Manufacturing today has a problem to solve: how do we go from mass production to customized production?
Robots have already enabled mass production and robots together with new computational systems have the potential to enable mass customization. Today, robots are used extensively in manufacturing. But manufacturing systems of today have very limited flexibility, often requiring months of fine-tuning before an industrial assembly line is ready for production. We envision the manufacturing systems of the future, in which agile, flexible teams of mobile robots coordinate to assemble complex and diverse structures autonomously. This approach has the potential to meet the demands of modern production: ever- shortening product life-cycles, customized production, and efficiency. We are developing algorithms and systems that allow multi-robot system to collaborate in complex assembly tasks that require multiple operations.