Including a Collaborative Robot in Digital Twin Manufacturing Systems

C. Larsen. Master thesis, Chalmers University of Technology, June 2018.


Great potential lie in unlocking the capabilities of industrial robots through simulation in terms of cost saving, productivity, and flexibility. The concept of digital twin has emerged in recent year which aims to further improve the impact of simulations. A digital twin is an virtual counter part of a physical system that is capable of accurately simulating the physical system using data from the real system. The knowledge gained from the simulation can thus be used for real-time optimization and decision making.

In this thesis it is investigated how one can create the needed capabilities to allow a KUKA iiwa robot within a digital twin manufacturing system. This includes investigating and developing the necessary capabilities to be able to simulate the motion of the iiwa robot depending on given motion commands as well as creating a interface to a real world iiwa robot adhering to the concept of digital twins.

The developed interface with the real iiwa robot is used to evaluate the developed simulation capability in terms of how well it can capture the geometrical path of the motion as well as cycle time. The results shows that the utilized method is capable of accurately capturing the geometrical path of the robot as well as estimating the cycle-time within 15\% depending on the given motion commands.

Photo credits: Nic McPhee