The Intelligent Automation Centre has been provided with 400 square metres of dedicated lab space at Loughborough University.
The Centre houses a range of industrial robot cells associated with the core research labs. These include a pair of Yaskawa twin arm robots mounted in a cell for complex assembly operations and workspace digitalisation. This is a unique capability within the UK and represents a key investment within the Centre. These 15-axis dual-arm robots provide "human-like" flexibility of movement and fast acceleration to replace operations that are traditionally performed by humans. This unique facility is being used for various projects where human dexterity is being replaced by automation. The general application domains include, fixtureless and tool-less operations such as assembly tasks and manufacturing.
The Centre is fortunate to have many other robots from a range of manufacturers, including ABB, FANUC, Kuka and Universal. The core equipment also extends beyond industrial robots to include a range of devices such as sensors, grippers and cameras which are integrated by the research team.
Central to the human-robot collaborative systems work, there is also a suite of equipment utilised to better understand how people complete manufacturing tasks. Key facilities include equipment to capture people’s motions, their interaction with the environment and their attention. These are used for analysis human interaction strategies and intentions in task performance. They also provide vital insight into awareness during safety critical activities. The sensors are also used to measure biomechanics and kinematic motion. Non-optical systems are used to analyse activity within hidden internal locations such as when an engineer needs to climb into a large structure that they are working on, or within.
A detailed list of key equipment and how to access it is available upon request.