Presentation of the project

As long as industrial robots took place in factories for their flexibility regarding to dedicated heavy machinery, great achievements were done in productivity and costs effectiveness. In our days, low level of robot equipment in France, especially in SMEs, must call out robotic community on the technical lockup we are facing at. Micro technology manufacturing, and especially micro assembly, is a perfect field to understand and tackle these issues: high precision handwork with small complex parts requires both manual abilities and analysis capabilities to deal with. Actual robots are flexible and accurate but they are clearly not enough smart for microscale purpose, and miniaturization is now limited by human operator’s dexterity and constancy. Collaborative robotics is an emerging response, where both robot and human best capabilities are merged to pass through the miniaturization limits and to get a productivity improvement.

COLAMIR project tackles the merging issue of human and robot capabilities in the field of micro manufacturing with a consortium combining leaders in the field of robotic micro manipulation and micro manufacturing innovative SMEs. Microrobotics group at ISIR is a well-known research team in the field of human robot interaction at the microscale, with a strong research novelty in the field of haptic interface. The FEMTO-ST institute has a long and fruitful research feedback on tweezer for robotic micromanipulation, and a strong involvement in sensors integration and control at the microscale. PERCIPIO ROBOTICS is a startup company successfully working since 5 years in the field of high precision robotics for micro manufacturing with strong customer references in the field.  AUREA TECHNOLOGY is a young company, all over the world well-known for their ultra-precise photon counter, using an innovative hand-assembled micro photonic device. Concrete industrial micro-assembly cases will be brought in order to develop and integrate a new brand collaborative robotic.

To deal with tweezers manipulation issues widely spread in micro manufacturing assembly, collaborative robotics will be developed in COLAMIR through scientific and technological devices and software. Micro manipulation will be strongly improved by building a new micro tactile sense thanks to designed multi degrees of freedom force sensors, specific control scheme and an innovative mechatronics haptic interface. Human robot collaboration will also be strongly facilitated by dedicated software interfaces and high level switching control scheme. Operators testing this new approach on concrete industrial cases are one of the strength of COLAMIR. The main COLAMIR objective is to show to operators and SMEs entrepreneurs that the collaborative robotics is the key to improve the robots equipment in micro manufacturing SMEs. The ground breaking path opened by COLAMIR should be used in a wide range of manufacturing fields where flexibility is a clear asset but where robotization is still a challenge for many SMEs.