Advanced roboTic technology for handling soft materials in manufacturing sectors
SoftManBot project will provide an innovative robotic system for the handling of flexible materials within different production processes.
Nowadays, most strategic industries handle flexible and deformable products such as footwear, toys, clothing or tyres. The need for automation of these tasks is a technological challenge still to be met, since due to the amount of different materials used and the variety of products, there is no robust robotic solution applicable to the industry.
Many operations with deformable products are currently carried out manually by operators (for example, removing injected soles from their moulds). This task, among others, causes short and long term injuries to the operators due to the constant repetition of movements and the force required to perform it. The SoftManBot robotic system will assist the human being in carrying out these tasks. To this end, four pilot demonstrators will be carried out in which four key manufacturing sectors will participate: Footwear, Toys, Textiles, and Tyres.
The overall objective of the project is to develop and demonstrate an innovative and universal approach to the robotic handling of flexible and deformable materials by making use of advanced manufacturing technologies for the automation of soft product handling in a robust and flexible manner.
The automation solution will work closely with human operators to assist them in the execution of challenging contact-based tasks, thereby boosting productivity and quality of work, which will greatly contribute to the recovery of production in Europe.
SoftManBot aims not only to improve the technologies in a specific sector, but also to use technological innovation to make the handling of soft materials with robots a real alternative for European factories, especially SMEs.
This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement nº 869855