Statement by Pedro Malaca, from Sarkkis

Name: Pedro Malaca
Name of the Company: Sarkkis Robotics
Business Area: Software and Robotic Cells for Industry
Position in the Company: Manager
INESC TEC Centres with which the company collaborated: CRIIS – Centre for Robotics in Industry and Intelligent Systems; CESE – Centre for Enterprise Systems Engineering
Projects managers (INESC TEC): Germano Veiga, Luís Rocha, César Toscano
Title of the projects: CLARiSSA, CoopWeld, ScalABLE4.0

Statement about the Projects

CLARiSSA’s demonstrator project aimed at developing a robotic system adjusted to the reality of SMEs and oriented towards the assembly of structural steel elements. This was designed based on a two-arm robot, in which in one of them was used as a magnetic tool to grab the pieces and the other one acted as a welding torch in order to promote the positioning and holding (tack weld) for subsequent welding. The system was based on data from a BIM file reading software in which the trajectories of each arm were read, managed and planned, as well as the use of external sensor inputs in order to amend uncertainties (theoretical vs real) and projection, on a table, of the position of the pieces required for that set.

The CoopWeld project aimed at demonstrating that the integration of offline programming for advanced sensing robots and projected augmented reality allows the creation of competitive systems for the welding of small components of fundamental steel structures. In terms of its characteristics, the CoopWeld system meets the specific needs of SMEs and would probably be one of the first systems dedicated to the automatic welding of metal structures in SMEs.

Finally, ScalABLE 4.0, a project that is still ongoing. The main goal of this project is the development and demonstration of an open scalable production system framework (OSPS) that enables “on the fly” optimisation and maintenance of production lines through the visualisation and virtualisation of the line itself. The results of the project focus not only on the line monitoring, but also on its control and construction in real time.

What are the significant outcomes about these projects that you can highlight?

The big highlight goes to the CoopWeld project as a whole. In this project, a prototype of a robotic system was developed for the assembly and welding of metal structures, which currently is a commercial solution. We can highlight the software for the generation of automatic paths and collision avoidance from BIM files, as well as the augmented reality system to assist in the assembly of the elements.

From the ScalABLE4.0 project, which will be completed in a year, we can highlight the development of a mobile platform with a robotic arm for handling and transporting components.

What is your opinion on your experience working with INESC TEC?

The relationship between SARKKIS and INESC TEC has been going on for around five 5 years in several national and European projects, and I think this is the best sign of our collaboration. We have the best references from people we work with, their degree of commitment and quality of the work carried out. This security makes INESC TEC an important partner.

What is the possibility of future collaborations with INESC TEC?

The intention is to continue with this collaboration, if possible. The several projects in which we have been collaborating, as well as the results subsequently obtained, are encouraging and set an intention to maintain and expand the existing partnership, as far as possible. We intend to succeed as a company project, bringing to the business world the latest technologies and innovation in order to increase the competitiveness of companies. Relying on INESC TEC’s partnership and knowledge is synonymous with a “TOP” result.

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