Webseite Werkzeugmaschinenlabor (WZL) der RWTH Aachen

Problem statement

Recent trends in globalization have led to an increased competitive pressure. Furthermore, consumers demand products that are customized to their specific needs.  The assembly process as the last production step is particularly affected by demand fluctuations due to its market proximity. In order to master these challenges a process optimization regarding efficiency and agility is necessary. The automation of previously manual processes using machines or robots can lead to a reduction of labor costs and ensure a high level of quality. Compared to assembly machines, robots are characterized by an increased flexibility and lower investment costs. Robots can take over simple assembly tasks, which are repetitive or physically strenuous to the human worker. However, some tasks still require high-level reasoning and dexterity which can only be provided by the human. Human-robot collaboration (HRC) combines the advantages of automated and manual assembly.

In order to plan collaborative assembly processes, expert knowledge in the field of automation is necessary.  An expert must program the robots and ensure safe collaboration with the human. Most small and medium-sized businesses (SMB) lack this expertise. By simplifying the planning process, the advantages of automation are made accessible to SMB which strengthens their resilience towards global competition. A promising approach is the use of behavior trees (BT) for automated planning of collaborative assembly tasks. BT organize the behavior of a system in a hierarchical tree structure. They are modular, reactive, and can be easily extended. Also, BT are intuitive and understandable for non-experts.

In this project, a BT will be used to control a robot simulation performing an assembly task. The project is carried out in collaboration with the Knowledge-Based Systems Group (KBSG) under the supervision of Prof. Gerhard Lakemeyer, PhD.

Your tasks

  • Research into collaborative assembly and BT
  • Set up robot simulation with Panda Gazebo simulator[1]
  • Model assembly task as behavior tree with py_trees_ros[2] package
  • Control robot simulation with BT
  • Evaluate and document work

Your profile

  • Bachelor mechanical engineering, industrial engineering or CES (90 CP at project start)
  • High motivation, comprehension and personal initiative
  • Independent working method
  • Basic programming skills
  • Good English or German skills

What we offer

  • Highly topical project
  • Supervised by WZL and KBSG within the cluster of excellence
  • Testbed with different robots



Minh Trinh, M.Sc. RWTH
Steinbachstr. 25
D-52074 Aachen
Telephone: +49241 / 80 27457

Um sich für diesen Job zu bewerben, sende deine Unterlagen per E-Mail an m.trinh@wzl.rwth-aachen.de