This paper presents a new method to automate robot motion planning in automotive manufacturing environments. A general framework is developed for CAD‐guided robot motion planning. The problem is formulated as a constraint‐satisfying problem of tool configurations or, robot hand poses. Two types of robot motion are considered: discrete motion, or point to point motion, and continuous motion. Triangular facets are used to approximate the part surfaces. A pre‐partition process decomposes the complex part surfaces into several simple, easy‐to‐solve patches. For each patch, robot hand poses are determined to satisfy certain task constraints. In this paper, the approach is applied to two applications: vision sensor planning and spray painting gun path planning. It is our belief that more robot planning applications in manufacturing can benefit from this method.
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