Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing (ARM) has awarded $1.4 million in project funding to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute as part of its first round of funding to strengthen U.S. manufacturing. The project focuses on advanced robotics manufacturing and will develop an operator-guided, semi-automatic assembly process using industrial robots integrated with multiple sensors.
The goal of the project is to improve manufacturing productivity by enhancing the operator’s capabilities through advanced robotics, and appropriately applying the technologies that capitalize on the strengths of the robotics (e.g., precise manipulation) and the operator (e.g., decision-making).
The project has also received significant matching funds from the New York State Empire State Development Division on Science, Technology, and Innovation (NYSTAR).
The principal investigator for the grant is John Wen, professor and head of industrial and systems engineering at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute. According to Wen, “This ARM project allows us to bring a large team together to advance robotics technology and workforce training in manufacturing and industrial automation. Our students are gaining valuable experience from working with industrial professionals and the exposure to real-world needs and requirements. We look forward to the continuing partnership with ARM and NYSTAR to help companies adopt advanced robotics technologies.”
The Rensselaer project aims to develop a fixture-less robotic assembly system that will decrease the process cycle time, decrease process setup cost, improve alignment precision, and simplify the process design by incorporating vision and force feedback.