All joking aside, Audi have developed a robot able to work hand in hand with humans without using a safety barrier. It’s also the first human-robot cooperation at the VW Group to be applied in final assembly.
The robot, known internally as “HAL 9000” and also referred to as the “Sentinel”.. just kidding, its name is actually “PART4you” and it uses a camera and an integrated suction cup in order to pick up components from boxes and pass them to the assembly workers so they won’t have to bend over material boxes in order to take out the coolant expansion tanks – which in time can lead to back problems.
Peter Mosch, Chairman of Audi AG Group Works Council was quoted as saying: “We see the opportunities presented by the advancing interaction between man and machine. The decisive aspect for us is how this development is guided. We welcome it when it neither jeopardizes jobs nor leads to people losing independence to machines.”
As a later development, John Connor couldn’t be reached for comments, so we couldn’t get his take on it.
Overall, we think it’s a great idea. Part4you can work safely and efficiently, allowing employees to no longer have to reach over long distances or bend down repeatedly by selecting the correct component and holding it ready to be taken.
“Thanks to a soft protective skin with integrated safety sensors, there’s no danger to the employees,” added Johann Hegel, Head of Assembly Technology Development.
Audi is now planning more applications of their human-robot cooperation, to be used at its international production sites and not just at their main plant in Ingolstadt.