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ARM Chooses 4 Projects in Latest Funding Effort for Manufacturers
December 02, 2019      

PITTSBURGH – The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) Institute today announced four new projects from its fifth “Technology Project Call”, which took place earlier this year. ARM said it has now selected 49 projects, with 44% of its 220 member organizations involved. With this call, ARM plans to provide more than $1.6 million in funding for a total investment of $5.3 million across the four projects, pending final negotiations.

One of ARM’s goals is to issue project calls to its membership to “catalyze solutions for American manufacturers” for the most critical technology and workforce problems, and how automation and robotics can help American manufacturers. “These projects epitomize the strength of the ARM consortium, bringing together diverse organizations to improve manufacturing processes and lower the barriers to adopting robotics,” said ARM CTO Arnold Kravitz. “These projects help to ease issues inhibiting growth in U.S. manufacturing, while elevating the human roles.”

The selected programs cover topics such as human-robot interaction for inspection, path planning, edge intelligence for mobile robots, and figuring out a better assessment method for robotic applications. The four projects chosen are as follows:

Human-Robot Collaboration in Quality Inspection
Principal Investigator: Fiat Chrysler

This project seeks to improve the processes surrounding part quality inspection through the development of an easily programmable robotics 3D inspection system. Success will be measured through improvements in resolution, cycle time, programming time, and enhanced insights. By project end, the team intends to demonstrate an automatically calibratable system that will work with existing CMMs.

Path Planning for Precision Brazing
Principal Investigator: Siemens

Current precision brazing operations rely on highly manual processes in hazardous environments with high temperatures and noxious fumes. As such, there are a limited number of skilled welders to perform these processes. This project seeks a collaborative robotic solution to supplement the workforce gap through a system where the robot ensures precise flame and temperature control while a skilled operator performs quality control and adds filler material.

SAFE: Safe Autonomy Features in the Edge
Principal Investigator: Siemens

This project seeks to leverage advancements in sensors, edge intelligence, robotics, and fail-safe controls to ensure the safety of human workers around their robotic counterparts, specifically AGVs. Current AGVs are limited to moving on a pre-defined path in a highly controlled manner, limiting real-time decision-making opportunities for human counterparts. This project team aims to improve human sensing and perception in AGVs, allowing for wider and safer applications.

Systematic Robotics Application Assessment Methods and Tools for Decision-making
Principal Investigator: Schlumberger Technology Corporation

Due to the cost and perceived risk with implementing robotics, advocates are often putting their reputations on the line when advocating for adopting robotics in manufacturing processes. This project seeks to minimize risk to manufacturers by improving upon methods and tools for evaluating manufacturing readiness levels for robotic applications. The expected project outputs include an expert-system-based software platform that identifies the key robotics parameters for a given manufacturing process and suggest solutions.

ARM said it currently has an active project call in the Education & Workforce Development space, but proposals are due on Wednesday, Dec. 11. In order to submit a proposal, you must be an ARM member. The group also said a new technology project call for the Department of Defense, focused on Sustainment, will be available for download on Wednesday, Dec. 4. Head to the ARM website for more details on the active project calls.