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Article
Publication date: 18 January 2016

Wenzhuo Chen, Yan Chen, Bo Li, Weiming Zhang and Ken Chen

– The purpose of this paper is to design a special automatic redundant robot painting system (RRPS), which can automatically navigate and paint in the long non-regular duct.

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to design a special automatic redundant robot painting system (RRPS), which can automatically navigate and paint in the long non-regular duct.

Design/methodology/approach

The RRPS is designed with three subsystems: a redundant robot, a spraying system and a control and safety system. Based on the modular design theory, the robot falls naturally into a mobile platform, a 4-DOF location mechanism and a 10-DOF manipulator. The restriction of the distance between the links and the duct axis is used to plan the trajectory of the manipulator so that it would not collide with the duct. The restriction model is constructed by minimizing the sum of the weighed distances between the duct axis and the special points.

Findings

A fully working prototype system has been developed. Test results show that the minimal distance between the robot joints and duct is 18 mm, and it can finish painting long non-regular ducts at the speed of 12.5 cm/s and the spraying distance of 16 cm. The quality of coating layers is good.

Practical implications

The RRPS was used to paint non-regular rectangular ducts, cylindrical ducts and long non-regular ducts. The feasibility of painting long non-regular duct is proved with the prototype implementation and successful test results.

Originality/value

The RRPS shows a novel solution that is based on the 14-DOF redundant robot design for painting long non-regular ducts which is used in airplane.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 43 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 11 March 2019

Guoda Chen, Huafeng Yang, Huiqiang Cao, Shiming Ji, Xi Zeng and Qian Wang

For the climbing rod object with large diameter variation and the need of obstacle crossing, this paper aims to propose a new embracing-type climbing robot named as EVOC-I robot.

Abstract

Purpose

For the climbing rod object with large diameter variation and the need of obstacle crossing, this paper aims to propose a new embracing-type climbing robot named as EVOC-I robot.

Design/methodology/approach

The design philosophy and structural scheme are introduced. The kinematic analysis of embracing and telescoping mechanisms is carried out to provide the theoretical foundation for the effective climbing of the robot. Based on the prototype robot, three preliminary experiments are carried out to verify the effectiveness of the designed robot.

Findings

The theoretical and experimental analyses have verified the reasonability and effectiveness of the proposed robot design.

Research limitations/implications

As the preliminary study, the prototype still need a lot of improvement. The experimental verification is also limited. Future work will focus on improving the design and increasing the theoretical analysis, especially increasing experimental study and designing the next generation of the rod climbing robot.

Practical implications

The designed climbing robot can be used for climbing the rod with variation diameter and flange obstacle, especially the lightening rod in the transformer substation.

Originality/value

The paper designs a new climbing robot that integrates the ability of large variation diameter adaptation and obstacle crossing.

Details

Industrial Robot: the international journal of robotics research and application, vol. 46 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 14 June 2013

Jaime Martínez Verdú, José María Sabater Navarro, Vicente José González Penella, Nicolás Manuel García Aracil and Ángel Miguel López Buendía

Currently, the majority of designed robots are not well‐matched to their applications because designers do not employ a clear and organized design process. Additionally…

Abstract

Purpose

Currently, the majority of designed robots are not well‐matched to their applications because designers do not employ a clear and organized design process. Additionally, the high cost of robotic systems makes it difficult to financially justify the use of this technology. The purpose of this paper is to present a new design process that gathers conceptual, kinematic and dynamic design, finite elements method (FEM), functional design and virtual reality control. Furthermore, kinematic and dynamic design can be obtained by traditional theory or standard computer tools (SCT) to accelerate the design. Through SCT fitted mathematical models and non‐mathematical virtual models may be acquired.

Design/methodology/approach

This paper investigates the design process of a robot. First, the entire methodology is presented (including two new techniques for solving the kinematic and dynamic questions via SCT). Second, a case study using Autodesk® Inventor™ has been analysed to assess the feasibility of the method and techniques.

Findings

The more stages of the design process are considered, the more successful solutions become. Designers can obtain a mathematical solution for an analytically unsolvable robot fitting a mathematical model by SCT. To obtain a rapid design, designers must consider using SCT and following just in need (JIN) philosophy to find a non‐mathematical virtual model.

Originality/value

This paper presents an innovative guide for robotic engineers and researchers which covers the whole design process and new techniques for obtaining mathematical and non‐mathematical solutions.

Details

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

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Article
Publication date: 16 August 2013

Aimee van Wynsberghe

With the rapid and pervasive introduction of robots into human environments, ethics scholars along with roboticists are asking how ethics can be applied to the discipline…

Abstract

Purpose

With the rapid and pervasive introduction of robots into human environments, ethics scholars along with roboticists are asking how ethics can be applied to the discipline of robotics. The purpose of this paper is to provide a concrete example of incorporating ethics into the design process of a robot in healthcare.

Design/methodology/approach

The approach for including ethics in the design process of care robots used in this paper is called the Care‐Centered Value Sensitive Design (CCVSD) approach. The CCVSD approach presented here provides both an outline of the components demanding ethical attention as well as a step‐by‐step manner in which such considerations may proceed in a prospective manner throughout the design process of a robot. This begins from the moment of idea generation and continues throughout the design of various prototypes. In this paper, this approach's utility and prospective methodology are illustrated by proposing a novel care robot, the “wee‐bot”, for the collection and testing of urine samples in a hospital context.

Findings

The results of applying the CCVSD approach inspired the design of a novel robot for the testing of urine in pediatric oncology patients – the “wee‐bot” robot – and showed that it is possible to successfully incorporate ethics into the design of a care robot by exploring and prescribing design requirements. In other words, the use of the CCVSD approach allowed for the translation of ethical values into technical design requirements as was shown in this paper.

Practical implications

This paper provides a practical solution to the question of how to incorporate ethics into the design of robots and bridges the gap between the work of roboticists and robot ethicists so that they may work together in the design of a novel care robot.

Social implications

In providing a solution to the issue of how to address ethical issues in the design of robots, the aim is to mitigate issues of societal concern regarding the design, development and implementation of robots in healthcare.

Originality/value

This paper is the first and only presentation of a concrete prospective methodology for including ethics into the design of robots. While the example given here is tailored to the healthcare context, the approach can be adjusted to fit another context and/or robot design.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 40 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 1 December 2005

G. Bugmann, J.C. Wolf and P. Robinson

Service robots need to be programmable by their users who are in general unskilled in the art of robot programming. We have explored the use of spoken language for…

Abstract

Purpose

Service robots need to be programmable by their users who are in general unskilled in the art of robot programming. We have explored the use of spoken language for programming robots.

Design/methodology/approach

Two applications domains were studied: that of route instructions and that of game instructions. The latter is work in progress. In both cases work started by recording verbal instructions representative of how human users would naturally address their robot.

Findings

The analysis of these instructions reveals references to high‐level functions natural to humans but challenging for designers of robots. The instruction structure reflects assumptions about the cognitive abilities of the listener and it is likely that some human capabilities for rational thinking will be required in service robots.

Research limitations/implications

Some of the high‐level functions called for by natural communication stretch current capabilities and there is a clear case for more effort being devoted in some areas. Instruction analysis provides pointers to such research topics.

Practical implications

It is proposed that service robot design should start with investigating the way end‐users will communicate with the robot. This is encapsulated in the “corpus‐based” approach to robot design illustrated in this paper. This results in more functional service robots.

Originality/value

The paper stresses the importance of considering human‐robot communication early in the robot design process.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 32 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: 26 June 2007

Christine Connolly

To report some successful applications of vision‐controlled robots in picking and packing of foodstuffs.

Abstract

Purpose

To report some successful applications of vision‐controlled robots in picking and packing of foodstuffs.

Design/methodology/approach

The design and capabilities of ABB's two picking robots are explained, and the specialist software that integrates vision guidance and product inspection. Then two food‐picking applications are described in detail.

Findings

The delta robot design combines low weight with high stiffness, giving very fast picking capability. The Cognex‐based vision system also produces high speed and precision, and is able to guide the robot and perform 100 per cent inspection in real time. Hygienic robot design allows it to handle open food.

Practical implications

ABB's FlexPicker robot has moved from being a niche product to a volume product, bringing high‐speed picking capability to a wider market.

Originality/value

Showcases the capability and flexibility of a powerful vision‐guided high‐speed robot.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 34 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 16 January 2017

Victor Bloch, Avital Bechar and Amir Degani

The purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology for characterization of the robot environment to help solve such problem as designing an optimal agricultural robot

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to describe a methodology for characterization of the robot environment to help solve such problem as designing an optimal agricultural robot for a specific agricultural task.

Design/methodology/approach

Defining and characterizing a task is a crucial step in the optimization of a task-specific robot. It is especially difficult in the agricultural domain because of the complexity and unstructured nature of the environment. In this research, trees are modeled from orchards and are used as the robot working environment, the geometrical features of an agricultural task are investigated and a method for designing an optimal agricultural robot is developed. Using this method, a simplified characteristic environment, representing the actual environment, is developed and used.

Findings

Case studies showing that the optimal robot, which is designed based on the characteristic environment, is similar to the optimal robot, which is designed based on the actual environment (less than 4 per cent error), is presented, while the optimization run time is significantly shorter (up to 22 times) when using the characteristic environment.

Originality/value

This paper proposes a new concept for solving the robot task-based optimization by the analysis of the task environment and characterizing it by a simpler artificial task environment. The methodology decreases the time of the optimal robot design, allowing to take into account more details in an acceptable time.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 16 October 2017

LianZheng Ge, Jian Chen, Ruifeng Li and Peidong Liang

The global performance of industrial robots partly depends on the properties of drive system consisting of motor inertia, gearbox inertia, etc. This paper aims to deal…

Abstract

Purpose

The global performance of industrial robots partly depends on the properties of drive system consisting of motor inertia, gearbox inertia, etc. This paper aims to deal with the problem of optimization of global dynamic performance for robotic drive system selected from available components.

Design/methodology/approach

Considering the performance specifications of drive system, an optimization model whose objective function is composed of working efficiency and natural frequency of robots is proposed. Meanwhile, constraints including the rated and peak torque of motor, lifetime of gearbox and light-weight were taken into account. Furthermore, the mapping relationship between discrete optimal design variables and component properties of drive system were presented. The optimization problem with mixed integer variables was solved by a mixed integer-laplace crossover power mutation algorithm.

Findings

The optimization results show that our optimization model and methods are applicable, and the performances are also greatly promoted without sacrificing any constraints of drive system. Besides, the model fits the overall performance well with respect to light-weight ratio, safety, cost reduction and others.

Practical implications

The proposed drive system optimization method has been used for a 4-DOF palletizing robot, which has been largely manufactured in a factory.

Originality/value

This paper focuses on how the simulation-based optimization can be used for the purpose of generating trade-offs between cost, performance and lifetime when designing robotic drive system. An applicable optimization model and method are proposed to handle the dynamic performance optimization problem of a drive system for industrial robot.

Details

Industrial Robot: An International Journal, vol. 44 no. 6
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0143-991X

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Article
Publication date: 27 July 2012

Hongjian Yu, Bing Li, Yang Wang and Ying Hu

Reconfigurability of the assembly fixtures, which enables a set of sheet metal automotive parts to be produced on a single production line, is becoming crucial to…

Abstract

Purpose

Reconfigurability of the assembly fixtures, which enables a set of sheet metal automotive parts to be produced on a single production line, is becoming crucial to maintaining competitiveness in the rapidly changing market. One of the key issues in reconfigurable fixture design is to identify the fixture configuration and make sure there is enough workspace for a family of parts. The purpose of this paper is to address this issue, through the design and analysis of two novel reconfigurable fixturing robots.

Design/methodology/approach

Following an introduction, the application of the reconfigurable fixturing robot addressed in this paper is described; it is characterized by using parallel manipulator as programmable fixture elements. Kinematic design and reconfigurable design of the fixturing robot is presented based on screw theory and modularized design, respectively.

Findings

The proposed reconfigurable fixturing robots can transform their configurations with 4 DoF (degrees‐of‐freedom), and have a continuous workspace for their application.

Originality/value

Reconfigurability of the assembly fixtures is an important issue for automotive manufacturing, due to the highly competitive nature of this industry. The proposed reconfigurable fixturing robots can greatly facilitate the development of new models of vehicles.

Details

Assembly Automation, vol. 32 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0144-5154

Keywords

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