The Advanced Robotics for Manufacturing Institute (ARM) of USA has unveiled a project detail named ‘Robotic Assembly of Garment’. The project is one of the 8 new robotic technology projects that ARM Institute selected a couple of months back.
The project has been headed by Siemens Technology (PI); Bluewater Defense; Sewbo Inc. and University of California at Berkeley.
The teams of four participating companies have developed a method for using robotic systems to accomplish sewing operations including folding, joining and stitching fabrics.
The teams identified ‘Robotic sewing of pocket flaps for military uniform pants’ as the use case to demonstrate the core technologies. After finalisation of the use case, the robotic skills such as pose estimation, bending, welding and stitching were developed which are required for the task.
Fabric pieces were laminated and treated by Sewbo with the treatment process optimised to ensure the desired stiffness. UC Berkeley developed simulation models to support the various process steps.
After developing and validating the core robotic technologies, the Siemens team integrated and validated the system operation before conducting the final demonstration at Bluewater Defense facility in Puerto Rico.
This method was successfully able to stitch the pocket flaps for military uniform pants during demonstration. As robotic technology for sewing has always been under scanner, the project has served as a critical first step in proving the feasibility of this new technology.
The entire system and method was capable of manufacturing parts that could satisfy the quality parameters of the Bluewater Defense.
According to ARM Institute, the next approach of Siemens, Bluewater Defense and Sewbo would be to work on further development to entirely mature and optimise this technology.