A review on energy-saving optimization methods for robotic and automatic systems
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In the last decades, increasing energy prices and growing environmental awareness have driven engineers and scientists to find new solutions for reducing energy consumption in manufacturing. Although many processes of a high energy consumption (e.g., chemical, heating, etc.) are considered to have reached high levels of efficiency, this is not the case for many other industrial manufacturing activities. Indeed, this is the case for robotic and automatic systems, for which, in the past, the minimization of energy demand was not considered a design objective. The proper design and operation of industrial robots and automation systems represent a great opportunity for reducing energy consumption in the industry, for example, by the substitution with more efficient systems and the energy optimization of operation. This review paper classifies and analyses several methodologies and technologies that have been developed with the aim of providing a reference of existing methods, techniques and technologies for enhancing the energy performance of industrial robotic and mechatronic systems. Hardware and software methods, including several subcategories, are considered and compared, and emerging ideas and possible future perspectives are discussed.