Algorithms for Manipulation Planning with Imperfect Parts and
Project funded by the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (NWO);
read detailed description.
Automated design of manufacturing processes today is where computer technology was in the 1960s:
a patchwork of ad-hoc solutions lacking a rigorous scientific methodology. What is missing is a
framework for the systematic design of automated manufacturing systems that manipulate
(e.g. assemble, hold, sort, feed) industrial parts. To be reliable and inexpensive, such systems
often use simple physical actions by manipulators that require modest sensing capabilities.
These characteristics make automation amenable to systematic analysis and synthesis.
Recent research in algorithmic automation confirms this statement, but a severe idealization
has to be removed to make results applicable in practice.
A major obstacle to practical application is that existing results assume perfectly-shaped parts
and physical actions that are executed with infinite precision, while real parts are manufactured
to tolerances and real manipulators are subject to errors. The research in this proposal tackles
this severe idealization as its goal is to design algorithms for planning manipulation tasks that
are guaranteed to work despite manipulator inaccuracy and part imperfection. Taking into account
these variations asks for alternative models and analyses of physical actions, and for completely
different approaches to plan synthesis. As part geometry and motion are crucial to the definition,
modeling, and solution of the problems that we address, we will employ algorithmic techniques and
insights from the confluence of computational geometry and path planning. These techniques,
supplemented by physical part properties, offer a prospect of algorithms for the automated design
of reliable low-cost solutions in automated manufacturing.
Profile of Candidate
MSc with a solid background in algorithms and computational geometry; interest in applications from robotics
and industrial automation.
Send an email to Frank van der Stappen.