Safe and Flexible Collaborative Assembly Processes Using Behavior Trees and Computer Vision

Open Access
Conference Proceedings
Authors: Minh TrinhDavid KötterAriane ChuMohamed BeheryGerhard LakemeyerOliver PetrovicChristian Brecher

Abstract: Human-robot-collaboration combines the strengths of humans, such as flexibility and dexterity, as well as the precision and efficiency of the cobot. However, small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) often lack the expertise to plan and execute e.g. collaborative assembly processes, which still highly depend on manual work. This paper introduces a framework using behavior trees (BTs) and computer vision (CV) to simplify this process while complying with safety standards. In this way, SMBs are able to benefit from automation and become more resilient to global competition. BTs organize the behavior of a system in a tree structure [1], [2]. They are modular since nodes can be easily added or removed. Condition nodes check if a certain condition holds before an action node is executed, which leads to the reactivity of the trees. Finally, BTs are intuitive and human-understandable and can therefore be used by non-experts [3]. In preliminary works, BTs have been implemented for planning and execution of a collaborative assembly process [4]. Furthermore, an extension for an efficient task sharing and communication between human and cobots was developed in [5] using the Human Action Nodes (H-nodes). The H-node is crucial for BTs to handle collaborative tasks and reducing idle times. This node requires the use of CV for the cobot to recognize, whether the human has finished her sub-task and continue with the next one. In order to do so, the algorithm must be able to detect different assembly states and map them to the corresponding tree nodes. A further use of CV is the detection of assembly parts such as screws. This enables the cobot to autonomously recognize and handle specific components. Collaboration is the highest level of interaction between humans and cobots [4] due to a shared workspace and task. Therefore, it requires strict safety standards that are determined in the DIN EN ISO 10218 and DIN ISO/TS 15066 [6], [7], which e.g. regulate speed limits for cobots. The internal safety functions of cobots have been successfully extended with sensors, cameras, and CV algorithms [8]–[10] to avoid collisions with the human. The latter approach uses the object detection library OpenCV [11], for instance. OpenCV offers a hand detection algorithm, which is pretrained with more than 30.000 images of hands. In addition, it allows for a high frame rate, which is essential for real-time safety.In this paper, CV is used to enhance the CoboTrees (cobots and BTs) demonstrator within the Cluster of Excellence ’Internet of Production’ [12]. The demonstrator consists of a six degree-of-freedom Doosan M1013 cobot, which is controlled by the Robot Operating System (ROS) and two Intel RealSense D435 depth cameras. The BTs are modeled using the PyTrees library [13]. Using OpenCV, an object and assembly state detection algorithm is implemented e.g. for use in the H-nodes. Since the majority of accidents between robots and humans occur due to clamping or crushing of the human hand [14], a hand detector is implemented. It is evaluated regarding its compliance with existing safety standards. The resulting safety subtree integration in ROS is shown in Fig. 1.

Keywords: Human-robot-collaboration, behavior trees, computer vision

DOI: 10.54941/ahfe1002912

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