Humanoid robots in aircraft manufacturing

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. To appear in: Robotics and Automation Magazine, Special Issue on Humanoid Robot Applications in Real World Scenarios.


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 RABATE, 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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