Most manufacturing assembly tasks are not readily automatable today due to robots’ limited perception, mobility, and dexterity. The challenge of engineering and implementing successful robotic assembly work cells is exacerbated by the lack of tools for creating assembly-centric performance models encompassing an integrated system. Characterizing and accurately predicting robot system performance is technically hard due to the complex unmodeled interactions amongst the perception, mobility, and dexterity components of a robot system and the broad range of assembly operations. Currently, the successfully-automated assembly tasks are limited implementations that require significant fixturing and tooling, resulting in high investment and limited process flexibility. To advance the adoption of robots for assembly requires overcoming many technical hurdles, including assurance of new safety systems that enable humans and robots to work together. The new technical idea is to compose assembly task-driven measures of component performance (perception, mobility, dexterity, and safety) into robot system autonomous assembly performance models. For this project, NIST will deliver a suite of test methods for perception, mobility, dexterity, and safety components of robots derived from an assembly operation taxonomy and requirements, along with a methodology and tools for composing the resulting measurements into robot system performance models. This will provide manufacturers with the currently-missing data and tools for assessing and assuring implementations of robot systems within their smart manufacturing applications, thereby reducing the risk of adopting this key disruptive technology. Small and medium enterprises, as well as large manufacturers, will be able to use robot systems that enable them to increase the variety of products and shorten their product cycles to meet customer demands.
Objective: Enable manufacturers to assess and assure robot system assembly task performance by delivering a methodology and tools for characterizing and composing performance of perception, mobility, dexterity, and safety components.
Technical Idea: The new technical idea is to compose assembly task-driven measures of component performance (perception, mobility, dexterity, and safety) into robot system autonomous assembly performance models. Performance measures will provide manufacturers and systems integrators with data for selecting the appropriate system components. The plan is to create: