LabCom V2 - Laboratoires communs organismes de recherche publics – PME/ETI

Machine control and virtualisation for Industry 4.0 – Mach4

Submission summary

The adaptation of industrial firms to the technological and organisational evolutions of Industry 4.0 must be supported by the development of tools enabling humans to master the growing complexity of machines.
In this context, the association between ITECA and Pprime Institute combines expertise in the design and control of mechatronic systems and decision support tools based on the latest artificial intelligence technologies.
This joint laboratory aims to produce software tools to support the engineering, operation and maintenance of complex production facilities. In particular, it seeks to provide complete software solutions combining the machine and its digital twin with a high degree of interaction between the two models and a high fidelity of representation of reality. The products developed by the lab are designed to place the human operator (line operator, maintenance technician, or supervisor) in the best conditions to process the multiple data generated by the machine and take the best action at the right time.

This project associates two complementary partners:
- A research laboratory in Physical Sciences and Engineering Sciences: Pprime Institute, UPR CNRS 3346 which develops, within the RoBioSS team (Robotics, Biomechanics, Sport & Health), complex mechatronic solutions for production robotics and methodologies to evaluate the biomechanical comfort of an operator at a work place,
- A company with a strong innovation potential: ITECA which provides virtualization solutions for machines and production lines that integrate virtual reality and artificial intelligence engines for decision making.

Feasibility studies were carried out by the partners as part of the French Tech network in the Nouvelle Aquitaine region. They led to the creation of a demonstration prototype featuring an industrial robot controlled by a virtual reality environment integrating operating and maintenance assistance scenarios.

The objective of the common laboratory is to improve the scientific and technological developments of both partners and to integrate them into common products. ITECA's contribution relates to the ability of its developers to model geometrically and cinematically very large scale multibody systems and to rapidly process large quantities of information with advanced artificial intelligence tools. The contributions of RoBioSS researchers focus, at the robotics level, on the fine control of the dynamic behaviour of mechatronic systems, both in simulation and in real-time control. On the biomechanical side, the lab can integrate biomechanical sensor networks (inertial sensors, human-machine interaction sensors, motion capture systems and electromyographic sensors) and develop customizable biomechanical models.

For Pprime Institute, the LabCom projet provides the addition of virtual reality functionality in control and human-machine interface software. It also offers assistance in the implementation of artificial intelligence tools for perceptual information processing, when the data are too many or inaccurate to be processed in real time by conventional approaches. On ITECA's side, the research support enables the company to complete its supervision software solution with a multi-axis and multi-robot programming library based on the development standards and norms for machine control and those of "Industry 4.0" (IEC 61131, PLCopen Motion, PLCopen Safety, real-time Ethernet fieldbuses, PackML, OPC-UA).

During the machine design phase, the solutions provided by the Mach4 laboratory will provide a realistic model of the machine in an immersive virtual reality environment with dynamic performances very close to those of the actual systems. In the production phase, the control and maintenance software will provide the human operator, at the right time, with the information necessary for decision making while taking into account his biomechanical comfort and, in the medium run, his cognitive state - alertness and mental load.

Project coordination

Jean-Pierre Gazeau (Institut P' : Recherche et Ingénierie en Matériaux, Mécanique et Energétique)

The author of this summary is the project coordinator, who is responsible for the content of this summary. The ANR declines any responsibility as for its contents.


Pprime Institut P' : Recherche et Ingénierie en Matériaux, Mécanique et Energétique

Help of the ANR 300,000 euros
Beginning and duration of the scientific project: December 2018 - 36 Months

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