POSTED: 07 Sep, 2022
Centre Chief Investigator, Prof Will Browne is leading a cobotic welding project with two of his undergraduate students and the Centre’s Engineers from QUT’s Research Engineering Facility (REF).
The project is highlighting the accuracy of cobots in welding using the Soldamatic (Weld Australia’s Welding training simulator) and Augmented Reality, where cobotics reduce the risk to safety and waste of materials.
The Soldamatic system is used during training to evaluate the effectiveness of welders before they move onto real welding equipment. The first stage of the project involved using a program interface that allowed the cobot to successfully simulate the same welding tasks that trainee welders are required to pass. The second stage of the project is still underway and involves the completion of a welding task that is usually completed by experienced welders. This will provide a quantifiable demonstration of a robotic welding capabilities to potential adopters.
The project is a collaboration with Weld Australia, QUT (especially QUT’s Centre for Robotics) and the ARM Hub. Weld provide the Soldamatic AR station (https://www.soldamatic.com/welding-simulator/), QUT provide the advanced Robotics programming for the cobotics arm (and the researchers/students working on the project) and ARM Hub the integration/facilities to realise the project.
This project could lead to further research around specific welding capabilities and improving quality assurance and compliance in welding.
- In more complex welding, the skill of the human is in identifying where they need to weld, which varies according to the task. The challenge is in providing a ‘path’ that shows the cobot where to weld.
- Gives organisations and experienced welders confidence in cobots completing the same tasks in a safe environment
- Cobots provide a way of increasing automation across the industry in response to labour shortages and increased investment in infrastructure
- The next phase of the project could include AR technology instead of the Soldamatic system to evaluate whether the proposed weld is accurate.
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