Humanoid Robots in Aircraft Manufacturing: The Airbus Use Cases

Abderrahmane Kheddar, Stéphane Caron, Pierre Gergondet, Andrew Comport, Arnaud Tanguy, Christian Ott, Bernd Henze, George Mesesan, Johannes Englsberger, Máximo A. Roa, Pierre-Brice Wieber, François Chaumette, Fabien Spindler, Giuseppe Oriolo, Leonardo Lanari, Adrien Escande, Kevin Chappellet, Fumio Kanehiro and Patrice Rabaté. IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine. December 2019. Best Paper Award.


We report results from a collaborative project that investigated the deployment of humanoid robotic solutions in aircraft manufacturing for some assembly operations where access is not possible for wheeled or rail-ported robotic platforms. Recent developments in multi-contact planning and control, bipedal walking, embedded SLAM, whole-body multi-sensory task space optimization control, and contact detection and safety, suggest that humanoids could be a plausible solution for automation given the specific requirements in such large-scale manufacturing sites. The main challenge is to integrate these scientific and technological advances into two existing humanoid platforms: the position controlled HRP-4 and the torque controlled TORO. This integration effort was demonstrated in a bracket assembly operation inside a 1:1 scale A350 mockup of the front part of the fuselage at the Airbus Saint-Nazaire site. We present and discuss the main results that have been achieved in this project and provide recommendations for future work.


  title = {Humanoid robots in aircraft manufacturing},
  author = {Kheddar, Abderrahmane and Caron, St{\'e}phane and Gergondet, Pierre and Comport, Andrew and Tanguy, Arnaud and Ott, Christian and Henze, Bernd and Mesesan, George and Englsberger, Johannes and Roa, M{\'a}ximo A and Wieber, Pierre-Brice and Chaumette, Fran{\c c}ois and Spindler, Fabien and Oriolo, Giuseppe and Lanari, Leonardo and Escande, Adrien and Chappellet, K{\'e}vin and Kanehiro, Fumio and Rabat{\'e}, Patrice},
  journal = {IEEE Robotics and Automation Magazine},
  publisher = {IEEE},
  volume = {26},
  number = {4},
  year = {2019},
  month = dec,
  doi = {10.1109/MRA.2019.2943395},
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