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Valeri: Robots Lending a Helping Hand to Build Planes


August 28, 2014

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Planes normally are built and assembled by shifts of workers carrying out assembly and inspection, a process that poses challenges to the use of robotics. However, researchers working on the Validation of Advanced, Collaborative Robotics for Industrial Applications (VALERI) project are trying to change that.

"If we can solve the very complicated technical hurdles that prevent widespread uptake of robots in production, we can free up people to work on the more value-added work," says VALERI project coordinator Jose Saenz.

VALERI brings together seven partners from Spain, Germany, and Austria who are developing a working laboratory prototype and will verify it in a factory setting. The researchers want to develop applications and test mobile robots that could be integrated in the production of aerospace components by 2015.

The project aims to produce robots that work with high precision while moving around humans. "We have to make sure we have the necessary technology in place to make collaboration possible," Saenz notes.

The robots will be equipped with tactile sensors and computer-vision systems that will permit sophisticated programming designed to stop a robot if there is any chance of danger.

To make sure the robots complete their jobs effectively, they will pass over what they have done with cameras to inspect the results.

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