HORSE aims to bring a leap forward in the manufacturing industry proposing a new flexible model of smart factory involving collaboration of humans, robots, AGV’s (Autonomous Guided Vehicles) and machinery to realize industrial tasks in an efficient manner. HORSE proposes to foster technology deployment towards SMEs by developing a methodological and technical framework for easy adaptation of robotic solutions and by setting up infrastructures and environments that will act as clustering points for selected application areas in manufacturing and for product life cycle management (production and/or maintenance and/or product end of life). The main strategy builds on existing technology and research results in robotics and smart factories and integrates them in a coherent framework.
The suitability of the resulting framework is not only driven by but will be validated with end-users - manufacturing companies- in two steps: In the first, the joint iterative development of the framework together with selected end-users will take place (Pilot Experiments). In the second, its suitability and transferability to further applications will be validated with new end-users, which are recruited by an Open Call mechanism.
The novel approaches of HORSE are the integration of concepts such as (physical) human-robot interaction, intuitive human-machine interfaces, and interaction between different robots and machines into an integrated environment with pre-existing machines and workflows. Safety of the human worker as well as reduction of health risks through physical support by the robotized equipment will contribute to better overall manufacturing processes. In these, pre-defined workflows to be customized are the basis for servitisation, for the entire value chain that allow rapid reconfiguration of the robots based collaborative production processes.
HORSE aims to foster advanced manufacturing technology deployment by industries and especially SMEs that will stimulate their interest. Therefore, HORSE Centres of Competence (CoCs) will be established in four locations across Europe, in order to simplify usage and facilitate access to robotics by European industry and especially first users SME. In line with the EC initiative to support the European leadership in manufacturing through the adoption of ICT technologies, HORSE is an implementation of the second phase of I4MS, focusing on Advanced Robotics for manufacturing.
HORSE proposes a comprehensive set of activities to speed up adoption of emerging advanced manufacturing technologies of highly flexible and near-autonomous robotics systems. Auto-Guided Vehicles (AGV) and static robot will be used to enable flexible and versatile production lines. These activities serve the entire value chain and propose new concepts and business models for robotics systems servitisation and for product operation: HORSE defines and implements a technological framework that adopts novel ICT approaches and standards (OSGi) that enable the robots to be considered as centrally and remotely scheduled resources, dynamically allocated to new and varying production tasks in collaboration with humans in working cells without fences. This provides flexibility for fast configuration and take-up, improvement of quality (process control) and safety of the operator.
The HORSE framework has a multi-fold focus contributing to flexibility of the production, improvement of quality, and as an important aspect, safety. The main framework covers a large variety of applications, as it is a generic model, to be customized with intuitive interfaces for the needs of the different end-users. The framework will contain the following elements:
- An integrated, process-oriented management model for the high-level control of the production line process online, automatic allocation of resources (robots, human workers, interaction components, etc.) and its rapid and straightforward dynamic re-allocation as necessary.
- The implementation of the above mentioned management model adopting the IoT paradigm and OSGI middleware enabling and facilitating remote control and monitoring of the production line and the available resources and ease installation. For that the robot controllers, sensors and human-robot- interfaces will be coherently and seamlessly integrated as controllable and active agents in the production.
- The design and development of technologies enabling the autonomous and effective cooperation between robots and humans with no barriers including:
- Multi-modal supervision and control modes for a variety of existing and novel robotic co-workers: cooperative robots (cobots) and “third hand” robots for diverse manufacturing applications.
- Innovative hybrid position/force control for intrinsically safe flexible robots
- Demonstration based robot programming techniques for an intuitive programming of robots tasks by non-robotics experts.
- The development of a multi-layered safety approach that incorporates both robot and system level safety.
HORSE project is aiming to foster advanced manufacturing technology deployment in industries and especially SMEs. The notion of Competence Centres of I4MS will be implemented in the HORSE project to constitute one of the instruments to facilitate the appropriation of new technologies in European industry. HORSE’s model of Competence Centres (CCs) will be established in four locations across Europe, in order to simplify usage and facilitate access to robotics by European industry and especially first-time users from SMEs. The HORSE Competence Centres will take their strength from their connection to the regional initiatives in Slovenia, the Netherlands, Germany and France, and from the existing experience, infrastructure and capabilities of the partners. The Competence Centres will be enriched during the project with the new integrated technologies that result from the HORSE framework. These functionalities will be demonstrated in the CCs in a generic way to showcase the technological possibilities offered by HORSE in order to be further adopted by other or new manufacturing players. In line with the EC initiative to support the European leadership in manufacturing through the adoption of ICT technologies, HORSE is an implementation of the second phase of I4MS, focusing on Advanced Robotics for manufacturing.
- Competence Centres relaying on existing premises and equipment:
- Paris-Saclay Competence Centre at CEA, F
- TNO Competence Centre, Delft, NL,
- TUM Competence Centre, Munich, D
- Development of the new Competence Center for Robotics:
- ROBOFLEX Slovenia
- Project Website: http://www.horse-project.eu/