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The integration of robotic assembly systems within manufacturing facilities is impeded by the inability of robots to easily communicate with devices and sensors for perception, mobility, and manipulation. The next generation of these technologies is needed to achieve automated assembly at the level of human performance. Solving this integration problem is difficult due to the poorly-understood nature of the underlying information. Human assembly experts rely on training and experience using a wide range of sensing such as sight, touch, and sound in noisy and unstructured environments. This knowledge must be extracted into forms that can be exchanged and used in automated robotic assembly systems. Currently, these systems rely on custom hardware and software that are tailored to work in simple, constrained environments, with people enlisted to handle difficult tasks involving flexible materials, subtle alignment, and adroit fastening. The central idea of the project is to model the underlying information required to automate the composition and integration of complex robotic assembly systems, delivering an analysis, information model, protocol, software reference implementation, and test tools that enable manufacturers to quickly and easily put together robotic assembly systems with human capabilities using interoperable components. This benefits large manufacturers and small job shops alike, both of which must continually reconfigure their production systems in response to dynamic market changes. Vendors of next-generation robots, perception systems, mobility platforms, and manipulation technologies also benefit through the elimination of barriers to widespread adoption of their products, ensuring that the U.S. continues its manufacturing lead in these new areas. NIST's expertise in information modeling, performance measurement, and conformance testing provides the foundation for standards, and its facilities and industry relationships for validating results in virtual simulation, physical testbeds, and production pilots makes the organization uniquely qualified to carry out the research.
Objective - Enable manufacturers to quickly and easily put together robotic assembly systems with human-like capabilities using interoperable components, by delivering an analysis, information model, protocol, reference implementation, test methods, and tools.
Start Date:October 1, 2013
Lead Organizational Unit:el
Related Programs and Projects:
Fred Proctor, Project Leader
301 975 3425 Telephone
100 Bureau Drive, M/S 8230