The Factory of the Future will witness the increase of robotic manipulation skills allowing robots to carry
autonomous tasks, independently of materials, sizes, shapes and other product proprieties. This will bring new
opportunities to human-intensive labor manufacturing processes like the one dealing with cables and wires where
the routing and fitting tasks are calling for advanced handling techniques. This new robotic ability will impact
several production scenarios in which human work is widely adopted due to the complexity in the objects, materials
and manipulation tasks, characterized unpredictable initial configuration as well as large deformability and
plasticity. The potential applications include the production of domestic appliances, the production and assembly of
wiring harnesses in the automotive and aerospace field, the switchgear wiring, the manufacturing of medical
consumables and many others. These activities, and in particular the ones involving mass production, such as
automotive and appliances, are moving outside Europe due to the high labour cost and to the repetitiveness of the
tasks that produces high psychophysical stress in the workers. In other cases, such as the switchgear wiring and the
aerospace sector, the need of increasing production flexibility, reliability and traceability of the product as well as
reduce costs and time to market implies the adoption of innovative tools to maintain proper competitiveness and
answer the market requests.
The REMODEL main objective is to implement all the necessary developments to make the vision presented
above become a reality. We aim to enable new production environments, where the manufacturing of complex
products composed of multiple wires and cables by means of robots is not only possible, but fully integrated with
the product design chain. Wires, cables, wiring harnesses, laces and flexible tubes have a transversal application in
many manufacturing processes, where these technologies could lean the scale for a total automation, decreasing the
production costs and improving the worker conditions.
On the other hand, wires and cables handling is full of uncertainties and it has complex behavior during
manipulation. Advance simulation in the materials and the forces involved during manipulation and handling
should be integrated. A holistic approach supported by physics and experimental data is needed in order to cope
with real time manipulation.
REMODEL (Robotic technologies for the manipulation of complex deformable linear objects) project is a
four-year project funded by the European Commission in the Horizon 2020 programme.
The project consortium involves eleven partners: https://remodel-project.eu/partners
If you want to learn more about REMODEL: