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Bachelor's Thesis. Is ROS for me? A non hardcore programmer

asked 2017-03-28 04:32:40 -0500

Anton gravatar image

Hi!

I have a Bachelor's thesis with an end-effector on a robot, KUKA KR210. I am mostly an mechinical engineer but i start to get intrested in programming and robots. For this project i am thinking about having cameras on the end-effector as a safety feature to give the end-effector "eyes" and can act as an emergancy stop if a human is to close. This end-effector is used in an industry production line and needs to be safe for a fitter to work along side with

Is this possible to implement? If yes, how should i do it?

Note; i am very new to this am afraid, but really like to learn and make it work

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I don't want to discourage you, and for a BSc it's probably ok, but a camera connected to a RPi with ROS is never going to get safety-rated. What you are describing ("emergency stop if a human is to close [..] needs to be safe for a fitter to work along side with") is definitely possible ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-03-28 06:06:12 -0500 )edit

.. but please consider that companies in this line of work (ie: safety-lasers, co-bots) spend tens of thousands of dollars developing and getting their equipment certified. A KR210 is easily capable of killing a human, so please be careful: never make your RPi the only system.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-03-28 06:08:38 -0500 )edit

Thanks for the reply!

I see, so to get safety-rated level there's a need for a more powerful computer? Or is it the concept with cameras and the pictureprocessing that makes the reactiontimes to slow to be used as an emergency stop?

Anton gravatar image Anton  ( 2017-03-28 06:37:53 -0500 )edit

No, my point was that making software and hardware really suitable for safety critical applications (which acting as an emergency stop is an example of) is hard and difficult. I'd recommend you try and talk to someone with knowledge in this field before you start.

But this all depends on ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-03-28 07:25:35 -0500 )edit

.. what the scope of your work is: if this is a one-off experiment for a BSc, and you're tutored by knowledgable people and your KR210 has additional safety measures in place, then it could be ok to test with your ROS application.

But don't put this in a production system -- with uninformed ..

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-03-28 07:27:02 -0500 )edit

.. users -- where there is a risk of really hurting people or damaging equipment.

Again, scope is important here, but I just wanted to point to some possible dangers.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-03-28 07:27:54 -0500 )edit

and finally:

so to get safety-rated level ..

there are some experimental computer vision based systems that do something similar to this, but 1) I don't know whether they've already been certified and 2) "getting safety-rated" is probably not doable for you.

gvdhoorn gravatar image gvdhoorn  ( 2017-03-28 07:29:05 -0500 )edit

The scope, a robot picks up a plasticpanel and then place it under a car, then a fitter will assemble it with screws. The car will move with a constant speed and the robot with the panel will move along. So we need to make the layout and the end-effector safe for the fitter with ..

Anton gravatar image Anton  ( 2017-03-28 07:40:36 -0500 )edit

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answered 2017-03-28 06:33:54 -0500

updated 2017-03-28 06:55:07 -0500

Yes, is possible, I would suggest instead to place the camera over/front of the robot where you can have a fixed view pane of the Anlage, and the people that is stepping into the cell

Many tech are developed in that area, you can play with AR and markers, to define Virtual Cages for the Robot.

OpenCV, ARUCO or any other C++ based image porcessing tool/framework will help as startpoint.

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Thanks for the reply!

Let me see if i understand you right. So you think it's a better way to have control over the collaborativ area and limit the robots movements in it?

Can it be programmed to make the robot stop as an "emergency stop" if an human gets to close to avoid an collision?

Anton gravatar image Anton  ( 2017-03-28 07:15:47 -0500 )edit

Or does the robot need to be equipped with, for instance, distance sensors?

Anton gravatar image Anton  ( 2017-03-28 07:20:21 -0500 )edit

KUKA KR210 is not MRK able as far as I know, so you'll need to be able to trigger the emergency stop as far as the distance between person and Roboter is too close, that it can represents a danger for the person.

ΦXocę 웃 Пepeúpa ツ gravatar image ΦXocę 웃 Пepeúpa ツ  ( 2017-03-28 09:10:01 -0500 )edit

you can define Virtual Rooms or Virtual Cells so the robot can move free inside that area as soon as no person is there...

ΦXocę 웃 Пepeúpa ツ gravatar image ΦXocę 웃 Пepeúpa ツ  ( 2017-03-28 09:11:05 -0500 )edit

Options you have: - you can define a infra red carpet, that is triggering a emergency stop when person is in the "Danger-Zone" - you can use stereo cameras and make a deepth of the image so you can identify persons.(that is hard core BV) -you can use ultrasound, you have many options!

ΦXocę 웃 Пepeúpa ツ gravatar image ΦXocę 웃 Пepeúpa ツ  ( 2017-03-28 09:13:13 -0500 )edit

I think this is the way we will go, using either Pilz systems or maybe SICK cameras to set up zones!

Anton gravatar image Anton  ( 2017-03-28 10:19:47 -0500 )edit

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Asked: 2017-03-28 04:32:40 -0500

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Last updated: Mar 28 '17