Modern Industrial Robot (IR) programming process is mainly performed by using three different methods — manual, offline, and online programming. Each of these methods has various advantages and disadvantages. Prominent automotive industries often use a combination of them, as there is no way to avoid one or another form of programming on one factory. However, the use of a combination of different programming methods is time-consuming and demands the operator’s presence on site for reconfiguration of the IR. The primary goal of this study is to introduce and test the concept of a hybrid IR programming method, which combines both: offline and online robotic cell design, programming, and re-configuration methods. Testing of this method is based on fully synchronized robotic cell’s Digital Twin (DT), developed in Industrial Virtual and Augmented Laboratory of Tallinn University of Technology. Usage of the virtual replica allows to plan and program robotic cell on the means of telepresence and interfere with the predefined path of the robot by online programming method. Moreover, this approach reduces the time for robotic cell design and re-programming, enables to minimize downtime of the robotic cell on the factory shop floor. Included Virtual Reality (VR) environment allows simulating a full-scale operator presence on site. Thus, the proposed approach supports an immersive and safe environment for the IR and similar equipment programming purposes.

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