AREUS — Innovative hardware and software for sustainable industrial robotics
Paper in proceedings, 2015
Industrial Robotics (IR) may be envisaged as the key technology to keep the manufacturing industry at the leading edge. Unfortunately, at the current state-of-the-art, IR is intrinsically energy intensive, thus compromising factories sustainability in terms of ecological footprint and economic costs. Within this scenario, this paper presents a new framework called AREUS, focusing on eco-design, eco-programming and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) of robotized factories. The objective is to overcome current IR energetic limitations by providing a set of integrated technologies and engineering platforms. In particular, novel energy-saving hardware is firstly introduced, which aim at exchanging/storing/recovering energy at factory level. In parallel, innovative engineering methods and software tools for energy-focused simulation are developed, as well as energy-optimal scheduling of multi-robot stations. At last, LCA methods are briefly described, which are capable to assess both environmental and economic costs, linked to the flows of Material, Energy and Waste (MEW). A selected list of industrially-driven demonstration case studies is finally presented, along with future directions of improvement.