is more flexible, the robot need to be more careful to avoid crushing both the container and the food inside it. Most objects in the world, including food, clothes, bottles, or plastic items are deformable, which essentially mean that they can easily change shape while someone is manipulating them.
In addition, there may also be applications of these technologies as surgical robotics. Training robots to grasp both rigid and deformable 3D objects is a crucial step towards the employment of robots for a variety of real-world applications, including food processing, robotic surgery or household assistance.
Developing highly Flexible, Resilient, Reconfigurable and Agile production lines able to handle a variety of different product with high precision:
- To develop a Smart sensing system that can scan and fuse data from interior and exterior scans of different products,
- To develop an AI product grading system that can generate more precise results for product handling,
- To develop a Smart manipulator system that can Pick-Up and Re-Orientated Different Soft and Deformable Products without causing product damage,
- To develop a Smart conveyance system that can Move Different Delicate Products, Independently of each other.
Deploying easy to program advanced control systems capable of intelligent handling of complex products in terms of shape, size, material and stiffness:
- To develop AI solutions that can ‘suggest/recommend’ the best setup/line-configuration,
- To enhance Control systems for production and logistic synchronization,
Increasing productivity by enabling fast and accurate movement of work pieces through the production line, ensuring just-in-time delivery and reducing downtime:
- To develop a Smart Sensing network re-calibration system that can facilitate fast-reconfigurations for new products or layouts,
- To develo an AI based solutions to predict and optimize system performance, ensuring the robustness of production programmes and considering collaborative (human-in-the-middle) approaches,
- To develop an Adaptive handling and moving system that reacts to product quality.
In order to reach the objectives, AGILEHAND project will create three AGILEHAND SUITES that concern Smart Sensing Technologies, Self-Adaptive Handling, Sorting and Packaging Technologies and Agile, Flexible and Rapid Reconfigurable Technologies.
These SUITES are made up of 10 new technological solutions:
- Smart Sensing SUITE
- AGILEHAND Grade the Quality
- AGILEHAND Self-Calibrating
- AGILEHAND Data-Sets
- Self-Adaptive Handling, Sorting and Packaging SUITE
- AGILEHAND SelfAdaptable Transportation systems
- AGILEHAND Collaborative Robot
- AGILEHAND Robot-Robot
- Agile, Flexible and Rapid Reconfigurable SUITE
- AGILEHAND ProductOriented Traceability
- AGILEHAND DataDriven Digital Twin
- AGILEHAND Production Reconfiguration
- AGILEHAND Production Execution Optimization Toolkit
Programme: HORIZON EUROPE
Project ID: 101092043