Parts Need a Shine and Polish? SYMPLEXITY’s Robots Are Learning to Make the Grade

Factory RobotIndustrial polishing is a cornerstone of manufacturing—a necessary but intensely manual process that creates a matte, gloss, shiny, flat, or otherwise-effected surface on any manufactured part.

Surface-finishing methods vary from rubbing sandpaper to firing a laser, and human operators still handle the materials and judge the results. Although the process has a proud artisanal history, it’s hard to replicate and measure objectively.

So why don’t robots do industrial polishing? Surely a machine that never tires and makes the same precision movement every time could be suitable for this type of work. Among those considering just that is SYMPLEXITY, a partnership of academia and industry from across Europe. Comprising 15 partners from six countries, SYMPLEXITY emerged from three existing projects in programming, surface finishing, and human-robot collaboration.

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