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Research Project

Dexterous Robots as Coworkers with Human Operators (AUDECO)

TITLE: Dexterous Robots as Coworkers with Human Operators

Acronym: AUDECO

REFERENCE: DPI2016-80077-R

PERIOD: 1/1/2017- 31/12/2020

PROJECT LEADER 1: Raúl Suárez Feijóo
Email:  raul.suarez@upc.edu Phone: +34-934016548/6654

PROJECT LEADER 2: Jan Rosell Gratacòs
Email:  jan.rosell@upc.edu Phone: +34-934017162/6654

CENTER:Institut de Organització i Control de Sistemes Industrials (IOC)
                Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC)

KEYWORDS: robotics, dexterous manipulation, mobile manipulators, human-robot interaction, task and motion planning

The robotics field-of-application is constantly growing as the technological advances allow new capabilities and an increment and strength of the already existing ones. Among the new applications, it is worth mentioning, due to their potential significance from the productive and social point of view, those in which the robots work jointly with the humans, originating the concept of “coworker robots”. In this type of applications, the robots require some special features. On the one hand, they must have certain level of autonomy and capacity of decision, as their role is no longer doing repetitive tasks in the classical way but on the contrary, they must adapt themselves with swiftness to changing conditions, especially to those produced by the humans in the same workspace. This adaptation implies an interaction with the human operators that constraint the robot movements and actions with the aim of avoiding potential injuries to humans, but without affecting the robot efficiency. In order for the coworker robots to be useful for the human operators, it is necessary that they have an important level of dexterity so that they can perform a number of different actions usually required in the human activities. In this context, the project aims for solutions that increment the performance of the coworker robots to allow their permanent establishment in our society, and, at the same time, facilitate their acceptance by the humans. With this aim, the project will deal with the topics mentioned above, developing algorithms and procedures that make easy the efficient cooperation between coworker robots and humans. Specifically, contributions are expected in relevant topics, as: the increment of the robot capability to autonomously manage the required tasks and the movements to execute them, using ontologies to represent the knowledge; the increment of the dexterous and bimanual manipulation capabilities, monitoring the movements to prevent potential failures; and the improvement of the interaction with the human operators regarding reactive, cooperative and exchange-objects movements, considering approaches based on demonstrations or on teleoperation. All the theoretical developments will be checked and validated experimentally using the systems specifically prepared for it in the project. Besides, as usual in the developments of the group, the mentioned problems will be addressed with the intention of providing general solutions, valid for both industrial and service robotics, taking care of the productive and social components.


PhD Student position associated to the project, follow the link for directions (in Spanish) OPEN UNTIL 18/10/2017.

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