PITTSBURGH — The ARM public-private consortium today announced that it has funded four more projects that responded to its fifth Technology Project Call earlier this year. This brings the number of supported projects to 49, involving 44% of ARM’s 220 member organizations.
Carnegie Mellon University founded the Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute in 2017 through an independent non-profit funded by the U.S. Department of Defense. The organization’s mission is to help U.S. manufacturing be competitive through the adoption of robotics and workforce development. ARM is part of the Manufacturing USA network.
Pending final negotiations, ARM plans to provide more than $1.6 million in funding, for a total investment of approximately $5.3 million across the four projects. It previously announced six funded projects in response to its fourth call.
“These projects epitomize the strength of the ARM consortium, bringing together diverse organizations to improve manufacturing processes and lower the barriers to adopting robotics,” stated Arnold Kravitz, chief technology officer of ARM. “These projects help to ease issues inhibiting growth in U.S. manufacturing, while elevating the human roles.”
The four new projects are as follows:
Human-Robot Collaboration in Quality Inspection
Principal investigator: Fiat Chrysler
This project seeks to improve inspection processes for part quality assurance through the development of an easily programmable robotic 3D inspection system. Success will be measured through improvements in resolution, cycle time, programming time, and enhanced insights. By project’s end, the team intends to demonstrate a system that can automatically calibrate and work with existing coordinate-measuring machines (CMMs).
Path Planning for Precision Brazing
Principal investigator: Siemens
Current precision-brazing operations rely on highly manual processes in hazardous environments with high temperatures and noxious fumes. As such, there are a limited number of skilled welders to perform these processes. This project seeks a collaborative robotic solution to supplement the workforce gap through a system where the robot ensures precise flame and temperature control while a skilled operator performs quality control and adds filler material.
SAFE: Safe Autonomy Features in the Edge
Principal investigator: Siemens
This project seeks to leverage advancements in sensors, edge intelligence, robotics, and fail-safe controls to ensure the safety of human workers around their robotic counterparts, specifically automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Current AGVs are limited to moving on a predefined path in a highly controlled manner, limiting real-time decision-making opportunities for human counterparts. This project team aims to improve human sensing and perception in AGVs, allowing for wider and safer applications.
Systematic Robotics Application Assessment Methods and Tools for Decision-Making
Principal investigator: Schlumberger Technology Corp.
Due to the cost and perceived risk with implementing robotics, advocates are often putting their reputations on the line when advocating for adopting robotics in manufacturing processes. This project seeks to minimize risk to manufacturers by improving methods and tools for evaluating manufacturing readiness levels for robotic applications. The expected project outputs include an expert-system-based software platform that identifies the key robotics parameters for a given manufacturing process and suggest solutions.
New project calls
ARM currently has an active Education & Workforce Development Project call. Proposals for this call are due on Wednesday, Dec. 11, 2019. Note that only ARM member can submit proposals.
In addition, ARM last month said that it has been chosen to facilitate and manage a new technology project call for the Department of Defense focused on sustainment. The call and supporting documents will be available for download on ARM’s member community and public website on Dec. 4. Learn more about ARM’s active project calls at its site.
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