Introduction: RoboCollab: a Sketch-based Smartphone Interface for Robotic Arm Control

Human Robot Collaboration is a key issue in the field of robotics. There are many factors that impact the effectiveness of such collaboration including work space context, type of robots, communication methods, time frames for controlling robots and interfaces between human and robot. By considering such factors, this research project designs and develops a sketch-based smartphone application interface to control KUKA industrial robots. There are benefits in using such developed interface in compare with common existing teach pendants including:

  • Pointwise and continuous movements
  • Destination selection with single tap - Positioning the robot Tool Center Point (TCP) in multi-axes
  • Varying the scale of movement steps - Adjust the distance travelled by the end-effector on click and continuous trajectories
  • Teleoperation and remote control of the robot
  • Distributed control by multiple operators in task manipulations and their turn-taking in sub-tasks manipulations.
  • Leveraging tilt sensor for relative TCP orientation to any specific pose by single clicking/ tapping
  • Accuracy in movement by integration of vision system into the workflow: mapping the view of robot workspace into the smartphone screen as guide for navigation through target positions.