The event was held after Prague and Berlin in Saarbrücken, Germany, on the 11th – 13th of October 2017. It has focused on activities that have accelerated in August 2016 with the signing of a cooperation agreement between DFKI – the German Institute for Artificial Intelligence and the Czech Institute of Informatics, Robotics, and Cybernetics, CTU in Prague, with the presence of German Chancellor Angela Merkel. Both of these research organizations have been intensively collaborating on a joint innovation lab for people and robots and other projects, in particular for the implementation of the new RICAIP Centre.
The workshop program focused on the topic of integration of research and production in Industry 4.0, specific human-robot collaboration scenarios and their integration into production processes. The meeting was also attended by a delegation of four partners of the new Czech-German RICAIP (Research and Innovation Centre for Advanced Industrial Production): besides the DFKI and CIIRC CTU, also the German Centre for Mechatronics and Automation ZeMA and CEITEC BUT Brno. RICAIP will connect testbed research facilities in the Czech Republic and Germany and will create an integrated test research structure for distributed production.
The workshop was supported by the Federal Minister for Research, Ms. Prof. Johanna Wanka, who said in her video entry: “There is no other European country with which we work so closely together in the areas of Industry 4.0 and robotics. Without the initiators of this cooperation, CIIRC Director Prof. Vladimír Marík and the Director-General of the DFKI, Prof. Wolfgang Wahlster, such a profitable cooperation could not take place.” The Minister highlighted the similarities between the industrial base in mechanical and plant engineering in the Czech Republic and Germany and congratulated the RICAIP partners to a successful start of the project. The whole speech can be seen here.
For the first time, DFKI introduced a scenario that allows interrupting, reconfiguring, and restoring workflows in a collaborative Industry 4.0 workflow, without any need to manually redefine workflows. In this case, the workpiece that is transported on the MIR robotic mobile platform will be randomly selected for inspection. The MIR responds to the appropriate signal, diverts the planned route, and continues autonomously after the interruption. A so-called system demonstrator was also introduced under the Hybr-IT project, funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).
Besides the DFKI, the ZeMA presented application-oriented demonstrators in the field of automotive and aircraft production among other things. New production and commissioning technologies were shown – focusing on the core themes of Industry 4.0 and Human-Robot-Cooperation, which are being researched at the ZeMA in many applications.
For more information, see the press release on DFKI website (in German).