Project Update Zimmer Group

Advanced Robotic Technology for Handling Soft Materials in Manufacturing Sectors

In the past 12 months, the research project SOFTMANBOT has brought many developments to the Zimmer Group despite the difficult conditions caused by the COVID-19 Pandemic. Before the lockdown, visits could be made to the project partners JUEMA (Alicante, Spain), PLASTINHER URBAN S.L (Elche, Spain) and DECATHLON (Tirana, Albania). Only the visit to MICHELIN (Clermont-Ferrand) is still pending. In addition to personal exchanges, the on-site meetings were important in order to better understand the use cases.

This included an analysis of the work to be carried out and a transfer of these tasks into capability descriptions, so-called skills, which for example the future handling system should fulfil. In addition, the sensor information required to detect the component state were identified. This step was particularly important because the developments are to be tested and proven later on the basis of these use cases.

Since many research topics in SOFTMANBOT deal with the manipulation of flexible components and this is investigated with different simulation models, virtual description models of the end-effectors (e.g. grippers) are created in parallel. These digital twins are used to simulate the working steps of the robot system in advance.

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