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Development of a hardware-agnostic and unified robotics software platform

Pietro Musso

Development of a hardware-agnostic and unified robotics software platform.

Rel. Marcello Chiaberge, Alberto Dalmasso. Politecnico di Torino, Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica), 2022


The fourth industrial revolution is deeply impacting nowadays manufacturing and production processes from all over the world. Robotics is demonstrating a key role in the current and future industry, exploiting advanced sensing, localization, grasping, motion control and AI technologies. These characteristics make the industrial robot a central system able to ensure the fulfilment of the main demands of the nowadays factories and to address highly specific tasks typical of small and medium-sized companies. The high flexibility and intelligence of a robot is guaranteed by its software, that is also highly responsible to extract the best possible and stable behaviour from the hardware on which it is deployed. As a consequence, virtually all the robot manufacturers have historically developed their own programming languages and tools with a limited set of instructions specifically tailored for their manipulators, in order to prevent any inconvenient to the user caused by adopting unsuitable constructs. This wide range of existing commercial languages involves excessive expenses in an industrial environment, the creation of a standard interface for programming admits the design of portable and reusable code, reducing drastically costs and time to the market. The main goal of this dissertation is to develop a state-of-the-art software platform that is characterized of a uniform and hardware-agnostic interface, with the peculiarity of compliance with manipulators of different typologies or coming from distinct manufacturers. This is possible through different layers of abstraction of the software, adopting not specific but widespread language as C++ or PLC languages, that present furthermore the advantages of dealing with the algorithm logic of the application requirements, of controlling the robot arm motion automatically and safely, of handling the communication and interface aspects of the devices involved, all in the same framework. This issue is addressed according to two distinct but concomitant approaches to compare them and evaluate which is the best candidate for creating the standard robotics programming interface for the future. The first approach on this aim consists of the development of the program through the software services provided by ROS, an open-source framework which includes a collection of libraries and opportune functions with the aim of multi-purpose robot programming in a customizable and adaptive manner. The second instead, employing TIA Portal environment and the “Simatic Robot Library”, a licensed software product released by Siemens in January 2022 that is basically a collection of function blocks and structures specifically designed for industrial robot programming and integration intentions. The validation of the two software projects is performed through the concrete realization of a robotized workstation that concerns singularization and manipulation of manufacturing items, which is placed in service with both realized software executing at runtime to evaluate the expected performance in terms of precision, time-cycle, and safety. In particular, the results of the software application developed in according with the second above-described approach, have been shown at the fair “SPS Italia” at “Fiere di Parma” as an international preview of the “Simatic Robot Library”, as a result of the collaboration between E.P.F. Elettrotecnica and Siemens, with the exposure of the entire robotized workstation on which the designed software has been deployed on.

Relators: Marcello Chiaberge, Alberto Dalmasso
Academic year: 2021/22
Publication type: Electronic
Number of Pages: 139
Additional Information: Tesi secretata. Fulltext non presente
Corso di laurea: Corso di laurea magistrale in Mechatronic Engineering (Ingegneria Meccatronica)
Classe di laurea: New organization > Master science > LM-25 - AUTOMATION ENGINEERING
Aziende collaboratrici: E.P.F. Elettrotecnica Srl
URI: http://webthesis.biblio.polito.it/id/eprint/23572
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