Cutting-edge robotics in the concept of the Faculty of Applied Sciences

Cooperation University Science

Cutting-edge robotics and the Faculty of Applied Sciences (FAS) are inseparable. Innovative projects developed at FAS represent not only technological advances, but also practical applications in various industries.

The approach to cutting-edge research in the field of robotics and its integration at FAS is quite fundamentally different from the standard activities that are well known from the main direction in the field of industrial robotics.

"At FAS, we prioritize the research and development of special robotic workcells, which ordinary robotic integrators give the so-called hands off. Thanks to our more than ten years of professional expertise in controlling the movement of multi-axis devices, optimizing the design of the structure of robots and their kinematic and dynamic properties, we are able to respond very flexibly to the special needs of our industrial partners," says Martin Švejda, researcher at the NTIS center.

FAS's work in the field of robotics can be simply divided into two basic research activities. The first activity includes completely new designs of robots for special applications, especially in cases where it is not possible to use a standard industrial solution, or such a solution would be too restrictive. A typical example is special robot architectures for non-destructive testing of spatially limited complex welded joints of pipeline systems in the environment of nuclear power plants. For such robots, FAS researchers focus not only on their construction, equipping them with suitable actuators and sensors, but also on research and development of a complete robot control system tailored to a specific application and adapted to the maximum extent possible for use by specialists in the given field. Recently, artificial intelligence methods have also increasingly been integrated into the control systems of such robots, for example using machine learning methods to automatically evaluate defects in weld joints that the robot tests, or to guide robots through image recognition.

The second activity is the area of ​​technical extension of standard industrial robots, where although industrial robots from large manufacturers (e.g. Fanuc, Stäubi, Universal Robots, etc.) are used, their capabilities are further extended for effective use in a given specific and non-standard application.

"For such robots, we often use their high-quality HW and SW equipment, but the entire robotic system is then controlled by our own developed superior control system, which further extends the robot's functions," adds Martin Švejda.

A typical example is the technical extension of the Stäubli robot for the application of complex non-destructive testing of the inner surface of the reactor vessel lid or a Fanuc robot that has been extend so that it can be programmed by a regular production operator by simply showing the technological process of wet painting.

That is also why researchers from the Department of Cybernetics and the NTIS research center have joined as partners alongside ČVUT, VŠB-TUO and VUT in the project called ROBOPROX of the OP JAK call for cutting-edge research. The project focuses on breakthrough research and development in robotics and advanced industrial manufacturing by leveraging flexible deployment of robots with a high degree of autonomy, safe collaboration with humans, control and optimization methods.



Figure 1: Developed seven-axis robot for non-destructive testing of welded joints of components not only in nuclear power plants. The robot is characterized by the possibility of very dexterous handling of ultrasonic test probes, as well as the possibility of learning test movements by non-destructive testing operators

Figure 2: Technical extension of the standard Stäubli RX160L industrial robot for automatic non-destructive testing of VVER-1000 reactor vessel lid welds (mockup of ¼ reactor vessel lid)

Figure 3: Technical extension of the Fanuc LRMate 200iD robot for learning the movements of the paint gun by an operator - an experienced painter and subsequent automatic replication of the movement of the paint gun by the robot.

Faculty of Applied Sciences

Faculty of Applied Sciences

05. 02. 2024