Assignment TUD: Automated Drilling Demonstrator

Hi Everyone,

As presented on the 13th of November, here the proposed assignment at Delft University of Technology.


Within the faculty of Aerospace Engineering we have the department of Aerospace Structures and Materials (ASM). This department consists of multiple research groups. I work for the research group: Structural Integrity and Composites (SI&C). Part of our group does research into manufacturing of composite structures in a general sense. My focus is on the automation of composite manufacturing processes. So, I assist other researchers (who have a more general interest in manufacturing) in automating their process.

Since the summary people in our department (and broader within the TU Delft) are working on setting up a Composite Automation Development Centre (CADC). The ambition for this centre is to become the knowledge institute in our region/The Netherlands when it comes to the automation of composite manufacturing. We are collaborating with 7 other partners in setting up this centre.

The assignment I am proposing can be seen as a preliminary study into one of the first automation problems we would like to tackle in the CADC. This SMR project will also provide valuable information and experience for our internal projects (so within the research group).


The assignment involves developing a small to medium scale demonstrator for the advanced automation of an industrial, composite drilling/reaming application. The robot should be able to use a combination of CAD data and sensor information to find pilot holes in a reference panel. When the holes are found, a motion simulation for the drilling process should be performed to check for collisions. After verification, the simulated motions(s) should be performed in real life, by online control of an industrial robot.

Because of possible future implementation in industry, commercially availible software should be used.

Project Boundaries

The project team will be responsible for setting up the project plan, making a functional diagram and generating a list of process steps/tasks. For the definition of the project the following project boundaries must be used:

  1. Use of RoboDK for the online control of the robot. (I will provide licences)
  2. Use of a commercially available tool for sensor data analysis. (licences from SMR should be used)
  3. Use of either the Kuka robot in our lab, or a robot from the SMR lab. (to be determined)
  4. Incorporation of CAD geometry for localizing the pilot holes.
  5. Use an industrial camera or laser displacement sensor to find and recognize the holes in the panel (I can provide either a RealSense R200 or Micro Epsilon scanCONTROL 2950-25 or scanCONTROL 2750-100. Other sensors from SMR lab)

Final note

Please use the comments below this post to ask questions. I am looking forward to further define the project with your input. I will be able to plan in a kick-off meeting with the stakeholders at the TU Delft and possibly our partner.

This assignment has been taken by Guido, Saliem, Thijs & Erwin.