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Advanced Robotics and Automation

Automation is present in every field of industry. Companies benefit from its reduced costs compared to human labour expenses on long term, in parallel with increased reliability. Quality is more manageable with automated systems while production cycle time may be reduced, thus increasing the overall output quality and quantity as well. Moreover, employees have the advantage of reduced risk and a focus on less monotonous work using creativity. Automation can also enable performing tasks which may be beyond human capabilities.

Robotics in particular offers modularity and multipurpose characteristics for flexible solutions. PPM specializes on research of technologies behind flexible, modular robot solutions, especially required by small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Our approach considers in particular factors such as trust in automation, situational awareness, user experience and expectations.

The findings of the continuous research in this field are input for further development of intuitive and highly flexible user interfaces for industrial robots and in robot installations we offer to our customers.

Redundant Industrial Robots: The later year’s evolvement to a more commonly open innovation model [1] have laid a fundament for a rapid growth of Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs). While large enterprises often have large production lines with low variation, the task for the industrial robot is predictable and highly repetitive, SMEs have more often small batch production with high variation. The SMEs have in the most recent years begun to adopt industrial robots in their production. While SMEs rarely have their own expertise on robotic installation the use has been made possible by more user friendly program editors and remote service and operations. To further enhance the flexibility and overcome the challenges of complex niche production, redundant industrial robots should be introduced to a larger extent. The challenges with redundant industrial robots have so far been the complexity related to solving the inverse kinematics with reasonable secondary tasks. PPM is conducting research on user friendly, “easy-to-use” redundancy resolutions for redundant industrial robots.