Dr. Sarah Degallier Rochat

Professor, Bern University of Applied Sciences


Collaborative Robots


Collaborative robots, or Cobots, are robots that can interact with humans in a safe way. Multi-task and flexible, they are particularly adapted for small to medium production lots and for customized production. They can also replace humans for tedious tasks or heavy work. Correctly implemented, they can reduce production costs and possibly avoid off-shoring in high-wages countries such as Switzerland.
However, these robots are not finished machines and need to be integrated into a complete robotic system to be used for production. In particular, algorithms are required that allow to easy (re)program the robot in a flexible production.

We have developed a concept of augmented workspace that allows a plain worker to intuitively teach the robot new tasks based on kinesthetic and/or visual demonstration. In addition, external sensors are used to track the production process and to provide guidance to the worker. The efficiency of the approach is demonstrated on several different collaborative robots performing a variety of production tasks, such as pick-and-place operations as well as assemblying and gluing components.

The presentation will also discuss the steps needed to transfer such a technology in a real production line as well as the challenges and the advantages of such an implementation.


Sarah Degallier Rochat is Professor at the Bern University of Applied Sciences. She holds a Master Degree in Mathematics and PhD in Robotics from EPF Lausanne. Her research focuses on the development of control algorithms for collaborative robotics in the industrial and medical fields.