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Finger Design Automation for Industrial Robots: A Generic and Agile Approach
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Machine Design. Linköping University, Faculty of Science & Engineering.
2018 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

ROBOT fingers play a crucial role in the success and performance of workcells, as fingers are the only interfaces that connect the robot to the physical working environment. Fingers are responsible for grasping and manipulating workpieces without dropping or damaging them. Designing industrial robot fingers to accomplish assigned tasks is therefore tremendously complex and requires high skills in robotics and designing at the same time.

Today, there is a trend toward products with short lifecycles and, as a result, many robot industries have focused on enhancing the competitiveness of robotic automation in the agile market. SARAFun and Factory-in-a-day are two large European Commission projects which are formed to enable a non-expert user to integrate a robot system for an assembly task in one single day. Currently, fingers of industrial grippers (e.g. parallel- jaw) are designed manually, a process that requires several exhaustive and time- consuming trial and error iterations even for highly skilled specialists. The average iteration time is about three to four working days and the total time for designing fingers can amount to around two weeks depending on the complexity requirements.

The present iterative procedure of manual finger design is unable to fulfil the demands of ‘‘burst’’ production (i.e. ramp up to full volume in a very short time, run production for 3–12 months, and then change to produce a new product). Finger design automation has therefore been increasingly attracting the attention of the robot industry. However, very few researchers have studied finger design automation and unfortunately no one has validated the proposed approaches with a generic experimental method.

This research therefore proposes the generic optimized finger design (GOFD) framework in order to automate the design process of robotic fingers. The framework is optimized to reduce the design process time while maintaining high reliability and performance of the fingers. The functionality and general applicability of the framework is examined in various case studies and applications with a diverse range of workpieces. In order to be able to benchmark the functionality of robotic fingers, an experimental method is also developed to measure the stability and performance of the fingers in industrial practice. The proposed experimental method is employed to evaluate the functionality of the GOFD fingers and compare it with that of other fingers. Results are comprehensively analysed and the strengths and weaknesses of each method are highlighted. This thesis thus presents a design automation processes that automates the design procedure for robotic fingers, together with an experimental method to compare the performance of different finger designs. The introduced GOFD method can help robot industries comply with the trending agile market. Moreover, scholars who are inexpert in robotics may benefit from utilizing GOFD in their research to generate functional fingers.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2018. , p. 61
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Dissertations, ISSN 0345-7524 ; 1917
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-145081ISBN: 9789176853436 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-145081DiVA, id: diva2:1181780
Public defence
2018-03-01, ACAS, A-huset, Campus Valla, Linköping, 10:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 644938 – SARAFunAvailable from: 2018-02-09 Created: 2018-02-09 Last updated: 2018-02-21Bibliographically approved
List of papers
1. Finger design automation for industrial robot grippers: A review
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Finger design automation for industrial robot grippers: A review
2017 (English)In: ROBOTICS AND AUTONOMOUS SYSTEMS, ISSN 0921-8890, Vol. 87, p. 104-119Article, review/survey (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Designing robust end-effector plays a crucial role, in performance of a robot workcell. Design automation of industrial grippers fingers/jaws is therefore of the highest interest in the robot industry. This paper systematically reviews the enormous studies performed in relevant research areas for finger design automation. Key processes for successfully achieving automatic finger design are identified and research contributions in each key process are critically reviewed. The proposed approaches in each key process are analyzed, verified and benchmarked. The most promising methods to accomplish finger design automation are highlighted and presented. (C) 2016 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2017
Keywords
Grippers fingers; Design automation; Grasp synthesis; Grasp analysis
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-134073 (URN)10.1016/j.robot.2016.10.003 (DOI)000390507700008 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|European Community [644938 - SARAFun]

Available from: 2017-01-26 Created: 2017-01-22 Last updated: 2018-02-09
2. GENERIC AUTOMATED FINGER DESIGN
Open this publication in new window or tab >>GENERIC AUTOMATED FINGER DESIGN
Show others...
2016 (English)In: PROCEEDINGS OF THE ASME INTERNATIONAL DESIGN ENGINEERING TECHNICAL CONFERENCES AND COMPUTERS AND INFORMATION IN ENGINEERING CONFERENCE, 2016, VOL 5B, AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS , 2016, article id V05BT07A071Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Finger design automation for grippers is one of the areas of highest interest for robot industries. The few studies that have been carried out in the finger design automation research area are limited to objects with specific geometrical properties (e.g. polyhedral). This paper introduces the Generic Automated Finger Design (GAFD) method that contains the essential key processes for automatic design of reliable fingers. The proposed method is implemented on two geometrically complex workpieces and appropriate fingers are designed. The results are discussed in detail and benchmarked against existing approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
AMER SOC MECHANICAL ENGINEERS, 2016
National Category
Interaction Technologies
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-135414 (URN)10.1115/DETC2016-60514 (DOI)000393365000071 ()978-0-7918-5016-9 (ISBN)
Conference
ASME International Design Engineering Technical Conferences and Computers and Information in Engineering Conference (IDETC/CIE)
Note

Funding Agencies|European Community [644938]

Available from: 2017-03-14 Created: 2017-03-14 Last updated: 2018-02-09
3. Generic Automated Multi-function Finger Design
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Generic Automated Multi-function Finger Design
Show others...
2016 (English)In: 2016 SECOND INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON MECHANICAL ENGINEERING AND AUTOMATION SCIENCE (ICMEAS 2016), IOP PUBLISHING LTD , 2016, Vol. 157, article id 012015Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

Multi-function fingers that are able to handle multiple workpieces are crucial in improvement of a robot workcell. Design automation of multi-function fingers is highly demanded by robot industries to overcome the current iterative, time consuming and complex manual design process. However, the existing approaches for the multi-function finger design automation are unable to entirely meet the robot industries need. This paper proposes a generic approach for design automation of multi-function fingers. The proposed approach completely automates the design process and requires no expert skill. In addition, this approach executes the design process much faster than the current manual process. To validate the approach, multi-function fingers are successfully designed for two case studies. Further, the results are discussed and benchmarked with existing approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IOP PUBLISHING LTD, 2016
Series
IOP Conference Series-Materials Science and Engineering, ISSN 1757-8981
National Category
Construction Management
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-133767 (URN)10.1088/1757-899X/157/1/012015 (DOI)000389913900014 ()
Conference
2nd International Conference on Mechanical Engineering and Automation Science (ICMEAS)
Available from: 2017-01-09 Created: 2017-01-09 Last updated: 2018-03-22
4. Experimental verification of design automation methods for robotic finger
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Experimental verification of design automation methods for robotic finger
2017 (English)In: Robotics and Autonomous Systems, ISSN 0921-8890, E-ISSN 1872-793X, Vol. 94, p. 89-101Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Design automation of industrial grippers is a hot research topic for robot industries. However, literature lacks a standard experimental method to enable researchers to validate their approaches. Thus, this paper proposes a generic experimental method to verify existing finger design approaches. The introduced method is utilized to validate the methods Generic Automated Finger Design (GAFD), Manually Designed Fingers (MDF) and the eGrip tool. Experimental results are compared and the strengths and weaknesses of each method are presented. (C) 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier B.V.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
ELSEVIER SCIENCE BV, 2017
Keywords
Grippers; Fingers; Design automation; Robotics; Experimental method
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-139386 (URN)10.1016/j.robot.2017.04.011 (DOI)000404201700009 ()
Note

Funding Agencies|European Communitys Framework Programme Horizon 2020 [644938 - SARAFun]

Available from: 2017-08-07 Created: 2017-08-07 Last updated: 2018-02-09
5. Fast Grasp Tool Design: From Force to Form Closure
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Fast Grasp Tool Design: From Force to Form Closure
2017 (English)In: 2017 13th IEEE Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), IEEE , 2017Conference paper, Published paper (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

We present a novel technique which integratesautomatic, part centered design of customized fingertips with agrasp planning stage for arbitrary parts of an assembly process.Starting with a set of CAD models of parts in an assemblysequence, force closure grasps are generated for each part in asampling process. By employing the sampled force closure grasppositions in the second stage, the fingertip shape model isadapted to obtain form closure grasps at the specific grasplocations on the part. This approach significantly reduces theprocess time of designing fingers. Furthermore, the methodincreases the robustness of the fingers grasp for preciseassemblies. The proposed fast generic automated finger design(FGAFD) method is able to design fingers for variousgeometrically complex workpieces. The designed fingers areexperimentally verified. The results are discussed in detail andbenchmarked against existing approaches.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
IEEE, 2017
Series
Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), ISSN 2161-8089
Keywords
Grasp Planning; Finger Design; Design Automation; Grasp Synthesis; Robotics;
National Category
Robotics
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-143804 (URN)10.1109/COASE.2017.8256199 (DOI)978-1-5090-6781-7 (ISBN)978-1-5090-6782-4 (ISBN)
Conference
Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (CASE), 20-23 Aug. 2017
Projects
SARAFun
Funder
EU, Horizon 2020, 644938
Available from: 2017-12-18 Created: 2017-12-18 Last updated: 2018-07-03

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