Virtual reality environment for intuitive robot control and path design

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Τόγιας, Θεόδωρος
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The current market trends have focused on personalization, where products based on the same platform can have different variations so they can satisfy multiple market segments. The industry trying to follow the market trends has introduced hybrid Human Robot Collaborative stations that offer sort throughput times, along with the flexibility to process different tasks. For this kind of flexibility to be achieved in production, but with the use of the currently installed industrial robots and automation equipment, a concept is examined for remotely reprograming industrial robots. As a result, a fully automated assembly line or a production station, could be reprogramed to handle different products or processes. In this way, the flexibility required for mass customizable products could be achieved using the current equipment that exists in the factories with minor adjustments. The concept that is described in this paper presents an intuitive method of programming industrial robots utilizing Virtual Reality tools. The main aim is to reduce the time required for reprogramming the procedure that is executed by the robot, as well as enable this change to be applied remotely without the physical presence of a robot operator at the shop floor. This could allow an automated robotic cell to be easily reconfigurable, able to handle multiple variations of the same product, or even perform the same process (e.g., riveting or welding) to different products that will be introduced. A case study is presented to demonstrate the above-described concept.
Virtual reality, Augmented reality, Digital twin, Robot programming