Humanoid robots being developed for aircraft manufacturing

French and Japanese researchers have teamed to develop humanoid robots for manufacturing.
By Richard Tomkins   |   Feb. 16, 2016 at 8:50 AM

LEIDEN, Netherlands, Feb. 15 (UPI) -- Research and development of humanoid robots for use in complex manufacturing is to be conducted in a joint European and Japanese robotic program.

The research partners for the program are Airbus Group Innovations, the global research and technology network of Airbus Group, and the Joint Robotics Laboratory, comprised of Japan's National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology, or AIST, and France's National Center for Scientific Research, or CNRS.

"The use of robotics has become ubiquitous in our industry," said Sebastien Remy, head of Airbus Group Innovations. "Both AIST and CNRS researchers are at the cutting edge of humanoid robotics research, and we are excited about the opportunity to meld our expertise with theirs on the further development of this key technology for manufacturing."

The three are also collaborating on COMANOID, a four-year research project launched last year as part of the European Commission's Horizon 2020 program to deploying humanoid robots to achieve non-added value tasks identified by Airbus Group in civilian airliner assembly.

"It should be very clear that these humanoids are not intended to replace workers, but rather to offer them better working conditions by freeing them from chores that are physically-taxing or that involve contact with pollutants," said Abderrahmane Kheddar, director of JRL. "This enables workers to focus on the more skilled and value-added aspects of their activities. In other words, these robots are sophisticated tools intended to assist them as part of a synergistic human-robot collaboration."

Airbus Group said most of the research will be conducted at the CNRS-AIST Joint Robotics Laboratory in Japan. Project research will be based on HRP-2 and HRP-4 robots -- human-sized humanoid research platforms -- owned by laboratory, while demonstrations of the use-cases will be performed at different

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