Unattended Production Based on Cooperation between Offline and Online Robots
Hong-Zhi Yang*, Kazuo Yamafuji*, Kouichiro Arita** and Naoki Ohara***
*Department of Mechanical and Control Engineering, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofugaoka, Chofu, Tokyo 182-8585, Japan
**Production System Business Center, Sony Corporation, 6-7-35 Kitashinagawa, Shinagawa-ku, Tokyo 141-0001, Japan
***Human Technology Department, Advanced Technology Research Division, Yamaha Motor Co., Ltd., 2500 Shingai, lwata, Shizuoka, 438-8501, Japan
To cope with labor shortages due to low birth rates in the 21st century, and create friendlier production systems, we propose a robot system assisting production in flexible manufacturing environments, where offline robots replace or reduce human labor on the shop floor. Offline robots conduct aid or service tasks for online robots operating on production lines or sites. We analyze conventional automatic production systems using robots, propose a robotic production concept using two types of robots, present ways to implement the proposed concept and technical results, and discuss fault recovery using offline robots and peripheral technology.