First deployment of SHERLOCK solutions @FIDIA

For many years, traditional manufacturing environments have privileged the rigid separation between robots and human operators for safety reasons.

SHERLOCK intends to address this flexible issue by developing and implementing safety Human-Robot Collaborative modules. The SHERLOCK approach promotes the deployment of different modules and applications.

One of this module is the novel COMAU Exoskeleton, called MATE, has been selected as the main technologic platform for assembling an application. It is an ergonomically designed structure which eases the repetitive movements and relieves the effort, thanks to a lightweight, breathable and effective postural support.

This solution is fully able to replicate dynamic movements of the shoulder while enwrapping the body like a second skin. This ensures greater comfort for the worker and increases work quality and efficiency by providing consistent movement assistance during manual and repetitive tasks

Another module that aims at assisting the operator in assembly processes is the Operator Support Module. A Mixed Reality application that provides to the operator intuitive assembly instructions in order to train new coming operators to get more easily familiar with the processes or increase the efficiency of experienced ones.

At the beginning of September 2020, SHERLOCK organised a workshop to test the first prototype of the SHERLOCK approach for FIDIA case. The workshop was the opportunity to get feedback from operators using the prototype, with FIDIA, COMAU, LMS and CU involved.

The FIDIA case involves the assembly of complicated machines with multiple steps and heavy parts. For this reason, in SHERLOCK we decided that the Enhanced Exoskeleton Device module (EED) and the Operator Support Module (OSM) are the modules that fit that case. During the workshop in FIDIA sessions, the two modules were put to the test. An operator equipped with both modules performed an extensive assembly process.

  • The Enhanced Exoskeleton Device supported the operators during heavy lifting or installation of parts at positions with difficult access
  • Operator Support Module to provide visual instructions on how the process can be completed
  • Tests were performed with the use of inertial sensors (wear notch) and the MATEAPP for physiometric and biometric data acquisition..

The objectives of SHERLOCK in FIDIA case are many.

  • Reducing operators’ physical and cognitive stress.
  • Augment the capabilities of the operator and improve efficiency.
  • Improving operators’ ergonomic postures and increasing their comfort.

Check out our scientific publication “Online Prediction for Safe Human-Robot Collaboration: A Model of the Human Arm” to know more about SHERLOCK smart exoskeleton.