3. Human-Robot Collaboration for INDUSTRIE 4.0 –3rd Czech-German Workshop in Saarbrücken


12. Oktober 2017: 3. Czech-German HRK Workshop in Industrie 4.0 in Saarbrücken

In August 2016, as part of a state visit by Federal Chancellor Angela Merkel, Germany and The Czech Republic established the joint innovation lab Human-Robot Collaboration for INDUSTRIE 4.0. The two national centers of excellence DFKI-Saarbrücken and the Czech Institute for Information Systems, Robotics, and Cybernetics (CIIRC) in Prague have been working closely together since that time. The 3rd Czech-German Workshop (Agenda) explored new opportunities in human-robot collaboration (HRC 4.0).
Previously convened in Prague and Berlin, this was the first time the Workshop was held in Saarland where, once again, a venue was created for the cooperation partners to exchange the results of their joint projects. The focus was on the integration of research and production in the concepts of INDUSTRIE 4.0, specific human robot collaboration scenarios, and inclusion in the production process.

Federal Education and Research Minister Prof. Johanna Wanka spoke via a video message: “There is no other European country that we cooperate with on issues of INDUSTRIE 4.0 and robotics as closely as we do with the Czech Republic. Without the energy of the two initiators, the head of CIIRC Prof. Mařík and DFKI-CEO Prof. Wahlster, such a productive collaboration could never have happened.” The Minister emphasized the similarities in the industrial base of the Czech Republic and Germany in terms of machine and plant construction and added: “We are proud of our small and medium sized businesses. Both of our countries try to support these companies, which also include research institutes, with a common funding guidance. The cooperation between the Czech Republic and Germany has successfully developed into the European TEAMING Project RICAIP which has raised considerable funding from the European Commission.”

The aim of the EU-Project RICAIP (Research and Innovation Center on Advanced Industrial Production), which includes CIIRC, Technical University of Brno (BUT), as well as DFKI and the Center for Mechatronics and Automation (ZeMA), is to virtually integrate a testbed for the subject range addressed in INDUSTRIE 4.0. RICAIP links the research institutes and demonstrator facilities of The Czech Republic and Germany to the goal of building and implementing new joint research structures.

The scientific part of the workshop was opened by Prof. Wahlster (DFKI) with a lecture on the topic of The German-Czech Innovation Lab MRK 4.0: Smart Industrial Services. DFKI introduced the first scenario that enables the interruption, reconfiguration, and resumption of a collaborative INDUSTRIE 4.0 work process, without the need to manually redefine the workflow. The scenario calls for a workpiece transported on the mobile robot platform MIR, to be randomly selected for a quality control check. After the interruption, the MIR continues autonomously alongits path. The system demonstrator was developed as part of the Hybr-iT project, sponsored by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

Additionally, other system demonstrators were shown that have different priorities and are created under various BMBF funded projects that study INDUSTRIE 4.0 and the various approaches to its implementation. For example, an operating system for INDUSTRIE 4.0 has been developed in the Hybr-iT and BaSys 4.0 projects and a production process from the SmartF-IT project, in which humans and robots work flexibly together. In addition to mixed reality scenarios for cross-location production and worker support for ergonomically demanding assembly work, concepts for dynamically adaptable safety zones in common work areas for people and robots were presented. The collaborative work between human and robot was also discussed in an Interview with Prof. Dr. Wahlster by the Saarland Broadcasting Corporation.