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Article
Publication date: 7 August 2017

Quanquan Liu, Chaoyang Shi, Bo Zhang, Chunbao Wang, Lihong Duan, Tongyang Sun, Xin Zhang, Weiguang Li, Zhengzhi Wu and Masakatsu G. Fujie

Paediatric congenital esophageal atresia surgery typically requires delicate and dexterous operations in a narrow and confined workspace. This study aims to develop a…

Abstract

Purpose

Paediatric congenital esophageal atresia surgery typically requires delicate and dexterous operations in a narrow and confined workspace. This study aims to develop a novel robot assisted surgical system to address these challenges.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed surgical robot consists of two symmetrical slave arms with nine degree of freedoms each. Each slave arm uses a rigid-dexterous configuration and consists of a coarse positioning manipulator and a distal fine operation manipulator. A small Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) mechanism was designed to form the main component of the coarse positioning unit, ensuring to endure large forces along the vertical direction and meet the operational demands. The fine positioning manipulator applied the novel design using flexible shafts and universal joints to achieve delicate operations while possessing a high rigidity. The corresponding kinematics has been derived and then was validated by a co-simulation that was performed based on the combined use of Adams and MATLAB with considering the real robot mass information. Experimental evaluations for the tip positioning accuracy and the ring transfer tasks have been performed.

Findings

The simulation was performed to verify the correctness of the derived inverse kinematics and demonstrated the robot’s flexibility. The experimental results illustrated that the end-effector can achieve a positioning accuracy within 1.5 mm in a confined 30 × 30 × 30 mm workspace. The ring transfer task demonstrated that the surgical robot is capable of providing a solution for dexterous tissue intervention in a narrow workspace for paediatric surgery.

Originality/value

A novel and compact surgical assist robot is developed to support delicate operations by using the dexterous slave arm. The slave arm consists of a SCARA mechanism to avoid experiencing overload in the vertical direction and a tool manipulator driven by flexible shafts and universal joints to provide high dexterity for operating in a narrow workspace.

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2003

Francesco Cepolina and Rinaldo C. Michelini

The paper describes co‐robotic devices, aiming at accomplishing surgical operations by remote overseeing and manipulation. The concept design of a modular layout is…

Abstract

The paper describes co‐robotic devices, aiming at accomplishing surgical operations by remote overseeing and manipulation. The concept design of a modular layout is presented, assuring body penetration by curved and twisted paths, with minimal impact. The fixture develops as an articulated snake‐like forearm, carrying a wrist and the pertinent effectors; scalpels, scissors, sewing rigs, cameras, etc. The fixture is a good example of a micro electro mechanical system, with force‐actuation and shape‐control being intrinsic properties. Different options are studied and the related basic operational characteristics are summarised and compared. The jointed forearm might include one to six blocks. Specifically, task‐oriented end‐effectors are considered, e.g. a self‐operating sewing rig, able to operate with a single thread. The robot co‐operation will drastically modify surgery practice, giving freedom from anthropocentric bounds; the paper introduces such opportunities, with comments on typical control strategies and hints on actual performance, inferred by testing on virtual reality and digital mock‐ups.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 15 June 2012

Laurent Sabourin, Vincent Robin, Grigore Gogu and Jean‐Michel Fauconnier

Precision aluminium moulding makes possible the production of large‐size, complex and high‐technology cast parts. However, industrial requirements linked to economic and

Abstract

Purpose

Precision aluminium moulding makes possible the production of large‐size, complex and high‐technology cast parts. However, industrial requirements linked to economic and safety reasons call into question the manual performance of finishing operations. The purpose of this paper is to enhance industrial robot applications by using vision and redundancy optimization to improve their capability.

Design/methodology/approach

After having presented the concepts associated with machine and kinematics capability, the paper first describes the finishing constraints related to the process and the study of inaccuracy factors. Adjusting the trajectory by vision minimizes some inaccuracy factors but does not take into account the structure loading. Therefore, the authors present the optimization, kinematics and precision criteria as well as the multi‐objective method developed by integrating the loading aspect. This method has been verified by simulation and the results validated on industrial parts.

Findings

The paper presents an improvement in machine capacities based on redundancy and an optical 3D measurement system. It develops the strategies, sensors and cell architecture to perform finishing operations.

Research limitations/implications

The finishing of high‐technology structural cast parts requires the completion of the machining and polishing processes adapted to each part. The choice was made to develop a robotic cell dedicated to integrating specific features, in contrast to machine tools.

Practical implications

This study was carried out within the framework of the Eureka SANDCAST project in cooperation with the Alcan group, specialized in high‐technology moulded aluminum parts.

Originality/value

The paper presents an approach to robotic cell capability improvement. The robotic cell is dedicated to finishing operations, by machining and polishing large cast aluminum parts; the objectives are to improve machine capability and kinematics capacity with vision and redundancy management.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 39 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2004

George K. Stylios

Examines the tenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects…

Abstract

Examines the tenth published year of the ITCRR. Runs the whole gamut of textile innovation, research and testing, some of which investigates hitherto untouched aspects. Subjects discussed include cotton fabric processing, asbestos substitutes, textile adjuncts to cardiovascular surgery, wet textile processes, hand evaluation, nanotechnology, thermoplastic composites, robotic ironing, protective clothing (agricultural and industrial), ecological aspects of fibre properties – to name but a few! There would appear to be no limit to the future potential for textile applications.

Details

International Journal of Clothing Science and Technology, vol. 16 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0955-6222

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 May 2007

Carlo Ferraresi, Marco Paoloni and Francesco Pescarmona

This paper aims to present an innovative example of a master for teleoperation capable of moving in six degrees of freedom and of providing a force and torque feedback on…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to present an innovative example of a master for teleoperation capable of moving in six degrees of freedom and of providing a force and torque feedback on the operator's hand.

Design/methodology/approach

After a brief overview of what the state of the art in teleoperation has to offer, the paper outlines the choice of an innovative structure in terms of both geometry and components, pointing out its main characteristics compared with traditional interfaces.

Findings

The master for teleoperation WiRo‐6.3 has been designed and constructed and is fully operative, thanks to the following theoretical analyses: positional and orientation workspace(s), forward and inverse kinematics, statics, overall control strategies. The mechanical details are also presented.

Research limitations/implications

The WiRo‐6.3 is suitable to those applications in which human command is necessary but potentially harmful, and where a force‐feedback interface is preferred to obtain better control over the task to be accomplished. A possible field of interest could be the control of robot arms in dangerous environments, nuclear applications, uncomfortable climates, remote operations.

Originality/value

The master WiRo‐6.3 is a novel device both for its geometric structure and for the wire actuation choice; those characteristics provide very interesting results in terms of dexterity, force feedback performance and overall user‐friendliness.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Luis de Leonardo, Matteo Zoppi, Li Xiong, Dimiter Zlatanov and Rezia M. Molfino

The use of thin sheets with 3D geometries is growing in quantity, due to current progress towards life‐cycle design and sustainable production, and growing in geometrical…

Abstract

Purpose

The use of thin sheets with 3D geometries is growing in quantity, due to current progress towards life‐cycle design and sustainable production, and growing in geometrical complexity, due to aesthetic and quality concerns. The growth in manufacturing equipment flexibility has not kept pace with these trends. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new reconfigurable fixture to shorten this gap.

Design/methodology/approach

The design implements a novel concept of fixturing. Without interrupting the machining process, a swarm of adaptable mobile agents periodically reposition and reconfigure to support the thin‐sheet workpiece near the tool‐point. The technology has been developed by adopting a multi‐disciplinary, life‐cycle approach. Modularity and eco‐sustainability paradigms have informed the design.

Findings

The performance of the physical prototype in an industrial scenario is highly satisfactory. Experiments demonstrate the ability of the system to reconfigure while maintaining machining accuracy in scenarios typical for aircraft part production.

Research limitations/implications

Coordination between the machine‐tool numerical control and the fixture control is not complete and its improvement will make the manufacturing process more robust and autonomous.

Practical implications

The system allows reduction of shop‐floor fixturing inventory. Compared to other reconfigurable fixtures, SwarmItFIX is smarter, more flexible, lighter, and offers shorter reconfiguration times, easier set‐up, and better adaptability to a wider range of workpiece shapes.

Originality/value

This is a breakthrough idea, answering the challenges of hyper‐flexible manufacturing and the proliferation of thin‐sheet use. It is of significant value to mass‐customized industry and of special significance for small‐series production.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 26 April 2013

Arief P. Tjahyono, Kean C. Aw, Harish Devaraj, Wisnu Surendra, Enrico Haemmerle and Jadranka Travas‐Sejdic

The purpose of this paper is to review the challenges present in the development of hand exoskeletons powered by pneumatic artificial muscles. This paper also presents the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the challenges present in the development of hand exoskeletons powered by pneumatic artificial muscles. This paper also presents the development of a novel strain sensor and its application in a five‐fingered hand exoskeleton.

Design/methodology/approach

The issues of current hand exoskeletons powered by pneumatic artificial muscles are examined by studying the artificial muscles and the human hand anatomy. Traditional sensors are no longer suitable for applications in hand exoskeletons. A novel strain sensor was developed by depositing a conducting polymer called polypyrrole onto a natural rubber substrate through vapor phase polymerization and is used in the authors' five‐fingered hand exoskeleton.

Findings

The error of measurements from the polypyrrole strain sensor in controlling the actuation of pneumatic artificial muscles is within 1.5 mm. The small physical size and weight of the novel polypyrrole strain sensor also helped to keep the exoskeleton's profile (less than 20 mm) and total weight low (<1 kg).

Originality/value

The novel strain sensor allows the realization of hand exoskeletons that are lightweight, portable and low profile. This improves the comfort and practicality of hand exoskeletons to allow their usage outside the research environment.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 October 2012

Robert Bogue

The purpose of this paper is to describe a range of artificial muscle and soft gripping technologies for robotic applications.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a range of artificial muscle and soft gripping technologies for robotic applications.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a short introduction, this paper first discusses the role of air muscles and other pneumatic actuation technologies. It then considers electroactive polymer and shape‐memory alloys and finally discusses the prospects for various classes of electrohydrodynamic fluids.

Findings

This paper shows that a technologically diverse range of novel actuation techniques exist, or are under development, which can act as artificial muscles and soft grippers. They are based on pneumatics, shape changing materials and electrohydrodynamic fluids and have prospects to impart robots with improved or unique capabilities.

Originality/value

The paper provides an insight into developments in artificial muscle and soft gripping technologies. These are expected to play a vital role in future robot generations.

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Article
Publication date: 1 August 2003

P.Y. Chua, T. Ilschner and D.G. Caldwell

The food industry is a highly competitive manufacturing area, but with relatively little robotic involvement as compared to the automotive industry. This is due to the…

Abstract

The food industry is a highly competitive manufacturing area, but with relatively little robotic involvement as compared to the automotive industry. This is due to the fact that food products are highly variable both in shape, sizes and structure which poses a major problem for the development of manipulators for its handling. This paper reviews the current state of development in robot manipulators for the food industry. Three main areas were covered. They are: the handling of non‐rigid food products – the processing of meat, poultry, fish and milking, the harvesting of food products – picking of fruits, asparagus and mushrooms, and the packaging of food products – secondary and tertiary.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 February 2003

M. Cenk Çavuşoğlu, Winthrop Williams, Frank Tendick and S. Shankar Sastry

Robotic telesurgery is a promising application of robotics to medicine, aiming to enhance the dexterity and sensation of regular and minimally invasive surgery through…

Abstract

Robotic telesurgery is a promising application of robotics to medicine, aiming to enhance the dexterity and sensation of regular and minimally invasive surgery through using millimeter‐scale robotic manipulators under the control of the surgeon. In this paper, the telesurgical system will be introduced with discussion of kinematic and control issues and presentation of in vitro experimental evaluation results.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 30 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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