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Industrial robots have demonstrated their capacity to meet the needs of many applications, offering accuracy and efficiency. However, when robot-worker collaboration is needed, safety needs to be ensured.

FourByThree responds to this challenge by creating a new generation of robotic solutions, based on innovative hardware and software, which present four main characteristics: modularity, safety, usability and efficiency. Three different actors are taken into account: humans, robots and the environment.

These are the project’s main technological objectives:

  1. To provide system integrators with a complete kit of hardware and software tools for the development of custom robotic solutions (modularity), using rotary elastic actuators
  2. To define safety strategies and low-cost mechanisms that, when integrated in the robot control and programming architecture, allow intrinsically safe behavior of the robot in the presence and/or collaboration with humans (safety)
  3. To provide a set of multimodal interaction mechanisms that facilitate the programming and control of robots (usability): interaction based on voice, gesture, tactile / force, programming by demonstration…
  4. To create efficient robots that are realiable, maintenable and intrinsically safe, which includes (efficiency), guaranteeing the RAMS of the solution (Reliability, Availability, Maintainability and Safety)
  5. To create an open-control architecture allowing the integration of custom algorithms and additional functionalities provided by third parties
  6. To define guidelines for:
    1. Production layout design that facilitate the collaboration between humans and robots
    2. Design for Assembly principles for a human-robot collaboration
  7. To provide low cost but reliable tools to monitor humans and other elements around robots, facilitating the interaction, task completion and operational safety

The resulting robotic solutions of the project FourByThree will be tested in four pilot implementations, which correspond to real industrial needs and are representative of the two possible robot-human relationships in a given workplace without physical fences: coexistence (human and robot conduct independent activities) and collaboration (they work collaboratively to achieve a given goal).

There are two different categories of pilot studies:

  • Three pilots correspond to production industries
  • The fourth pilot study will be used as a living lab for experimenting with a big number of subjects, mainly during the development process

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