The first mobile manipulator robot developing picking operations in the automotive industry has Portuguese technology. If so far the handling of pieces in this sector was a difficult problem with automation levels below 30%, the European project STAMINA solves these challenges.

The final assembly tasks in the automotive sector have a low level of automation, so we need to increase the productivity to maintain these sectors in Europe.

Germano Veiga, researcher at INESC TEC

STAMINA is a robotic system with advanced sensing, that plans, handles parts and navigates autonomously, and integrates in the factory manufacturing execution system. The robots react to unforeseen changes and operate in unstructured environments. They use cameras and lasers to “see” and their robotic arms can be used to have a wide range of handling tasks. The robots can also be programmed and controlled even by people without experience in the field of robotics.

Seven institutions got together in 2013 to enrol in this €5M European project, led by INESC TEC (Portugal) and AAU – AALBORG UNIVERSITET (Denmark). Three years later, STAMINA will be presented at AUTOMATICA, the biggest international fair for industrial robotics.

These developments will also have impact on SMEs. Germano Veiga explains the potential of this new system:

This project will open new opportunities for SMEs in the manufacturing industry. Intelligent robots will allow companies to more frequently update their products. They will also be able to be more responsive to the needs of consumers by offering customized products without the need to increase the prices.