With today’s collaborative technology, a large number of applications see a return on investment (ROI) in less than one year (loading/unloading, packaging, assembly, etc.). In addition to the reduction of labor costs and the increase in productivity, collaborative robots allow to reduce assembly line sizes because they don’t need separate caged areas.
Collaborative robots offer easy programming interfaces like intuitive GUIs and manual guidance, but for advanced objects recognition and manipulation tasks the combination with external 2D/3D vision systems and force-torque sensors, and/or the coordination with other actuators or robotic arms is required.
Dual arm robotic system for powder sampling
The solution won the First prize of the Bayer Grants4Tech challenge
Watch the video of the official demonstration of the system developed
Watch the video of the award ceremony
Sampling of powder for quality control from a drum of incoming raw materials is done hundreds of times per day at each of Bayer multiple sites worldwide. Solving this challenge has a disruptive impact to future operations and robotic applications.
The Grants4Tech challenge is to use robotic hardware and develop the software to open the drum and the inner bag. The ultimate step is to sample the powder and close the drum again.
The Laial team
To afford the challenge launched by Bayer, ad hoc team has been created.
This team, named Laial, combines the knowledge of IIT (Istituto Italiano
di Tecnologia) about the design and development of new robotics components, with the expertise of Loccioni in integrating and deploying advanced robotics technologies in industrial environments.
From this perfect mix is born the robotic solution for Grants4Tech.
The robotic system for powder sampling is composed of two collaborative robots (Universal Robots) equipped with electric grippers (Schunk).
The fingers of each gripper are designed by IIT in order to engage different types of tools to cut, take and move.
The movements of the two robots are coordinated by an external PC and guided by a vision system composed of a 2D and a 3D camera (IDS).
The two cameras provide information about both the colors and the distances in the acquired scene.
Loccioni integrates all these technologies in an innovative robotic solution able to:
- cut the seal
- open the drum
- open the inner bag
- sample the powder
- close the drum
- put a new seal