F & P Robotic technologies

Pressure-sensitive robots

Challenges and Solutions

Robots have been working in the industrial production for decades, however they have been doing this in an isolated environment with no humans around. In recent years, the field of collaborative robotics has gained a lot of traction and robots started working alongside their human coworkers. This change demands the robots to be aware of their surroundings in a much more comprehensive way.
The Swiss SME F&P Robotics has been aware of this challenge in their customers’ industry and is producing intelligent robots which can safely collaborate with their coworkers in industries of food production and packaging as well as medical assistance. Through integrating flexible pressure sensors into their soft robots, they want to improve their products further.

Smarter-SI Support

With the printed electronics platform developed by the research organization CSEM, F&P Robotics could implement an innovative hybrid integration approach for an artificial haptic experience based on a human-robot-interface. This allows a customized and cost effective solution combining printed pressure sensors and the robot hardware/software with a high integration factor.
Thanks to the gateone-project, printed pressure sensors on flexible/stretchable foil were placed under the robot skin enabling the robot to “feel the environment” and to interact with humans once touched. The security feature, i.e. emergency function, was implemented whereas teaching/learning features are also enabled.
This new domain of application has allowed an increase of maturity level of the technology from laboratory scale (TRL 4) to an industrial prototype scale (TRL 6).

Impact/What’s next

The technology demonstrated in the gateone-project will allow F&P Robotics to become a game changer in their industry by providing robots equipped with cost-effective and large area printed pressure sensors which add sensing functionalities, manipulating and correction capabilities to the robots. After a period of 6 months for the industrialisation of the sensors, these demonstrators will open new market opportunities for the collaborative robot from F&P robotics, especially human environment and food handling segment.