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Precise manipulation approach to facilitate interactive modular fixture assembly design in a virtual environment

Peng Gaoliang (School of Mechanics and Electronics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, People's Republic of China)
He Xu (College of Mechanics and Electronics, Harbin Engineering University, Harbin, People's Republic of China)
Yu Haiquan (School of Mechanics and Electronics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, People's Republic of China)
Hou Xin (School of Mechanics and Electronics, Harbin Institute of Technology, Harbin, People's Republic of China)
Khalil Alipour (Department of Mechanical Engineering, K.N. Toosi University of Technology, Tehran, Iran)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 1 August 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The virtual design environment offers users an opportunity to interact with a virtual prototyping rather than physical models and to build a fixture configuration in a realistic way. But the virtual reality (VR) environment tends to be inaccurate because humans have difficulty in performing precise positioning tasks. Therefore, it is necessary to implement precise object manipulation methods for assembly and disassembly activities, so that users can perform modular fixture configuration design efficiently in VE. The purpose of this paper is to develop a VR‐based modular fixture assembly design system, which supports the design and assembly of modular fixture configuration in a virtual environment.

Design/methodology/approach

Geometric constraint‐based method is utilized to represent and treat the assembly relationship between modular fixture elements. The paper presents a hybrid method of rule‐based reasoning and fuzzy comprehensive judgment to capture the user's operation intent and recognize geometric constraint. Through degrees of freedom based analysis, a mathematical matrix is presented for representing and reducing allowable motion of fixture elements, and a constraint‐based motion navigation approach is proposed to ensure that the manipulation of a fixture component not violate that the existing constraints.

Findings

The paper finds that the proposed techniques are applicable to the convenient manipulation and accurate positioning of fixture elements in a virtual environment.

Practical implications

Component manipulation plays a key role in interactive virtual assembly design. The proposed approach in this paper enables interactive assembly design of modular fixture in virtual environment.

Originality/value

This paper presents a geometric constraint‐based approach that realizes automatic assembly relationship recognition, constraint solving and motion navigation for interactive modular fixture assembly design in a virtual environment.

Keywords

Citation

Gaoliang, P., Xu, H., Haiquan, Y., Xin, H. and Alipour, K. (2008), "Precise manipulation approach to facilitate interactive modular fixture assembly design in a virtual environment", Assembly Automation, Vol. 28 No. 3, pp. 216-224. https://doi.org/10.1108/01445150810889475

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited