Computer Science

Faculty of Engineering, LTH

Denna sida på svenska This page in English

On the Programming and System Integration of Robots in Flexible Manufacturing


Advanced manufacturing technologies, and programmable machines such as industrial robots, are used to increase productivity and quality for competitiveness on a global market. Development of increasingly flexible manufacturing systems has resulted in an increasing importance of software aspects, both on a system level and for efficient interaction with human operators. Trends toward providing customized products increase the need for flexibility, which implies a need to build modular systems that are flexible enough to handle frequent changes in production operations and product designs.

The objective of the research presented in this thesis is to improve the flexibility of industrial robot software when used as a component in flexible and reconfigurable industrial automation solutions. Contributions are made in four areas; First, high performance industrial motion control is enhanced to utilize arbitrary sensors in task definition and execution. Results include an extensible task programming language, allowing for flexible integration of sensor motion in established robot languages. Second, flexibility of the robot structure itself is studied, with an emphasis on software tool configuration support for a highly modular parallel kinematic robot featuring stiff motions and large workspace. Third, several operator interaction techniques are evaluted for fast and easy robot setup. Novel interaction devices and use of sensors bring new opportunities to improve robot setup procedures. Finally, and also pointing out future research directions, semantic web techniques are explored for use within automatic generation of user interfaces from product and process data, and for more efficient integration of offline engineering tools in the workflow for online task generation.

The findings are based on a variety of industrial prototypes and case studies, with novel software solutions ranging from low-level device interfaces to high-level semantic integration. The experienced resulting enhancements of flexibility, usability and modularity are encouraging.

Upcoming Defence

Thursday 16 Dec, 9:30, in E:1406, E-huset, Ole Römers väg 3, Lund


Prof. Henrik I. Christensen,, CV:
Georgia Tech, 801 Atlantic Dr #216 Atlanta, GA 30332-0280, USA
Thesis committee:

Prof. John Hallam,
The Maersk Mc-Kinney Moller Institute, University of Southern Denmark, Campusvej 55, DK-5230 Odense M, Denmark
Prof. Jose L. Martinez Lastra,
Tampere University of Technology, Institute of Production Engineering, P.O. Box 589, Tampere, 33101, Finland

Prof. Lars Asplund,
Mälardalens Högskola, Högskoleplan 1, Rosenhill, Västerås, Sweden

Dr. Ingrid Schjølberg,
SINTEF ICT, Applied Cybernetics, O. S. Bragstads plass 2, Trondheim, Norway

Dr. Steve Murphy
ABB Robotics AB, Lunnagårdsgatan 4, Mölndal/Göteborg, Sweden


Prof. Karl-Erik Årzén,
Lund University, Department of Automatic Control, Ole Römers väg 1, Lund, Sweden


Thesis pdf (preliminary pre-print version)

Thesis.pdf (print version)