The Sharework project will create new technology for human-robot collaboration in the industry

Alstom in Spain is taking part in the European Sharework project that will bring a new smart system to the market integrated by different software modules, with the aim of driving collaborative work between operators and robots without need for physical protection barriers, thereby boosting process productivity and improving the ergonomics of those workstations where it is implemented.

Specifically, Sharework, which stands for “Safe and effective HumAn-Robot coopEration toWards a better cOmpetiveness on cuRrent automation lacK manufacturing processes”, will establish a modular system designed to adjust collaborative robotics to each industrial process and to the workers themselves, and will also make it possible to adapt the robots currently installed in each plant to ensure more effective cooperation with humans.

Although collaborative robots account for only 5,000 units currently , their reduction in price and the boom of Industry 4.0 has driven investment in automation and spurred companies’ interest in investing in cobots, whose market value is expected to reach €3.7 billion in 2023, given the high rate of return on investment.

In this collaborative robotics growth scenario, Sharework will begin by applying human-robot collaboration in four types of real industrial scenarios in the automotive, railway, metal and capital goods manufacturing industries.

To this end, it will develop modular software based on human-robot collaboration capable of flexibly and efficiently adapting to the required work, thanks to the robot’s perception of the environment through multiple sensors, smart data processing, augmented reality and gesture and speech recognition technology. It will also continuously evaluate work ergonomics and make suggestions for improving the worker’s posture.