The continued development of force control and its integration into industrial processes are key steps along the path to opening up new areas of application in the robotics industry. Grinding and polishing are examples of such robot-based material processing procedures in which force control plays a crucial role.

The implementation of force control in industrial robotics remains hampered by a range of technical obstacles. The ForTeRob project is built around force-sensitive grinding and polishing procedures carried out by industrial robots. It aims to contribute to research activity in the field, as well as to overcoming some of the most fundamental of these obstacles that hinder the widespread application of force control. To accomplish this, ForTeRob focuses on a combination of innovative approaches to force control and telematics-based end-user support. The research centres on prototype implementation and realistic test scenarios.

Robot-based grinding process

The main objectives of the project are:

  • quantitative fundamental research in the field of force control;
  • the development and testing of innovative approaches to force control in industrial robots, focusing on a targeted utilization of the properties of robot axes, in order to allow a highly sensitive and agile manipulation of forces;
  • investigating the possibilities of sensor-free force control;
  • the development and evaluation of a telematics-based control interface, allowing an expert to support an end-user in force-sensitive material processing activities from a distance.
    Setup for fundamental investigation on force control capabilities of industrial robots