COBOT : collaborative robotics

In manufacturing, robots are not anymore confined to heavy activities (welding, handling, etc.). Now, they can supplement human beings for repetitive tasks of sorting, screwing, or also packaging. We also talk about cobotics, or collaborative robotics. This booming specialty presents technical issues around many ADVANS Group areas of expertise. In Grenoble, a team made of four interns (three ELSYS Design, one AViSTO) designed a robotic arm integrating an artificial vision system.

A robotic arm integrating an artificial vision system

The development of the system was split into four parts, each one assigned to a student engineer:

  • To Gaël, the hardware design of an electronic board able to pilot the arms robots’ servomotor and to communicate with the artificial vision system.
  • To Zakaria, the unity treatment programs design of the firmware handling the communication with the artificial vision system and the calculation of the arms robot movements depending on each one of its axes.
  • To Mathieu, the development of the artificial vision programs executed on PC (software), handling the objects detection in the environment of the arm robot and the decision making about the movements to carry out, as well as the design of the Human-Machine interface software of the system.
  • To Remi, the design of the artificial vision programs executed on a System-on-Chip (SoC FPGA) platform, handling the object detection in the arm robot environment and the decision making about the movements to carry out.

The artificial vision was the key component of the system. By integrating a brick of artificial intelligence, it must be able to detect the objects present in the arm environment and to generate the piloting orders by allowing the arm to move them or to avoid them by following the fixed instructions.

A great success

By listening to Mathieu talking about his internship, we can feel his proud: “After months of teamwork, my colleagues and I succeeded to present, in front of an assembly of fifty engineers, the result of the two iterations of the project. The robotic arm is not only able to move token coins but it is also able to stop in 60 seconds in case of danger. After multiples manipulations, we noticed that the solution was stable and robust.”

“Designing the artificial vision part on a System-on-Chip (SoC) helped me develop new high-level board programming skills, more specifically in accelerated C++ on FPGA” says Remi.

“This methodology choice helped me develop a vision algorithm with the same complexity as on a PC. This way, I could work simultaneously with Mathieu, at the same pace, to reach our common goals in the limited time.”

The teachings are not limited to the technical part: “During this internship, I was able to see the difficulties related to the time and priorities management in a team project including several people” adds Gaël. “ELSYS Design senior engineers supervising the project helped us make coherent decisions to conduct the project to its term and to reach our objectives.”

Congratulations to your four interns !

Are you willing to make an internship inside ELSYS Design or AViSTO ? You will find the offers on our jobs boards.