1.08 Advanced human-machine interaction for continuous transformative manufacturing and robotic systems

Marcello Cinque
Aprile 2023
Marzo 2025
Università degli studi di Napoli Federico II

Alma Mater Studiorum – Università di Bologna, ITALTEL S.p.A., SCM Group

1.08 Advanced human-machine interaction for continuous transformative manufacturing and robotic systems

Il progetto ha l’obiettivo di ottimizzare i processi fondamentali nella produzione continua trasformativa e nei sistemi robotici. A tal fine, introduce approcci avanzati all’interazione e alla collaborazione uomo-macchina proattiva, basati su nuovi strumenti digitali, quali interfacce basate sull’intelligenza artificiale, prototipi virtuali e orchestrazione di software/reti, per migliorare la sostenibilità dell’automazione. La proposta si rivolge all’industria meccanica e dell’automazione, coinvolgendo casi d’uso di aziende partner e prototipi negli interessanti campi dei sistemi di manipolazione altamente riconfigurabili e dei robot collaborativi. 


The approaches and tools proposed in the project will be demonstrated with several Proof-of-Concepts and prototypes, described in the following. A physical prototype of a reconfigurable manipulation system will be designed and built, as a general-purpose machine capable of validating the capabilities of the new technology in a laboratory environment (TRL 4). A digital design framework will be developed as a configuration tool, endowed with a digital simulation environment for performance assessment. The platform will be the physical test bench for the collection of data useful for the application of diagnostic and prognostic methods (e.g. anomaly detection, RUL estimation, reliability modeling, Supply risk forecast). The application of the technology to at least three possible use cases will be explored (e.g. pick-and-place, warehousing, painting, mechanical machining, automatic construction, etc.), and one will be chosen, in association with partner companies, for experimental implementation, to set the basis for a higher-TRL follow-up project. A prototype for collaborative robots will be developed as well, to show the capability to augment the teaching of a task to the robot, including trajectory, stiffness and precision information in laboratory environment (TRL 4). Some of the possible tasks to be tested can be assembly, polishing, painting, glueing, welding, grinding or drilling. Applications and tasks provided by the partner companies will be deeply analyzed to understand the requirements and a suitable suite of wearable and external sensors will be defined and used to acquire the data to accomplish these tasks. The result of this investigation will set the basis for a higher-TRL follow-up project. Prototypes and applications proposed by partner companies will serve as demonstrator platforms for the novel AI-based interface system, virtual prototyping and orchestration tools defined in the project, which target different professional profiles. For the interface system, a demonstrator can be developed based on a case study on an industrial machine to define the usability of a new model of graphical human-machine interfaces. In particular, SCM can propose valuable use cases for this topic in a real manufacturing context, due to large fleet of machines and a varied customer base. One of the main objectives of the company is to always put the operator in the best working conditions and to use human-machine interactions through HMI as an additional process variable on which AI can learn to recognize behaviors and habits and adapt the behavior of the machine accordingly. The basic idea is to collect and process information about the operator who is interacting with the machine, so the machine can propose an optimized interface that best guides the operator. A notification and feedback model can be designed to ensure sustainable cognitive load in the operator’s context of use. An Artificial Intelligence AI simulator as a design tool can be developed at a low TRL level to help the industrial designers to generate and test new proofs of concept. Starting from such industrial use-cases, a demonstrator will be defined also for a virtual prototyping-based approach to the designing mechanical/mechatronic systems, again as a support tool for industrial designers. The virtual prototypes will provide the assessment of system performances by including possible configurations, assembly tolerance stack-ups and subsystem/component kinematic/dynamic behaviours. Finally, a demonstrator of the industrial orchestrator will be developed, targeting software developers and network maintainers, with the aim to show the potential, in terms of availability and improved timeliness, of resource-aware placement of software/network functions on the industrial field. The orchestrator will be showcased considering the software developed for the other demonstrators and prototypes developed in the project, among the ones considered more relevant for the involved industrial partners. ITALTEL will propose use cases in the field of edge-cloud integration via intelligent orchestration of services on machines, orthogonally to the use cases and prototypes defined in the project.