Robotic manipulation refers to the processes of moving and rearranging objects in the environment, which are essential in any manufacturing "work-cell". The manipulation planning tasks includes accurate planning of a sequence of motion, assurance of proper joint trajectories, firm grasping of the object vvithout damage or slippage, and transfer of the grasped object to a specific target's location (or moving a tool to a specific location or a series of locations continuously).
Conventional robotic manipulation was restricted in well-defined environment where manipulators are subject to do repetitive tasks vvith less complexity. These manipulators are stiff and tightly controlled in position such that they become extremely difficult to interact in real time. Also, they cannot readily sense an object obstructing their working environment and might, therefore, stop working or may cause damage to the object and most often the environment as well. These shortcomings become a serious problem in welding or finishing applications of complex parts (such as so-called TKY joints).
Therefore, WP3, dedicated to planning, will address the robotic manipulation and handing issues, such as effective manipulation in poorly modeled environments, stable handling of irregular shaped parts or high-mixed parts in automated production lines, improvement of state-of-the-art manipulation for higher productivity through design and control of new end-effectors and fixtures, and many others. The objectives are to enhance productivity related to robotic manipulation applications through establishing effective manipulation planning methods, as well as developing enabled adaptive fixtures and end-effectors. Finally, the outputs from WP3 will provide Singapore SMEs with solutions to enhance productiv ity in applications requiring part handling and manipulation.
The specific research scopes of WP3 will consists of two aspects, i.e. technology development and technology demonstration. The technology development will focus on the following topics:
Robot welding/finishing task sequencing using genetic algorithms (linked to WPs 1 & 2)
Trajectory generation and coordinated motion control of multiple robotic devices for welding/finishing and redundancy coordination (linked to VVPs 4 & 5)
Tool and fixture design for the effective manipulation of robotic welding/finishing (linked to WPs6 & 7)
Handling and manipulation of the robot together with the attached tool should incorporate fail-safe schemes, focusing the relationship between robots and objects handled.