Robot with dexterous fingers?

18.9.2023

Mind4Machines hankkeen alaisen RIM -projektin tiimiläisiä

Mind4Machines hankkeen alaisen RIM -projektin tiimiläisiä Munchenissä Siemensin laboratoriossa

Many industrial processes are still carried out manually due to the complexity of automating tasks that require dexterity. To simplify the automation of these processes, we participated in an EU-funded Open Call project called Robots Imitate MAGOS (RIM for short). The project took place in collaboration with the Greek MAGOS team and the German Siemens, starting in December last year and concluding in early September.

Automating tasks requiring dexterity involves accurately simulating the movements of a human hand in the motions of a robot and gripper. Usually, these movements are programmed into the robot using code for motion and position points. In some collaborative robot models, the robot and gripper are physically moved by hand. The more motion and position points a task requires, the longer it takes to program the robot. Some movements can also be challenging to program. The process would significantly speed up if the movements of a human hand were directly converted into the motions of the robot and gripper. This was the focus of the Robots Imitate MAGOS project.

New Technologies and Advanced Robotics

For the RIM project, we used our Kinova’s robotic arm and Siemens’ prototype of a hand-like multi-finger gripper. We also used a haptic control glove developed by our partner MAGOS, which captured precise information about the movements of the human hand and fingers. We integrated and optimised the interfaces of the different main components in the project to work together with the minimal possible delay and to maintain sufficient repeatability. This allowed the hand movement to be converted into robot and gripper movement almost simultaneously, enabling the robotisation of dexterity-intensive tasks. We also enabled remote control of the robot using virtual reality.

A nimble-handed robot and its operator – Kinova’s robotic arm with Siemens’ multi-finger gripper, guided by Probot’s coding wizard Olli-Pekka Nikka wearing MAGOS’ haptic glove.

In the project, we harnessed technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT), advanced robotics, and digital twin. The hand-like gripper used in the project was, incidentally, developed as part of Dimitrios Chatzis’ bachelor’s thesis. He designed and manufactured it at Siemens last year. A new enhanced version of this prototype will be produced this fall.

A Giant Leap in Human-Machine Interaction

Theo Papadopoulos testing the project’s achievements at Siemens’ laboratory in Munich.

The final demo of the project took place in early September in Germany. Our project team had the opportunity to test the results in Siemens’ laboratory for digital twins and autonomous systems. The results were deemed highly promising by the entire team.

Siemens believes that exciting times lie ahead. Indeed, this is undeniably true.

– Today, we took a huge leap forward in the field of robotics in terms of human-machine interaction, Theo Papadopoulos rejoices.

– Today, we took a huge leap forward in the field of robotics in terms of human-machine interaction, Theo Papadopoulos rejoices.

Similar sentiments are shared in Greece.

– By joining forces with our partners and teams, we are shaping the robotics industry towards a brighter and more sustainable future, the MAGOS team’s Vasilapostolos Ouranis envisions.

– By joining forces with our partners and teams, we are shaping the robotics industry towards a brighter and more sustainable future, the MAGOS team’s Vasilapostolos Ouranis envisions.

The project was highly successful and inspiring for our Probot team as well.

– Although the project’s initial goal was to facilitate the automation of challenging processes, this technology can easily find much broader applications in the field of robotics and technology, Matti Tikanmäki summarizes.

– Although the project’s initial goal was to facilitate the automation of challenging processes, this technology can easily find much broader applications in the field of robotics and technology, Matti Tikanmäki summarizes.

Smarter and Greener Solutions

The RIM project is part of the larger MIND4MACHINES initiative, aiming to promote cross-border support for smarter, greener, and more resource-efficient production in line with the latest EU political decisions. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) need this support to test and implement the latest digital technologies for a possible transition.

The goal of the project is to enable comprehensive demonstrations, allowing SMEs and startups to test digital solutions. These solutions help participating production companies respond to the challenges of digitization and sustainable development in the industry.

From the Probot team, our CEO Matti Tikanmäki and CTO Antti Tikanmäki were involved in the RIM project. The main coding wizard for the project was Olli-Pekka Nikka. The project team from Greece included Greg Agriopoulos, CEO of MAGOS, Vasilapostolos Ouranis, Operational Director, Greg Kalantzis, VR Software Design Engineer, and Avgerinos Bakalidis, Electronics Design Engineer. From Germany, our technical collaborator Siemens participated, with Program Manager Theo Papadopoulos and Siemens working student Dimitrios Chatzis.From the Probot team, our CEO Matti Tikanmäki and CTO Antti Tikanmäki were involved in the RIM project. The main coding wizard for the project was Olli-Pekka Nikka. The project team from Greece included Greg Agriopoulos, CEO of MAGOS, Vasilapostolos Ouranis, Operational Director, Greg Kalantzis, VR Software Design Engineer, and Avgerinos Bakalidis, Electronics Design Engineer. From Germany, our technical collaborator Siemens participated, with Program Manager Theo Papadopoulos and Siemens working student Dimitrios Chatzis.

The MIND4MACHINES project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation program under INNOSUP -grant agreement No 101005711.

Probot Oy – Specialist in Robotics.

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