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Flexible co-manipulation and transportation with mobile multi-robot system

Bassem Hichri (Department of Manufacturing Engineering, Faculty of Sciences of Technology and Communication, Universite du Luxembourg, Luxembourg-Kirchberg, Luxembourg)
Lounis Adouane (Institut Pascal, Laboratoire d’Excellence IMobS3 UMR CNRS 6602, Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Jean-Christophe Fauroux (Institut Pascal, Laboratoire d’Excellence IMobS3 UMR CNRS 6602, Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Youcef Mezouar (Institut Pascal, Laboratoire d’Excellence IMobS3 UMR CNRS 6602, Clermont-Ferrand, France)
Ioan Doroftei (Department of Mechanical Engineering, Mechatronics and Robotics, Gheorghe Asachi Technical University of Iași, Iasi, Romania)

Assembly Automation

ISSN: 0144-5154

Article publication date: 16 October 2018

Issue publication date: 14 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to address optimal positioning of a group of mobile robots for a successful manipulation and transportation of payloads of any shape.

Design/methodology/approach

The chosen methodology to achieve optimal positioning of the robots around the payload to lift it and to transport it while maintaining a geometric multi-robot formation is presented. This appropriate configuration of the set of robots is obtained by combining constraints ensuring stable and safe lifting and transport of the payload. A suitable control law is then used to track a virtual structure in which each elementary robot has to keep its desired position with respect to the payload.

Findings

An optimal positioning of mobile robots around a payload to ensure stable co-manipulation and transportation task according to stability multi-criteria constraints. Simulation and experimental results validate the proposed control architecture and strategy for a successful transportation task based on virtual structure navigation approach.

Originality/value

This paper presents a new strategy for co-manipulation and co-transportation task based on a virtual structure navigation approach. An algorithm for optimal positioning of mobile robots around a payload of any mass and shape is proposed while ensuring stability during the whole process by respecting multi-criteria task stability constraints.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The following entities are acknowledged: LABEX IMobS3 Innovative Mobility: Smart and Sustainable Solutions, the French National Centre for Scientific Research (CNRS), Auvergne Regional Council and the European funds of regional development (FEDER).

Citation

Hichri, B., Adouane, L., Fauroux, J.-C., Mezouar, Y. and Doroftei, I. (2019), "Flexible co-manipulation and transportation with mobile multi-robot system", Assembly Automation, Vol. 39 No. 3, pp. 422-431. https://doi.org/10.1108/AA-12-2017-190

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2018, Emerald Publishing Limited