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The Productive Robot Apprentice (PRACE)
Start date: Nov 1, 2011, End date: Oct 31, 2014 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Target of the PRACE project is the fast and economic automation of manual working places in the shop floor environment, with the involvement of humans for teaching and supervising the production via knowledge-based human-robot interaction. The overall motivation is to keep high-tech and low-cost production in Europe and even getting it back from low-wage countries.A major aspect of such a robot system is the operation without safeguards to reach the target of fast setup times. Operation without safeguards however limits the maximum robot velocity. To remain competitive with the human worker a dual-armed robot approach is followed to reach a similar working output as the human worker by modest robot velocities. The dual-armed robot manipulator and its feature to operate without safeguards is available as prototype and will be used as development platform within the PRACE project. Main focus of the project lies in the fast and intuitive training of applications so that the PRACE system can be used on a great variety of often changing applications together with the fact that the manipulator both can be used stationary as well as being mobile as in our intended application.On a conceptual level, our modular solution can be seen from a holonic system’s point of view, as well as from an agent-based perspective. From following those developments during the last 15 years, we think it is time to fill the concepts with industrially applicable content, ranging all the way down to the low-level motion control and reflecting actual business situations.To develop innovative manufacturing systems with stable functionalities, it is of key importance that every high-level concept can be demonstrated on physical hardware, and that third parties can interface to the provided functionality. We will demonstrate our novel ideas by a productive dual-arm mobile manipulator system, which is capable of being trained within half a day even by non-expert users.
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