Robot-assisted Assembling and Disassembling of Color Bars (ROBOASSIST)

Funding type: Smact IRISS project

Duration: 30/06/2024 – 31/08/2025

As manufacturer of advanced digital printing and production technologies, DURST AG is confronted with the challenges of i) a currently fully manual assembly of their printers, including also the color bars, ii) the need to grow a second-hand market of inkjet printers requiring remanufacturing of used printers at distant locations and with less skilled personnel as well as iii) the need to return resources into a circular economy. In this project, we aim for addressing these challenges by developing a robot-assisted remanufacturing system for the assembly and disassembly of color bars. While full automation of assembling and disassembling for remanufacturing is quite difficult to achieve due to the uncertainty related to the physical integrity of goods and the involved complexity of tasks, we aim for developing a robot-assisted remanufacturing system that optimally shares the workload between human and robot without requiring a complete automation. Specifically, we aim for researching methods to model the task of remanufacturing by studying the assembly/disassembly process of a product and to develop methods for robot-assisted assembly/disassembly by combining methods of high-end computer vision with optimal, dynamic robot task planning and task allocation as well as safe motion planning. The finally developed system will provide DURST AG with a system to address the aforementioned challenges, but also to contribute to the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations that envision by 2030, a substantial reduction in waste through prevention, reduction, recycling and reuse. The system can be also seen as a first response to  the expected new European directive on trade-in goods that is supposed to grant customers a right to repair.