fabbrica_per_le_personeTitolo: FACTOry Technologies for HUMans Safety

Area: 3 – Fabbrica per le Persone

Call topic: 3.1 – Progettazione e realizzazione di sistemi robotizzati in grado di cooperare con operatori umani

Coordinatore: IMM – Istituto per la Microelettronica e Microsistemi (Roma)


  • ITIA – Istituto di Tecnologie Industriali e Automazione (Milano)
  • IMAMOTER – Istituto per le Macchine Agricole e Movimento Terra (Ferrara)

Gruppo di interesse industriale:

  • KUKA Roboter Italia S.p.A. (Rivoli (To))
  • TexE srl – INNTEX Div. (FI)
  • ABB SpA – Robotics Division (Sesto S.G. (MI))

Abstract: The aim of the project is related to the development of new technological solutions for the definition of a safer workplace in scenarios where human-robot interactions are requested. Nowadays, to face the new manufacturing challenges, smart factories must speed up their processes and, at the same time, demonstrate an extremely high degree of flexibility to reduce costs and time. This kind of issues can be solved only by the cooperation between humans and robots in a mixed human-robot working environment. Robots have the compelling advantage of spatial precision and repeatability as well as the capability of applying defined forces. Humans, on the other hand, are especially skilled at complex manipulations and adapting to changing task requirements. In this complicate scenario of co-shared workplace and continuous human-robot interaction, safety strategies are a key requirement to avoid possible injuries to humans or fatal accidents.

Keywords Physical human-robot safe interaction (pHRSI); workspace sharing; robot dependability; smart garments; proximity sensors; robotic wireless personal area network (RWPAN).

La tematica del progetto FACTOTHUMS è stata selezionata da NSERC-Automotive Partnership Canada per essere inserita nella “Concurrent Call on Automotive Manufacturing R&D” lanciata nell’ambito dell’Accordo bilaterale di cooperazione tra Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) e Consiglio Nazionale delle Ricerche (CNR) (Memorandum of Understanding for Scholarly and Scientific Cooperation). Tale accordo è finalizzato a promuovere la collaborazione tra ricercatori italiani e canadesi attraverso il finanziamento di progetti di ricerca congiunta.

factothumsIdeas and solutions:

Workspace and task sharing in human-robot collaborative applications both require safety. An operator is set free to move and interact with robots, while is being tracked by sensors. Danger areas, where hazardous collisions could happen, are dynamically computed at runtime in the direction of motion. Robots will react by stooping in time before any possible contact.

Computing safety areas in real time enables an optimal use of the shop-floor space.

factothums-1By merging three concepts:

  • New wearable sensors
  • Innovative wireless communication protocol
  • Safe standard implementation

we realized the technologies underlying a safe fenceless scenario in which humans and robots can cooperate and work exploiting their peculiarity of flexibility and decision making for one side to precision and velocity from the other side.

Follow up:

FACTOTHUMS project has been selected to participate in a Canada-Italy Concurrent Call on Automotive Manufacturing R&D. The project was approved for funding and will last five years.

The aim of the project is to join the expertise of the Canadian teams with that acquired in the FACTOTHUMS’s activities, to create new concepts and safe interactions between humans and industrial robots in automotive factories.

In the consortium two Canadian industrial partner are involved: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Williams and White Group.

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