During the past year, the HR-Recycler project has moved to the integration phase, where all the technologies developed in the early phases are implemented in real world scenarios, giving a good assessment of the progress made or still needed to reach the goals defined in the project proposal.
In this blog post, Sadako shares the integration results reached during tests done in late October 2021 in partnership with COMAU as well as the latest updates on the pilot integration tasks done in ECORESET in December 2021.
1. Integration tests with COMAU
Throughout 2021, Sadako has perfected a Neural Network model able to detect the different type of WEEE objects encountered in the HR-Recycler project and integrated it in a real-time software specifically designed for the Classification cell. The software is able to detect and locate the objects in 3D space with a custom point cloud processing algorithm.
This software has been tested and fine-tuned during integration tests made continuously during all of 2021, with the last integration test made at COMAU’s premises in late October. This test was the occasion to measure the accuracy of the detection software as well as the capabilities of the NJ-220 robotic arm and gripper in the Classification cell scenario, as illustrated in the following sequence:
Figure 1: Right sequence: object being picked up as seen by the vision camera. Left Sequence: General view of the object being picked up
The tests were successful, as 90% of the objects used for the test were correctly identified, located, grasped, and moved to their target location. These results give a high confidence that the prototype will reach the desired performance when deployed at the ECORESET pilot site.
2. ECORESET pilots
In December 2021, CERTH, IBEC, ROBOTNIK and SADAKO travelled to the ECORESET premises in Athens to perform a first phase of the pilot integration. During this visit, the camera framework designed by Sadako for the Disassembly workbench was installed alongside the workbench designed and built by ECORESET. This camera framework is designed to accommodate the cameras for operator gesture detection as well as the ones for object detection for cobot disassembly tasks, as shown in the following images:
Figure 2: Left image: constructed camera framework over the disassembly workbench. Right image: CAD view of the designed camera framework
This first integration step was an opportunity of successfully testing the operator location detection and the gesture detection software in their final environment, as well as for other the partners present during this visit to test their latest software and hardware developments:
Figure 3: HR Recycler partners working during the Ecoreset pilots
In particular, an integration test involving IBEC, ROBOTNIK and SADAKO was designed to test IBEC’s central task planner:
Figure 4: IBEC-ROBOTNIK-SADAKO integration test. Sadako’s vision software output is visible on the monitor on the top left of the image
The test was designed so that the pallet truck had to perform a sequence given by the task planner which involved raising and lowering the pallet in a given sequence. The task planner and interaction manager were configured so that a specific gesture made by the operator and detected by the gesture recognition software would interrupt the pallet truck sequence, and another one would resume it. This test was successful and showed the correct flow of information between the different sensors, software, and robotic actuators.
The latest progress in the HR-Recycler project involves a great deal of effort towards the realization of integration tests at the pilot sites. The results gathered from these preliminary tests are promising and hint at a successful deployment of the complete HR-Recycler pipeline during the following year.