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Data Science for Manufacturing


Advanced manufacturing is increasingly a data rich endeavor, with big data analytics addressing critical challenges in high-tolerance assembly, operation planning, quality control and supply chains. In the BARC, we are collaborating with experts at Boeing to capitalize on their wealth of data for a number of high priority applications in aircraft manufacturing.  


Multi-Robot Collaboration


Efficient utilization of cooperating robots in the assembly of aircraft structures relies on balancing the workload of the robots and ensuring collision-free scheduling.


Additive Manufacturing


UW acquired a 3D printer capable of printing titanium. It’s the only one of its kind at the UW and one of just a few at universities across the country. It has been used to design various projects including the design and fabrication of crush cartridges are used in airplane tails to absorb the impact energy that is transferred during a potential tail skid. In the event of a tail skid, crush cartridges can reduce costly body damage during landing. This project sought to understand and quantize the efficiency of various additively manufactured lattice structures in absorbing impact energy.


Sanding Assist System


Sanding is often performed using an air-powered, hand-held random orbit sander. The vibration transmitted to the hand of the operator is an ergonomic risk which needs to be mitigated.  


Gesture Selection for Human-Robot Interaction


During manufacturing operations in limited-access areas, such as an airplane wing, often mechanics can reach into the working space with a single hand but cannot see it due to the tight space configuration. The resulting work is slow and can be imprecise. An appropriately placed camera that can be controlled with hand gestures made by a mechanic can provide significant benefits to the efficiency and quality of the work


End Effector Control


The BARC End Effector project looks to improve process efficiency and performance while applying composite material onto a surface using a robotic arm paired with a separately controlled end effector.


Limited Access Manufacturing


Manufacturing tasks in confined spaces (such as a wingbox) present challenges that include i) severely restricted allowable configurations; ii) mapping of and localizing to partially-known environments; and iii) robust perception for tracking features and regions of interest.


Human-Machine Collaborative Robotics


Collaborative robotics in manufacturing can provide mechanics with intelligent and multi-functional tools that can improve mechanic health and safety while also increasing work efficiency.