Designing and Working.

In this quick process, some basic steps are presented with the aim to move from theory to practice. After unboxing the robot and read the user's manual the engineer student can follow these steps. These steps can be used in laboratory practices or can be developed in more detail inside final engineering thesis.

In any case, it is not a complete engineering cycle, in which industrial safety, for instance, should be considered.

Some content has been developed in collaboration with Adrià Freixa.


Task allocation

End effector and application



The expert in ergonomics and human factors can plan, design and define the use of the workplace. The figure show an option in the use of the physical workspace: In the left part (blue), the robot works in 100% automatic mode, in the central part (green) the human or the robot performs a task but never simultaneously, in the right part (red) a cooperative task between robot and human is carried out. Further information can be found in this article of Masó et al.,: Diseño de tareas persona-robot en el ámbito académico, (in Spanish Language).

Task allocation

The expert in teamwork can plan the assignment of tasks to robot and human. For this, it is convenient to know the skills in which each one of them stands out depending on the application that you want to carry out. Perhaps an intelligent assistant can help the expert in this decision making. The figure show an archictecture example, where an embodied agent develops this assistance functionality. Please, read the article of Chacón et al., : Developing Cognitive Advisor Agents for Operators in Industry 4.0, The figure is part of this chapter book of Intechopen publisher.

End effector and application

The system integrator. must identify the type of application that the robot will perform and which end effector is more convenient. It is necessary to decide if the end effector is purchased and integrated into the robotic station or a new end effector is designed and put into operation tailored to the application to be carried out. the figure show a double pneumatic gripper for an assembly operation, designed by SMC enterprise,


The robotics engineer must plan the programming so that the code includes human intervention in collaborative tasks, and that it is scalable to address complex tasks. The design of the graphical interface and usability must also be considered. Further information related to heuristics in this domain can be found in the article of Frijns and Schmidbauer: Design Guidelines for Collaborative Industrial Robot User Interfaces,



ToH puzzle

The Tower of Hanoi puzzle is defined based on the following parameters: you have three pegs on a flat surface; there are 3 disks of different diameter stacked in a column on one of the pegs; a disk is not allowed to be under another that is larger; only one disk can be moved for each move; when a disk is taken, it must be moved to another peg; one move is counted for each disc moved to a peg other than the initial one.

Workplace: fully automated.

Task allocation: the robot develops the Tower of Hanoi puzzle, the human replace disks when the robot finish the task. In future cases, human and robot could work together: a first movement by robot, a second movement by human, etc.

End effector and application: double pneumatic gripper (only one gripper is used in this example). The application is a ToH of 3 disks.

Programming: this case is an example of pick and place task, an advanced program for n disks can take into acount recursivity reducing the number of lines of the code.

control de qualitat 2.mp4

Quality control

The human operator is supervising the assembly process carried out by the robot. In some parts of this process, the user decides to intervene since it is detected that the quality of the bearings is not right. At that moment, it decides that the robot proceeds to replace the defective bearing with a bearing in good condition.

Workplace: cooperative task. Human replace pieces (left), the robot develops assembly (center) and the human add a product for replace defective pieces (right).

Task allocation: the robot develops the assembly, the human operator supervises the control quality.

End effector and application: double pneumatic gripper (one gripper is used for grasp bearing, other gripper is used for grasp nylon or aluminium piece). Application are: an assembly robot task and a human operator quality control.

Programming: this main program is the assembly task, when human operator press one button in the panel, then the control quality subprogram begins his execution.

To facilitate supervision (human on the loop), the system incorporates a panel for human operator intervention and visual feedback that shows changes in light (blue, white) when the task changes (assembly to control quality for instance).