The partners of the H2020 SoftManBot project meet in Paris on the two-year research milestone
The partners of the H2020 SoftManBot project meet at the Pierre et Marie Curie Campus of the Sorbonne Université in Paris. This project, which is now in its second year of research, works on the creation of an innovative robotic system for the handling of deformable and flexible materials used in the manufacture of footwear, toys, textiles and tyres.
Throughout its two years of project work, SoftManBot has managed to develop the basic tools for the implementation of different robotic cells that are now being tested on a laboratory scale. In fact, thanks to the achievements of this H2020 project, they will be incorporated soon in the facilities of industrial partners: PLASTINHER URBAN, JUEMA, DECATHLON and MICHELIN, for validation in real manufacturing conditions.
The mobility and meeting restrictions of the past few months have been a drawback for the development of the different components, both software and hardware, "but we have made up for it with a great deal of communication work through video conferences and online workshops", assures María D. Fabregat, head of Robotics at INESCOP.
For the progress of the project, the new normality and the possibility of sharing knowledge and developments once again face-to-face, acknowledges Fabregat, "has allowed us to confirm the good harmony of the consortium and the consistency of the work carried out over the last two years".
Injected soles extraction
A year and a half of work lies ahead in which INESCOP will continue with the research for the robotised extraction of injected soles, in the facilities of the Spanish partner PLASTINHER URBAN.
This operation, which until now has been carried out manually, requires a great deal of effort from the operator as well as a high level of skill in its movements, which makes it a potentially harmful task for the worker. With the technological innovation proposed by SoftManBot, "we seek to protect the health of the worker, freeing them from repetitive tasks that require a lot of strength, and at the same time improving the technological level of the workplace, as the operator becomes the supervisor of the robotic system, reaching a level of automation of the process that makes it more productive, efficient and sustainable", indicates the head of Robotics at INESCOP.
This project has received funding from Horizon 2020, the EU Research and Innovation programme, under grant agreement no. 869855.