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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: 19 October 2015

Ping Zhang, Xin Liu, Guanglong Du, Bin Liang and Xueqian Wang

The purpose of this paper is to present a markerless human–manipulators interface which maps the position and orientation of human end-effector (EE, the center of the…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to present a markerless human–manipulators interface which maps the position and orientation of human end-effector (EE, the center of the palm) to those of robot EE so that the robot could copy the movement of the operator hand.

Design/methodology/approach

The tracking system of this human–manipulators interface comprises five Leap Motions (LMs) which not only makes up the narrow workspace drawback of one LM but also provides redundancies to improve the data precision. However, because of the native noises and tracking errors of the LMs, the measurement errors increase over time. To address this problem, two filter tools are integrated to obtain the relatively accurate estimation of the human EE, that is, Particle Filter for position estimation and Kalman Filter for orientation estimation. Because the operator has inherent perceptive limitations, the motions of the manipulator may be out of sync with the hand motions, so that it is hard to complete with the high performance manipulation. Therefore, in this paper, an over-damping method is adopted to improve reliability and accuracy.

Findings

A series of human–manipulators interaction experiments were carried out to verify the proposed system. Compared with the markerless and contactless methods(Kofman et al., 2007; Du and Zhang, 2015), the method described in this study is more accurate and efficient.

Originality/value

The proposed method would not hinder most natural human limb motion and allows the operator to concentrate on his/her own task, making it perform high-precision manipulations efficiently.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 42 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 February 2021

Hao Guo, Feng Ju, Ning Wang, Bai Chen, Xiaoyong Wei, Yaoyao Wang and Dan Wang

Continuum manipulators are often used in complex and narrow space in recent years because of their flexibility and safety. Vision is considered to be one of the most…

Abstract

Purpose

Continuum manipulators are often used in complex and narrow space in recent years because of their flexibility and safety. Vision is considered to be one of the most direct methods to obtain its spatial shape. However, with the improvement of the cooperation requirements of multiple continuum manipulators and the increase of space limitation, it is impossible to obtain the complete spatial shape information of multiple continuum manipulators only by several cameras.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper proposes a fusion method using inertial navigation sensors and cameras to reconstruct the shape of continuum manipulators in the whole workspace. The camera is used to obtain the position information, and the inertial navigation sensor is used to obtain the attitude information. Based on the above two information, the shape of the continuum manipulator is reconstructed by fitting Bézier curve.

Findings

The experiment result of single continuum manipulator shows that the cubic Bézier curves is applicable to curve fitting of variable curvature, the maximum fitting error is about 2 mm. Meanwhile, the experiment result shows that this method is not affected by obstacles and can still reconstruct the shape of the continuum manipulators in 3-D space by detecting the position and attitude information of the end.

Originality/value

According to the authors’ knowledge, this is the first study on spatial shape reconstruction of multiple continuum manipulators and the first study to introduce inertial navigation sensors and cameras into the field of shape reconstruction of multiple continuum manipulators in narrow space. This method is suitable for shape reconstruction of manipulator with variable curvature continuum manipulator. When the vision of multiple continuum manipulators is blocked by obstacles, the spatial shape can still be reconstructed only by exposing the end point. The structure is simple, but it has certain accuracy within a certain range.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2018

Xuyue Yin, Xiumin Fan, Wenmin Zhu and Rui Liu

Aiming at presenting an interaction-free assembly assistance tool, the purpose of this paper is to propose a synchronous augmented reality (AR) assembly assistance and…

Abstract

Purpose

Aiming at presenting an interaction-free assembly assistance tool, the purpose of this paper is to propose a synchronous augmented reality (AR) assembly assistance and monitoring system. The system monitors operator’s hands activity and process completeness to recognize the assembly state, then display the AR contents contextually.

Design/methodology/approach

An assembly behavior recognition method is proposed based on gesture recognition. An assembly completeness inspection method is proposed based on SURF feature matching. Assembly state and AR display state are solved by a novel sequential hybrid AR display control strategy. A synchronous multi-channel AR view output strategy is proposed based on QR matrix decomposition.

Findings

A prototype system has been developed, and case study is performed on an industrial product. Experiments are performed to verify the feasibility, efficiency and recognition accuracy of the proposed methods.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed system assists users to perform assembly tasks with automatic visual guidance and vision monitoring, avoiding distractions caused by redundant human–computer interactions.

Practical implications

All methods are integrated to work on only one head-worn device, making the proposed system portable and cheaper. The vision processing pipelines and the view output channels are reconfigurable for customization.

Originality/value

This paper proposes an interaction-free AR assembly assistance and monitoring system. Assembly behavior recognition and assembly completeness inspection methods are integrated to monitor the assembly state. A sequential hybrid AR display control strategy is proposed to contextually update the AR contents. A synchronous multi-channel AR view output strategy is proposed to fulfill different visualization needs.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 39 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 January 2010

Richard Bloss

The purpose of this paper is to review the National Plastics Exposition 2009, Plastics Show held in Chicago, IL, with emphasis on robots, end‐of‐arm‐tooling and their…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to review the National Plastics Exposition 2009, Plastics Show held in Chicago, IL, with emphasis on robots, end‐of‐arm‐tooling and their application in the plastics industry.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach takes the form of in‐depth interviews with suppliers of robots, injection molding machines, system integration of robots into plastic processing applications and suppliers of controls and end‐of‐arm‐tooling.

Findings

The plastic injection molding industry is moving to production cells with heavy usage of robot machine tending. The need for very short cycle times drives the interest in very fast agile robots with the ability to integrate easily into the production cell approach. New technologies such as in‐mold labeling also drive the need for suitable robots and competent system integrators to supply successful systems.

Originality/value

The paper shows that robot builders need to continue to develop specialized robots and tooling to match advancements in applications in the plastic industry. Users will need to think of robots as a necessary adjunct to any injection molding application.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 37 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 2019

Yanan Li, Keng Peng Tee, Rui Yan and Shuzhi Sam Ge

This paper aims to propose a general framework of shared control for human–robot interaction.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to propose a general framework of shared control for human–robot interaction.

Design/methodology/approach

Human dynamics are considered in analysis of the coupled human–robot system. Motion intentions of both human and robot are taken into account in the control objective of the robot. Reinforcement learning is developed to achieve the control objective subject to unknown dynamics of human and robot. The closed-loop system performance is discussed through a rigorous proof.

Findings

Simulations are conducted to demonstrate the learning capability of the proposed method and its feasibility in handling various situations.

Originality/value

Compared to existing works, the proposed framework combines motion intentions of both human and robot in a human–robot shared control system, without the requirement of the knowledge of human’s and robot’s dynamics.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 40 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 29 October 2019

Wadu Mesthrige Jayantha and Olugbenga Timo Oladinrin

Office workspace is more than a place but one of the essential resources in business organizations. In recent years, research in office workspace management has become an…

Abstract

Purpose

Office workspace is more than a place but one of the essential resources in business organizations. In recent years, research in office workspace management has become an increasingly important scholarly focus. However, there is a dearth of bibliometric studies to date on the subject. This study aims to explore a scientometric analysis of office workspace field.

Design/methodology/approach

The title/abstract/keyword search method was used to extract related papers from 1990 to 2018. A total of 1,670 papers published in Scopus were obtained and subjected to scientometric data analysis techniques via CiteSpace software.

Findings

The results revealed the active research institutions and countries, influential authors, important journals, representative references and research hotspots in this field.

Practical implications

While this study focused on office workspace management, the findings hold useful implications for the built environment in general and facility management in particular, being a sector that encompasses multiple disciplines involving building, office assets, people, processes and technology, which enable effective functioning of the built facilities.

Originality/value

This is probably the most comprehensive scientometric analysis of the office workspace field ever conducted. This study adds to the so far limited knowledge in the field and provides insights for future research.

Details

Facilities , vol. 38 no. 3/4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0263-2772

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 February 2020

Ingrid Nappi, Gisele de Campos Ribeiro and Nicolas Cochard

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how the relationship between employees’ workspace satisfaction and their respective perceptions of workspace support to labour…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study is to evaluate how the relationship between employees’ workspace satisfaction and their respective perceptions of workspace support to labour productivity interacts with two emotional experiences as follows: workspace attachment and job stress.

Design/methodology/approach

Web-based surveys conducted before and after a company’s short-distance relocation. Study 1 concerned 66 employees and was conducted a few weeks before the relocation. Study 2 concerned 84 employees and was conducted six months after the relocation. Ordinary least squares regression, moderation and mediation analysis were performed.

Findings

After the relocation, the employees experienced greater job stress, less workspace satisfaction, and they felt less attached to their workspaces. However, the evaluations of workspace support to labour productivity did not change. Contrary to expectations, employees’ workspace satisfaction is not related to their evaluation of this workspace as supporting labour productivity. Instead, this relationship is moderated by job stress. The hypothesis that workspace attachment mediates the relationship between workspace satisfaction and respective evaluation of this workspace as supporting labour productivity was not verified.

Practical implications

Corporate real estate managers and any manager leading short-distance relocation projects should consider incorporating change management in the projects to maintain employees’ positive attitudes and emotional bonds with their workspace.

Originality/value

This research improves the knowledge of how employees perceive the workspace as supporting their work duties.

Details

Journal of Corporate Real Estate , vol. 22 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1463-001X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 16 April 2018

Qiankun Wang, Zeng Guo, Tingting Mei, Qianyao Li and Peng Li

Construction industrialization is emerging in the construction industry, as a result, buildings with prefabricated assemblies are gaining more and more ground. In most…

Abstract

Purpose

Construction industrialization is emerging in the construction industry, as a result, buildings with prefabricated assemblies are gaining more and more ground. In most situations, the prefabricated building assemblies are installed by labor crews manually. If some assemblies are ill-designed, clashes between labor crews’ workspaces and them may occur, which will have bad effect on workers’ productivity and even incur hazard. The purpose of this paper is to provide a 4D building information modeling (BIM) based approach to find potential workspace conflicts during the installation process of prefabricated building assemblies in the detailed design process so as to eliminate them in advance.

Design/methodology/approach

First, a workspace modeling method is provided; second, three kinds of workspace conflicts are analyzed; third, a 4D-BIM-based approach is established; fourth, a prototype tool based on the approach is developed; and finally, a case study is conducted to test the tool.

Findings

The result shows that the proposed tool can detect or precaution workspace conflicts and visualize them in a series of views; in doing so, valuable information can be obtained for improving the design quality of prefabricated assemblies.

Research limitations/implications

The proposed approach and tool only concern the congestions caused by ill-designed prefabricated components; the tool needed to be further optimized for speed; the tests on the tool are limited to a single case study; and more tests are needed to verify its effectiveness.

Originality/value

This research provides a 4D-BIM-based approach and a prototype tool for installation workspace analysis. It can be used to provide support for design optimization of prefabricated building assemblies.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. 25 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 19 June 2017

Zhao Tang, Peng Qi and Jian Dai

This paper aims to introduce a novel design of the biomimetic quadruped robot, including its body structure, three structural modes and respective workspace.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to introduce a novel design of the biomimetic quadruped robot, including its body structure, three structural modes and respective workspace.

Design/methodology/approach

By taking a metamorphic 8-bar linkage as the body of a quadruped robot, the authors propose a reconfigurable walking robot that can imitate three kinds of animals: mammals (e.g. dog), arthropods (e.g. stick insect) and reptiles (e.g. lizard). Furthermore, to analyze the three structural modes of this quadruped robot, the workspace is calculated and studied.

Findings

Based on experimental data analyses, it is revealed that the metamorphic quadruped robot can walk in all its three structural modes and adapt to different terrains.

Research limitations/implications

Because the body of the quadruped robot is deformable and reconfigurable, the location of payload is not considered in the current stage.

Practical implications

The relative positions and postures of legs of the metamorphic robot can be rearranged during its body reconfiguration in such a way to combine all the features of locomotion of the three kinds of animals into one robot. So, the metamorphic quadruped robot is capable of maintaining wider stability margins than conventional rigid-body quadruped robots and conducting operations in different environments, particularly the extreme and restricted occasions due to the changeable and adaptable trunk.

Originality/value

The main contribution is the development of a reconfigurable biomimetic quadruped robot, which uses the metamorphic 8-bar linkage. This robot can easily reshape to three different structural modes and mimic the walking patterns of all mammals, arthropods and reptiles.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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