In the absence of applicable ISO standards, this project developed a methodology for quantifying emerging robotic technology performance to allow progress from technical innovations to be thoroughly assessed.
Emerging robotics technologies need to be supported by international standardised procedures so that developments in their performance can be quantified experimentally and compared, according to protocols common to all manufacturers and users. This is a basic foundation for technological progress as it means that performance benchmarks can be established that are universally meaningful when judging the impact of proposed improvements.
This project specifically related to robotic machining technology where multiple challenges need to be overcome for widespread adoption. The need for progress justified the development of performance assessment procedures to address a gap in those available from standardisation organisations. To address this gap, this project reviewed standards for robotics and machine tool performance assessment independently so that useful elements could be extracted from each to form procedures relevant to the combination of the two technologies, i.e. robotic machining.
The outcome of this was documented procedures that could be used to assess proposed developments in robotic machining operations. This formed a conceptual foundation on which the technology can be developed for application in a range of industries, allowing progress to be made towards realising the cost saving and health and safety benefits it offers.