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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2002

Rinaldo C. Michelini and Francesco Cepolina

The paper discusses commercial cleaning robots available on the market. It introduces Gecko, a virtual prototype of a cleaning robot. Gecko has been conceived, assembling…

Abstract

The paper discusses commercial cleaning robots available on the market. It introduces Gecko, a virtual prototype of a cleaning robot. Gecko has been conceived, assembling mainly standard components, and the actual behaviour in running conditions is shown by using consistent digital mock ups: Gecko is able to fully clean and sanitise floors, walls and ceilings. To comply with health needs, the robot cleans surfaces using steam. Details on abilities and components are provided. The wall sustentation is guaranteed by four suction cups. The path planning allows a 2D Cartesian motion. To simplify the robot control, innovative “automatic suspensions” are integrated in the sustain and actuation system. Finally, other possible applications fields for such a robot are discussed.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 29 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 May 2006

Rezia Molfino, Sandro Costo, Francesco Cepolina and Matteo Zoppi

To present a new special explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot designed to operate onboard airplanes.

Abstract

Purpose

To present a new special explosive ordnance disposal (EOD) robot designed to operate onboard airplanes.

Design/methodology/approach

The design approach adopted is multidisciplinary: mechanical and control architectures are conceived simultaneously. Modularity and lifecycle are considered. Motion and EOD tasks are controlled in tele‐operation.

Findings

A new EOD robot was designed in detail and it is ready to be built. A dynamic simulator has been written and set‐up, including a virtual reality module. The simulator is used to define the control logics. Simulation results are satisfactory. The simulator can be used as a training platform for the bomb squads.

Research limitations/implications

The intent to keep the cost of the robot low conditioned the selection of the materials. Only aluminium and standard composites (like carbon fibers composites) have been used. A higher degree of freedom of the arm could increase the usability of the system; to limit the cost, the degree of freedom was limited to seven. A decision support system based on an expert system interfaced with the simulator could improve the performance of the system.

Practical implications

A new EOD robot will be built and commercialised soon by the industrial partner Ansaldo Ricerche.

Originality/value

The EOD robots available for use inside aircrafts are discussed. A new system named AirEOD is presented, including mobile platform, dexterous arm and all related design and control issues.

Details

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

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 April 2005

Rezia Molfino, Manuel Armada, Francesco Cepolina and Matteo Zoppi

The aim of the research is to design, build and test a robot able to autonomously execute slope consolidation tasks.

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of the research is to design, build and test a robot able to autonomously execute slope consolidation tasks.

Design/methodology/approach

A multidisciplinary approach has been adopted to solve the problem: mechanical and control architecture have been conceived simultaneously. Modularity and lifecycle are considered. The robot can climb by means of four legs and two ropes. The drilling system is hosted onboard. Drilling process is fully automated, motion can be controlled in tele‐operation.

Findings

The performance of the first prototype has satisfied the end‐user; new on‐site tests and improvements are planned.

Research limitations/implications

Roboclimber is cumbersome; both robot transport and on‐site positioning are complex operations. Coordination between legs motion and ropes tensioning is a difficult task.

Practical implications

The system reduces operating costs and working time, while avoiding the human presence in unsafe and harsh environments.

Originality/value

Roboclimber is the first robot able to do heavy duty works on rocky walls

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 32 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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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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