Techniques, hardware and software for robotic assembly
Thesis DisciplineMechanical Engineering
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree NameDoctor of Philosophy
This thesis presents the analysis, design and development of aids for robotic assembly. The purpose of these aids is to extend the scope of low-cost industrial robots to the terminal aligning and insertion phases in the assembly of discrete components. Following a brief survey of existing aids, several novel aids are investigated. These have been divided into two distinct categories: the 'active' category, suitable for the aligning phase and based on the conscious feedback of touch or force information arising from mechanical contact between the components during assembly, and the 'passive' category, suitable for the insertion phase and based on the implicit, yet direct, use of such information. An in-depth treatment of the fundamental principles of active feedback technique forms a major section of the thesis. This is followed by a section on the hardware developed for implementing these techniques. The final section covers passive assembly and describes a simple and effective passive-assembly device. For the theoretical aspects of the work, a pot-pourri of tools was borrowed from a range of disciplines such as Modern and Linear Algebra, Kinematics, Mechanics, and Numerical Analysis. The experimental aspects included the design, construction and testing of Digital Electronic hardware and Computer software for real-time computer control.