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Article
Publication date: 8 December 2020

Robert Bogue

This paper aims to provide an insight into China’s rapidly developing robot industry.

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to provide an insight into China’s rapidly developing robot industry.

Design/methodology/approach

Following a short introduction, this paper first provides a market perspective and then identifies the key user industries and gives examples of applications. The robot supply companies are considered and details are provided for some of the more important. The research effort is then discussed, together with some examples of recent developments. Finally, conclusions are drawn.

Findings

The Chinese robot market is the largest in the world although the robot density remains far lower than that of many other industrialised nations. Major users include the electrical and electronics sector and the automotive industry, together with growing applications in the burgeoning hospitality and logistics sectors. Markets are presently dominated by foreign companies, but the government has ambitious plans to boost domestic production, and with the aid of financial incentives, the number of Chinese robot manufactures has recently increased dramatically. The country’s robot research effort is diverse and wide ranging and benefits from significant levels of government funding. China is ultimately expected to become a major force within the global robot business.

Originality/value

This illustrates the growing importance of robots in China, both in its industries and as a robot manufacturer.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 48 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 8 September 2021

Yuezong Wang, Jinghui Liu, Mengfei Guo and LiuQIan Wang

A three-dimensional (3D) printing error simulation approach is proposed to analyze the influence of tilted vertical beams on the 3D printing accuracy. The purpose of this…

Abstract

Purpose

A three-dimensional (3D) printing error simulation approach is proposed to analyze the influence of tilted vertical beams on the 3D printing accuracy. The purpose of this study is to analyze the influence of such errors on printing accuracy and printing quality for delta-robot 3D printer.

Design/methodology/approach

First, the kinematic model of a delta-robot 3D printer with an ideal geometric structure is proposed by using vector analysis. Then, the normal kinematic model of a nonideal delta-robot 3D robot with tilted vertical beams is derived based on the above ideal kinematic model. Finally, a 3D printing error simulation approach is proposed to analyze the influence of tilted vertical beams on the 3D printing accuracy.

Findings

The results show that tilted vertical beams can indeed cause 3D printing errors and further influence the 3D printing quality of the final products and that the 3D printing errors of tilted vertical beams are related to the rotation angles of the tilted vertical beams. The larger the rotation angles of the tilted vertical beams are, the greater the geometric deformations of the printed structures.

Originality/value

Three vertical beams and six horizontal beams constitute the supporting parts of the frame of a delta-robot 3D printer. In this paper, the orientations of tilted vertical beams are shown to have a significant influence on 3D printing accuracy. However, the effect of tilted vertical beams on 3D printing accuracy is difficult to capture by instruments. To reveal the 3D printing error mechanisms under the condition of tilted vertical beams, the error generation mechanism and the quantitative influence of tilted vertical beams on 3D printing accuracy are studied by simulating the parallel motion mechanism of a delta-robot 3D printer with tilted vertical beams.

Details

Rapid Prototyping Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2546

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Article
Publication date: 16 September 2021

Yipeng Zhu, Tao Wang and Shiqiang Zhu

This paper aims to develop a robust person tracking method for human following robots. The tracking system adopts the multimodal fusion results of millimeter wave (MMW…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to develop a robust person tracking method for human following robots. The tracking system adopts the multimodal fusion results of millimeter wave (MMW) radars and monocular cameras for perception. A prototype of human following robot is developed and evaluated by using the proposed tracking system.

Design/methodology/approach

Limited by angular resolution, point clouds from MMW radars are too sparse to form features for human detection. Monocular cameras can provide semantic information for objects in view, but cannot provide spatial locations. Considering the complementarity of the two sensors, a sensor fusion algorithm based on multimodal data combination is proposed to identify and localize the target person under challenging conditions. In addition, a closed-loop controller is designed for the robot to follow the target person with expected distance.

Findings

A series of experiments under different circumstances are carried out to validate the fusion-based tracking method. Experimental results show that the average tracking errors are around 0.1 m. It is also found that the robot can handle different situations and overcome short-term interference, continually track and follow the target person.

Originality/value

This paper proposed a robust tracking system with the fusion of MMW radars and cameras. Interference such as occlusion and overlapping are well handled with the help of the velocity information from the radars. Compared to other state-of-the-art plans, the sensor fusion method is cost-effective and requires no additional tags with people. Its stable performance shows good application prospects in human following robots.

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: 24 September 2021

Wei Jiang, Yating Shi, Dehua Zou, Hongwei Zhang and Hong Jun Li

The purpose of this paper is to achieve the optimal system design of a four-wheel mobile robot on transmission line maintenance, as the authors know transmission line…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to achieve the optimal system design of a four-wheel mobile robot on transmission line maintenance, as the authors know transmission line mobile robot is a kind of special robot which runs on high-voltage cable to replace or assist manual power maintenance operation. In the process of live working, the manipulator, working end effector and the working environment are located in the narrow space and with heterogeneous shapes, the robot collision-free obstacle avoidance movement is the premise to complete the operation task. In the simultaneous operation, the mechanical properties between the manipulator effector and the operation object are the key to improve the operation reliability. These put forward higher requirements for the mechanical configuration and dynamic characteristics of the robot, and this is the purpose of the manuscript.

Design/methodology/approach

Based on the above, aiming at the task of tightening the tension clamp for the four-split transmission lines, the paper proposed a four-wheel mobile robot mechanism configuration and its terminal tool which can adapt to the walking and operation on multi-split transmission lines. In the study, the dynamic models of the rigid robot and flexible transmission line are established, respectively, and the dynamic model of rigid-flexible coupling system is established on this basis, the working space and dynamic characteristics of the robot have been simulated in ADAMS and MATLAB.

Findings

The research results show that the mechanical configuration of this robot can complete the tightening operation of the four-split tension clamp bolts and the motion of robot each joint meets the requirements of driving torque in the operation process, which avoids the operation failure of the robot system caused by the insufficient or excessive driving force of the robot joint torque.

Originality/value

Finally, the engineering practicability of the mechanical configuration and dynamic model proposed in the paper has been verified by the physical prototype. The originality value of the research is that it has double important theoretical significance and practical application value for the optimization of mechanical structure parameters and electrical control parameters of transmission line mobile robots.

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: 9 September 2021

Zhu Huang, Chao Mao, Jun Wang and Abdul-Manan Sadick

The construction industry is the major sector in China but it has been exposed to a series of problems including low productivity and workforce shortage. However…

Abstract

Purpose

The construction industry is the major sector in China but it has been exposed to a series of problems including low productivity and workforce shortage. However, construction robots as an effective and sustainable approach to overcome the difficulties in construction industry have not been widely adopted. Few studies attempted to investigate on the adoption of construction robots in China. In order to fill this gap, this study aim to address the barriers to the adoption of construction robots in China.

Design/methodology/approach

Through literature review, semi-structured interview 24 factors hindering the adoption of construction robots are summarized. Next, a total of valid 150 questionnaires delivered to the 7 stakeholders were collected. Ranking analysis was used to identify 21 critical factors was determined by the mean score analysis and factor analysis extracted 21 critical factors into 5 clusters.

Findings

Results indicate that the “technological performance and management” cluster is the most dominant of the 5 clusters. The most important barrier is “Limited research and design input”, followed by “High purchase cost” and “Unstructured construction environment”. Construction robots are still under R&D have had limited field applications in the production and construction process.

Originality/value

The research findings provide a useful reference for different stakeholders to identify the critical factors appropriate strategies to promote the adoption of construction robots. Furthermore, this study provides recommendations to promote adoption of construction robots.

Details

Engineering, Construction and Architectural Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0969-9988

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 22 September 2021

Mengying Zhang, Dogan Gursoy, Zhangyao Zhu and Si Shi

This study aims to investigate the impact of both physical and personality-related anthropomorphic features of an artificial intelligence service robot on the cognitive…

Abstract

Purpose

This study aims to investigate the impact of both physical and personality-related anthropomorphic features of an artificial intelligence service robot on the cognitive and affective appraisals and acceptance of consumers during service delivery.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed hypotheses that investigate the effects of service robots’ physical appearance on the emphasis consumers place on each evaluation criteria they use in determining their willingness to accept the use of service robots in service delivery and the moderating role of sense of humor are tested by conducting two studies using scenario-based experiments.

Findings

The results show that humanlike appearance leads to higher performance expectancy, mascot-like appearance generates higher positive emotions and machine-like appearance results in higher effort expectancy. The effects of humanlike and mascot-like appearances on consumer acceptance are moderated by the sense of humor of service robots. However, the sense of humor effect is attenuated with a machine-like appearance owing to the lack of anthropomorphism.

Practical implications

This study provides crucial insights for hospitality managers who plan to use service robots in service delivery. The findings highlight the key roles of appearance type and sense of humor of service robots in influencing the appraisals and acceptance of consumers regarding the use of service robots in service delivery.

Originality/value

This study focuses on comparing the effects of traditional and mascot-like appearances of service robots on consumer appraisals and identifies sense of humor as a cute anthropomorphized personality trait of service robots.

Details

International Journal of Contemporary Hospitality Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0959-6119

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Article
Publication date: 1 March 1983

New robot aimed at arc welding, but new applications are in practical assembly. John Hartley reports.

Abstract

New robot aimed at arc welding, but new applications are in practical assembly. John Hartley reports.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 10 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 27 June 2008

E. Menegatti, G. Gatto, E. Pagello, Takashi Minato and Hiroshi Ishiguro

Image‐based localisation has been widely investigated in mobile robotics. However, traditional image‐based localisation approaches do not work when the environment…

Abstract

Purpose

Image‐based localisation has been widely investigated in mobile robotics. However, traditional image‐based localisation approaches do not work when the environment appearance changes. The purpose of this paper is to propose a new system for image‐based localisation, which enables the approach to work also in highly dynamic environments.

Design/methodology/approach

The proposed technique is based on the use of a distributed vision system (DVS) composed of a set of cameras installed in the environment and of a camera mounted on a mobile robot. The localisation of the robot is achieved by comparing the current image grabbed by the robot with the images grabbed, at the same time, by the DVS. Finding the DVS's image, most similar to the robot's image, gives a topological localisation of the robot.

Findings

Experiments reported in the paper proved the system to be effective, even exploiting a pre‐existent DVS not designed for this application.

Originality/value

Whilst, aware that DVSs, as the one used in this work, are not diffuse nowadays, this work is significant because a novel idea is proposed for dealing with dynamic environments in the image‐based localisation approach and the idea is validated with experiments. Camera Sensor networks currently are an emerging technology and they may be introduced in several daily environments in the future.

Details

Sensor Review, vol. 28 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0260-2288

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Article
Publication date: 1 October 1994

S Chen, T Sattar, A Khalid, A Fan and B Bridge

Outlines the development of a prototype climbing robot for remotetesting using standard off‐the‐shelf components. The systemconstruction is modularized so that it can be…

Abstract

Outlines the development of a prototype climbing robot for remote testing using standard off‐the‐shelf components. The system construction is modularized so that it can be easily reconfigured for a different task. Describes the desired characteristics of a climbing inspection robot and how the prototype robot has been designed and constructed. Gives the system specifications and performance and concludes that laboratory operation of the CART prototype robot on a steel plate that simulates an oil storage tank has demonstrated that a cost‐effective system can be built entirely from standard, commercially available components.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 21 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 6 March 2009

Ik Sang Shin, Sang‐Hyun Nam, Rodney Roberts and Seungbin Moon

The purpose of this paper is to provide a minimum time algorithm to intercept an object on a conveyor belt by a robotic manipulator. The goal is that the robot is able to…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to provide a minimum time algorithm to intercept an object on a conveyor belt by a robotic manipulator. The goal is that the robot is able to intercept objects on a conveyor line moving at a given speed in minimum time.

Design/methodology/approach

In order to formulate the problem, the robot and object‐arrival time functions were introduced, and conclude that the optimal point occurs at the intersection of these two functions. The search algorithm for finding the intersection point between the robot and object arrival time functions are also presented to find the optimal point in real‐time.

Findings

Simulation results show that the presented algorithm is well established for various initial robot positions.

Practical implications

A trapezoidal velocity profile was employed which is used in many industrial robots currently in use. Thus, it is believed that robot travel time algorithm is readily implemented for any commercially available robots.

Originality/value

The paper considers exhaustive cases where robot travel time functions are dependent upon initial positions of robotic end‐effectors. Also presented is a fast converging search algorithm so that real time application is more feasible in many cases.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 36 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

Keywords

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