RSAII

Team

  • Research: IK4-Tekniker (IK4-Tekniker)

  • Research: University of the Basque Country (UPV)

  • End User: ULMA Manutencion S.Coop. (ULMA)

 

FLECOOP: Flexible robotized unitary picking in collaborative environments for order preparation in Distribution Centers

Figure 1: Last stage of supply chain in a distribution center

FLECOOP proposal aims to improve a critical aspect of the Distribution Centers supply chain, the last stage of its automation solution: the orders picking. Order picking, also known as the process of collecting items to create a package for shipment is the most challenging task in warehouse automation. The warehouse staff still holds 90% of this strenuous and monotonous task.

The main idea is to provide a hybrid order picking approach, in which robots and humans share the same working space, combining high automation with the needed flexibility and safety. The hybrid collaborative solution proposed in FLECOOP can impact the market providing higher efficiency and availability rates comparing to current manual solutions. In recent years, there are many factors supporting the viability of more flexible automated solutions such as: the emergence of robot manipulators able to work more collaboratively without fences and the progress in perception systems.

The project technically combines two classical well-known general problems in one: bin picking and bin packing. In bin picking objects of different size and shape must be identified and grasped by a robot (mobile manipulator). In the bin packing problem, objects of different volumes must be packed into a finite number of bins or containers in a way that minimizes the number of bins used. Key technical and industrial challenges are addressed:

  • Real-Time fused 2D-3D picking box segmentation.

  • Workspace monitoring for safe robot behaviour.

  • Collaborative workflow with automatic mosaic design for packing.

  • Mobile manipulation for pick and place.

The project will allow to evaluate the viability, acceptance and efficiency of this hybrid working approach, working close to a robot, even in collaboration, without physical fences.

Scientific and economic impacts are foreseen in terms of:

  • New object detection algorithms with information fusion algorithms to merge the information coming from point clouds and RGB.

  • New Multi tracking algorithm for space monitoring, a multiple target tracking algorithm, using sensor fusion as main source of observations, taking advantage of multiple sensor fusion and Joint Probability Data Association Particle Filtering.

  • New mosaic building for human-robot box packing can be of paramount impact in the enduser market.

  • Process improvements in terms of: (1) error reduction and associated cost reduction; (2) cost reduction as it can be feasible increasing the number of orders that can be prepared; (3) space reduction compared to traditional robotic solutions with fences, (4) working conditions improvement.



Partner of

ICT Innovation for Manufacturing SMEs

www.i4ms.eu

News

17.10.2013

EuRoC@I4MS

2013-10-17 08:00 CET

Representatives of all projects involved in the I4MS initiative met in Brussels on the 11th of October to discuss joint market visibility, synergies among projects etc.

In the...read more

Category: eurocNews

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