Novasis recently took part in the HUMANS research project, of which Comau is the leading company, which aims to implement highly innovative technical solutions for the creation of new production systems characterised by safe interaction between humans, automation, machines and workstations. The challenge which lies ahead is to simultaneously optimise productivity and ergonomics in the workplace. The need therefore arises to reinterpret the concept of factory and production line, imagining an intelligent environment, therefore, able to adapt both to changes in production plans and to the needs of the individuals who work there. The intelligent factory is therefore seen as a network of self-adaptive, flexible and reconfigurable workstations.

A solution for a 4.0 Factory

The demonstrator developed by Novasis consists of integrating a 3D ToF camera from Basler, distributed in Italy by Advanced Technologies, into a cell in which a collaborative anthropomorphic robot is used to help operators during an assembly phase by providing them with parts and tools. Novasis, thanks to its research activities, has developed a driver capable of increasing the frame-rate of the camera and allowing it to interface with the end customer’s software in order to extract the 3D point cloud, eliminate peaks due to reflections within the operating environment and allow the operators’ position in space and their height to be revealed. The program is then able to provide the cobot with this information so that it can modify its path to deliver the tools to the operator at the most ergonomic distance possible. Thanks to  3D ToF technology, Novasis has been able to develop a highly innovative solution in the context of the 4.0 Factory capable of improving ergonomics and human-robot interaction. This solution can also be used in other application contexts where self-adaptive workstations are required.