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Article
Publication date: 18 May 2015

Amir Jafari, Nikos Tsagarakis and Darwin Caldwell

This paper aims to discuss, analyze and compare members of a group of actuators with adjustable stiffness, namely: AwAS, AwAS-II and CompACT variable stiffness actuator…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to discuss, analyze and compare members of a group of actuators with adjustable stiffness, namely: AwAS, AwAS-II and CompACT variable stiffness actuator (VSA) developed at Italian Institute of Technology (IIT).

Design/methodology/approach

These actuators are among series type of VSAs where one main motor is dedicated for link positioning and a secondary motor, in series with the first one, regulates the output link stiffness. Regulating the stiffness in this group of actuators is based on the lever concept. Initially, springs were moved along the lever to tune the stiffness while in the later versions stiffness was regulated through relocating pivot point along the lever.

Findings

This paper discusses how different mechanisms have been employed in realization of the lever concept in these actuators and what are the advantages and disadvantages of each realization.

Practical implications

Today’s robots are not supposed to be solid, isolated and rigid anymore but rather adaptive, cooperative and compliant entities in our daily life. The new attitudes demand for novel technologies substantially different from those developed for industrial domains both at the hardware and the software levels. This work presents latest three state-of-the-art actuators, developed at IIT, which are great answers to the needs of tomorrow’s robot.

Originality/value

These novel actuators are really ready for commercial exploitation, as they are compact and reliable. The main novelty is based on employing concept of lever mechanism for stiffness regulation. They have been designed and manufactured in a very professional and optimized way.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

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

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 27 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Anders Petterson, Thomas Ohlsson, Darwin G. Caldwell, Steven Davis, John O. Gray and Tony J. Dodd

The purpose of this paper is the increase the flexibility of robots used for handling of 3D (food) objects handling by the development and evaluation of a novel 3D…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is the increase the flexibility of robots used for handling of 3D (food) objects handling by the development and evaluation of a novel 3D Bernoulli gripper.

Design/methodology/approach

A new gripper technology have been designed and evaluated. A deformable surface have been used to enable individual product handling. The lift force generated and the force exerted on the product during gripping is measured using a material tester instrument. Various products are tested with the gripper. A experimental/theoretical approach is used to explain the results.

Findings

A deformable surface can be used to generate a lift force using the Bernoulli principle on 3D objects. Using a small forming a significant increase in the lift force generated is recorded. Increasing the forming further was shown to have little or even negative effects. The forces exerted on the product during forming was measured to be sufficiently low to avoid product damage.

Research limitations/implications

To be able to improve the grippers lift strength a better model and understanding of the flow is needed.

Originality/value

A novel Bernoulli gripper for 3D Bernoulli gripping have been designed and evaluated. The gripper enables flexible and delicate handling of various product shapes, 3D as well as 2D. Increased utilization of robots in the food industry can be gained.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 19 October 2010

Rene J. Moreno Masey, John O. Gray, Tony J. Dodd and Darwin G. Caldwell

At present, the majority of industrial robots are not well suited to the specific needs of the food industry. Additionally, the high cost of robotic systems means that it…

Abstract

Purpose

At present, the majority of industrial robots are not well suited to the specific needs of the food industry. Additionally, the high cost of robotic systems means that it is currently difficult for food manufacturers to financially justify the use of this technology. This paper aims to examine the unique requirements of the food industry with regards to robot manipulator design and outlines the design features of a low‐cost robotic arm developed specifically for use in food production.

Design/methodology/approach

Considerations for the design of the robot arm in addition to industrial requirements for hygienic design, low cost, fast pick and place speed, safety for operation alongside human workers and ease of reprogramming are discussed in detail.

Findings

A successful manipulator design must consider functional requirements relevant to food production from the very outset of the design process. The principal three requirements are those of ease of cleaning, speed and low cost.

Practical implications

The availability of low‐cost industrial robots specifically designed for food production might encourage a wider adoption of robotics and automation in the food industry and would benefit food manufacturers by reducing production costs and increasing competitiveness in what is becoming an increasingly difficult market.

Originality/value

This paper is of value to engineers and researchers developing robotic manipulators for use in the food industry.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 13 March 2007

Steve Davis, John W. Casson, Rene J. Moreno Masey, Martin King, John O. Gray and Darwin G. Caldwell

Aims to show how robots can be used to prototype and prove key handling operations during the design of food processing machines. This can reduce both development time and costs.

Abstract

Purpose

Aims to show how robots can be used to prototype and prove key handling operations during the design of food processing machines. This can reduce both development time and costs.

Design/methodology/approach

A number of examples of the use of robots during the design of food processing machinery are presented in the areas of product handling, product manipulation and product packing. In each example simple grippers were mounted to robots allowing complex manipulations to be performed and rapidly tested allowing a favourite to identified.

Findings

Finds that robot prototyping and proving allows mechanisms to be assessed rapidly and at low cost and reduces the number of design modifications needed before final production.

Research limitations/implications

Provides examples of how the technique can be used in all stages of food production, particularly the grasping of products considered difficult to handle.

Practical implications

Provides a method of reducing the development cost of new food processing machinery and allow key operations to be proved without the need to construct full prototype machines.

Originality/value

Introduces the concept of using robots to prototype and prove operations found within food processing machinery. The paper is of value to both researches investigating the handling of food products and manufacturers of automation for the food industry.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Brian Rooks

To report on a workshop, “Future UK Robotics Research Opportunities and Challenges”, held at Salford University in November 2005.

Abstract

Purpose

To report on a workshop, “Future UK Robotics Research Opportunities and Challenges”, held at Salford University in November 2005.

Design/methodology/approach

The driver for the workshop was fear that the UK could miss out on future opportunities in the robotics market, which recent figures suggest could be six times larger in 20 years' time compared with today. The workshop was split into two main sessions. In the morning, the theme was funding sources currently available for research programmes, with presentations from representatives of the European Commission, EURON (the European Robotics Research Network), EUROP (European Robotics Platform) and the UK EPSRC (Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council). All these bodies can provide support to UK researchers for appropriate projects. In the afternoon, the focus was on the technical challenges for robotics particularly in the service domain, which is forecast to be the big growth area. Three areas were discussed: human‐robot interfaces, robot modularisation and field robotics. Finally, the outcomes from a final “break out” session are given, the main proposal being a UK national “Grand Challenge” that would reinforce the relevance of robotics to future everyday life.

Findings

There are many opportunities in both the funding of and the challenges to UK (and other European) researchers in robotics, particularly in service environments.

Originality/value

Provides a review of the current status of European robotics research programmes and the fundings available to UK teams.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 33 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 1 March 2004

Jon Rigelsford

Abstract

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 24 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

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Book part
Publication date: 17 October 2014

J. Barkley Rosser

Political economies evolve institutionally and technologically over time. This means that to understand evolutionary political economy one must understand the nature of…

Abstract

Political economies evolve institutionally and technologically over time. This means that to understand evolutionary political economy one must understand the nature of the evolutionary process in its full complexity. From the time of Darwin and Spencer natural selection has been seen as the foundation of evolution. This view has remained even as views of how evolution operates more broadly have changed. An issue that some have viewed as an aspect of evolution that natural selection may not fully explain is that of emergence of higher order structures, with this aspect having been associated with the idea of emergence. In recent decades it has been argued that self-organization dynamics may explain such emergence, with this being argued to be constrained, if not overshadowed, by natural selection. Just as the balance between these aspects is debated within organic evolutionary theory, it also arises in the evolution of political economy, as between such examples of self-organizing emergence as the Mengerian analysis of the appearance of commodity money in primitive societies and the natural selection that operates in the competition between firms in markets.

Details

Entangled Political Economy
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78441-102-2

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1992

John Conway O'Brien

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balanceeconomics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary toman′s finding the good life and society…

Abstract

A collection of essays by a social economist seeking to balance economics as a science of means with the values deemed necessary to man′s finding the good life and society enduring as a civilized instrumentality. Looks for authority to great men of the past and to today′s moral philosopher: man is an ethical animal. The 13 essays are: 1. Evolutionary Economics: The End of It All? which challenges the view that Darwinism destroyed belief in a universe of purpose and design; 2. Schmoller′s Political Economy: Its Psychic, Moral and Legal Foundations, which centres on the belief that time‐honoured ethical values prevail in an economy formed by ties of common sentiment, ideas, customs and laws; 3. Adam Smith by Gustav von Schmoller – Schmoller rejects Smith′s natural law and sees him as simply spreading the message of Calvinism; 4. Pierre‐Joseph Proudhon, Socialist – Karl Marx, Communist: A Comparison; 5. Marxism and the Instauration of Man, which raises the question for Marx: is the flowering of the new man in Communist society the ultimate end to the dialectical movement of history?; 6. Ethical Progress and Economic Growth in Western Civilization; 7. Ethical Principles in American Society: An Appraisal; 8. The Ugent Need for a Consensus on Moral Values, which focuses on the real dangers inherent in there being no consensus on moral values; 9. Human Resources and the Good Society – man is not to be treated as an economic resource; man′s moral and material wellbeing is the goal; 10. The Social Economist on the Modern Dilemma: Ethical Dwarfs and Nuclear Giants, which argues that it is imperative to distinguish good from evil and to act accordingly: existentialism, situation ethics and evolutionary ethics savour of nihilism; 11. Ethical Principles: The Economist′s Quandary, which is the difficulty of balancing the claims of disinterested science and of the urge to better the human condition; 12. The Role of Government in the Advancement of Cultural Values, which discusses censorship and the funding of art against the background of the US Helms Amendment; 13. Man at the Crossroads draws earlier themes together; the author makes the case for rejecting determinism and the “operant conditioning” of the Skinner school in favour of the moral progress of autonomous man through adherence to traditional ethical values.

Details

International Journal of Social Economics, vol. 19 no. 3/4/5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0306-8293

Keywords

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