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Cooperating robots for fixtureless assembly: modelling and simulation of tool exchange process

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This paper discusses the concept of cooperation between industrial robots for fixtureless assembly. The tool exchange from robot to robot and without the use of tool repositories or other hardware equipment is the main task to be achieved. The paper focuses on implementing a method for the calculation of the contact forces and torques, which are developed at the robot’s flanges, during the tool exchange process, aiming at their compensation and control. The use of two reference flanges, one with pegs and a second one with holes, on the cooperating robots is required for the tool exchange processes to ensure the required alignment between the components. In this direction, for the calculation of the developed contact forces and torques, a three-dimensional triple pegs-in-holes model is introduced and analysed. This research presents a concept for enabling exchangeable end effectors without using external sensors to control the developed interaction forces. The modelling base for such an implementation using virtual models has been developed, and its effective application is expected to allow innovative production concepts such as fixtureless assembly.
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Keywords: Contact forces; exchangeable tooling; robotic; simulation

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Laboratory for Manufacturing Systems and Automation, Department of Mechanical Engineering and Aeronautics, University of Patras, Patras, Greece

Publication date: December 2, 2018

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