AREUS — Innovative hardware and software for sustainable industrial robotics
Paper i proceeding, 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.