In the research proposal applied for here, the intention is to develop a procedure with the associated hardware, which will enable an SME to program a robot offline quickly and easily. Offline programming, with the propositions of lower costs and simpler handling for the operator/programmer, represents a cost-effective solution for especially flexible robot programming in industrial production.

In order to achieve this goal, existing preliminary studies carried out by Nuremberg Tech will be combined. When this research project is complete, a prototype programming box (work surface with 4 cameras) with adapted software will be available, which can be used to simply and easily program a real industrial robot for particular production tasks.

In the intuitive approach chosen here, the programmer carries out the desired motions and working positions of the robot on a real-world component using an input device, which has exactly the same form as the robotic tool. Meanwhile, the programmer is observed by the cameras on the programming box. These predefined positions are then used to automatically create a robot program, which is subsequently transferred to the robot. The robot can immediately continue with the production activity. This reduces the online programming time (in which the robot cannot be used productively) to zero.

Scientific and technical objectives:

  • Construction of a programming box for 3D capture using an input device, which the user can use to record robot positions and paths on the object which will actually be worked on, without “occupying” the actual robot
  • Recording of positions or motion paths in the programming box with its six degrees of freedom (three translational, three rotational)
  • Creation of an option for the user to input further information ergonomically (e.g. for straight lines, curves, etc.)
  • Transfer of information to a robot program
  • Depiction of the robot program using a virtual robot on a monitor or in 3D on the VR wall to allow testing by the programmer
  • Transfer of the tested program to the actual robot in production


Non-scientific and non-technical objectives:

  • Provision of a low-cost programming system (“programming box”) for intuitive robot programming for the economical and competitive production of small batches or individual items by SMEs
  • Increasing the use of robotics in SMEs and therefore improving the long-term viability of SMEs
  • Complete realization (hardware and software) of a real-world “research facility” for demonstrating the new technology at trade fairs and exhibitions