CLERMONT-FERRAND, France—Michelin has joined forces with three Clermont-Ferrand-based university research laboratories—Institut Pascal1, Lapsco2 and Limos3—to create a laboratory it believes will better serve the tire industry of the future.
Michelin said FactoLab will implement a medium and long-term research and development program focusing on man-machine cooperation, particularly in the fields of cobotics and new digital technologies. The new center aims to develop "collaborative robots and connected devices for production operators" to carry out physically difficult or stressful tasks.
The program is an extension of "first experiments" in progress at its sites in Cholet, France, and Valladolid, Spain, Michelin said. The first results of the studies at those centers have "proved positive," added Michelin.
FactoLab is governed by a steering committee composed of six members—three academic research representatives and three Michelin Group representatives. The operational management of FactoLab is provided by Michel Dhome, CNRS research director and director of the LabEx IMobS3, and Colin-Yann Jacquin, head of R&D partnerships at Michelin.
The French tire-maker said FactoLab will "open up the opportunity to work with the best researchers in the Auvergne-Rhone-Alpes region in fields such as cognitive sciences."