B-PaDY: robot co-worker in a bumper assembly line

Jun Kinugawa, Akira Kanazawa, Kazuhiro Kosuge

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


In an automobile assembly line, many processes require control and human intervention. A human’s dexterity and ability to react to unpredictable changes in production volume and product specifications are necessary for these processes. Thus, it remains difficult to rely on robots or other automated systems. Conversely, some tasks, such as moving to a tool rack and delivering parts, do not require human skill. In the bumper assembly process of automobile assembly, a worker must move to pick up the bumper twice in one procedure. This task may strain the worker and increase work time for each bumper. To address this situation, we developed a new co-worker robot, named B-PaDY, to work in cooperation with human workers on the automobile bumper assembly line. This co-worker robot is not directly involved in the assembly processes, but performs tasks to support human workers. The robot delivers the bumper to the worker on the production line at the right time. We propose hardware concepts and designs to ensure worker’s safety and allow for handling of all bumpers types. This robot uses a suspended rail system and handles the bumper, attaching to its reverse side. Additionally, we propose a method to determine the proper delivery timing based on a logistic regression model and confirm its effectiveness by performing experiments. We statistically model the worker’s state upon completion of the assembly task and stochastically determine the proper timing. By recognizing the worker’s behavior and supporting the worker with appropriate timing, our system effectively supplies the bumper to the worker and improves work efficiency.

Original languageEnglish
Article number23
JournalROBOMECH Journal
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016 Dec 1


  • Automobile assembly
  • Human-robot cooperation
  • Logistic regression model
  • Robot co-worker

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Instrumentation
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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