DTA

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Tesi etd-01142022-153707

Type of thesis
Dottorato
Author
TANNOUS, MICHAEL
URN
etd-01142022-153707
Title
Mixed-Initiative Control in Industrial Contexts
Scientific disciplinary sector
ING-IND/34
Course
Istituto di Biorobotica - BIOROBOTICS
Committee
relatore STEFANINI, CESARE
Membro Prof. Zweiri, Yahya
Membro Prof. FANTONI, GUALTIERO
Keywords
  • animal-robot interaction
  • human-robot interaction
  • Industry 4.0
  • mixed-initiative control
  • multi-agent system
  • singulation
  • welding
Exam session start date
12/07/2022;
Availability
parziale
Abstract
In this PhD thesis, an analysis of mixed-initiative approach impact in industrial contexts is presented. In the first chapter, Industry 4.0 concept is introduced with an overview of the main technological clusters that are driving the current transformation. Industry 4.0 is synonymous for "flexible production" and "smart machines." Thus, mixed-initiative approach represents an answer for systems design with dynamic autonomy levels and workers inclusion in the Factory of the Future. Multi-agent systems, human-machine interaction, Operator 4.0, and mixed-initiative control are hot topics in the second chapter. The research is focused on two main study cases presenting an interactive perspective with Remote Welding project and an autonomous system in Hermes project. Dealing with human-robot interaction, animal-robot interaction was also explored with few pilot works summarized in the appendix. Remote Welding project is presented in Chapter 3, as the result of a collaboration between Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and Baker Hughes company, supported by some European and regional projects. The aim is to design, develop and validate a mixed-initiative control performing robotic welding processes, in particular Gas Tungsten Arc welding. This solution connects the need of flexible robotics, for batch-size-1 production, with an improvement in operator safety and exploitation of worker's experience. The need is to produce a high quality welding process in a way to respond flexibly to variable workpieces and process requirements, increasing operators safety. Remote Welding is a certificated and patented technology developed in two different Italian Baker Hughes plants. As the previous, Hermes project derived from a collaboration between Scuola Superiore Sant'Anna and, in this case, Amazon company, Chapter 4. In an Industry 4.0 perspective, the aim of Hermes project is to design, develop, and validate an innovative concept system for items "singulation" (defined from Amazon as "sorting to individuality"), called Smart Table, through "envi-pulation" (i.e., environment manipulation). The new concept is the result of a creative engineering design that goes beyond Amazon Picking and Robotics challenges' solutions. Through a problem framing based on creative engineering methods, the Smart Table is able to singulate and induct items of any shape, material, or mechanical properties (i.e., density, stiffness, etc.) up to 10 Kg with great quality (under 2% defects) and high speed (almost 25 items per minute), without using robotic arms in the process. Each developed proof of concept increased the autonomy level of the system, reaching a peer-to-peer collaboration in PoC-3 according to the mixed-initiative control scale.
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