Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Robotic grasp: Robot picks up castors as fast as blueberries

Date:
December 19, 2013
Source:
SINTEF
Summary:
The robot effortlessly picks up one castor after another from the pile in the box and puts them into the channel. No matter how the wheels are lying, the robot manages to get an exact grip.

Researcher Sigurd Albrektsen is sitting at a PC that calibrates the settings of two robotic arms and a box of castors.
Credit: SINTEF/Thor Nielsen

The robot effortlessly picks up one castor after another from the pile in the box and puts them into the channel. No matter how the wheels are lying, the robot manages to get an exact grip.

Operations run smoothly and automatically when assembling the various parts of an office chair at the SB Seating production unit at Rψros. But when it's time to fit the wheels, humans must intervene. The five wheels lying jumbled in a box have to be picked up and then aligned in a row before robots can take over again and attach them to the feet of the chair. Researchers from SINTEF now believe they have found a solution that could make production more effective and reduce costs.

Robots that can see and grasp

We are in a light and spacious laboratory in Trondheim. This is where the work to optimise the industrial production line has been taking place. Researcher Sigurd Albrektsen is sitting at a PC that calibrates the settings of two robotic arms and a box of castors. He tells us that one of the robots is fitted with a gripper tool, while the other has 3D vision (laser and advanced camera) that recognises the various parts and identifies their position. "The robotic gripper can pick up castors in four different ways," he explains while pressing the start button. "That's important, because the castors are all in different positions." Since SB Seating produces one chair every 20 seconds, the researchers have to enable the robot to pick out a wheel every 4 seconds. During the next few seconds, the wheels are quickly picked up out of the box by the robotic gripper.

Development at an advanced stage

Svein Peder Berge at SINTEF ICT tells us that 'bin-picking' has been a problem with which all researchers have been grappling for many years. "The current pick-and-place robots are very good at picking up parts arranged in specific positions, but not if they are unsorted in a box. Now we can use a drawing (CAD model) to tell the robot which castor they must pick up. We teach the robot to recognise the wheel and its position in the box, so that it can grip it accurately and pick it up, regardless of its position in the box.

Solution with a wider perspective

Stein Are Kvikne at SB Seating says that picking up castors was chosen as the most relevant task because the company currently uses a robotic assembly cell to mount castors into the foot socket. "At the moment, the wheels have to be picked up manually and arranged by an operator. This job is very challenging for a human being, and not exactly optimal from an HSE perspective. This consideration will be uppermost if we decide to automate this particular operation," says Kvikne. "We will also get further productivity benefits in the form of a better working environment, enabling us to make better use of the operator's core skills."

However, Kvikne emphasises that SINTEF's robot reveals applications that are of interest far beyond picking out castors: "They demonstrate a generic technology in which many different components can be handled by the same system. The combination of 3D vision, a flexible robot/gripper and a 3D CAD model of the component means that we can pick the component directly out of the transport packaging without any extra handling. We are now very close to having a system in which we would want to invest, both from a technological and a financial perspective," relates Kvikne.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by SINTEF. The original article was written by Εse Dragland. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

SINTEF. "Robotic grasp: Robot picks up castors as fast as blueberries." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 December 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219093424.htm>.
SINTEF. (2013, December 19). Robotic grasp: Robot picks up castors as fast as blueberries. ScienceDaily. Retrieved April 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219093424.htm
SINTEF. "Robotic grasp: Robot picks up castors as fast as blueberries." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/12/131219093424.htm (accessed April 17, 2014).

Share This



More Computers & Math News

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Heartbleed Hack Leads To Arrest

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — A 19-year-old computer science student has been arrested in relation to a data breach of 900 social insurance numbers from Canada's revenue agency. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Yahoo's Ousted COO Gets $58M Severance Package

Yahoo's Ousted COO Gets $58M Severance Package

Newsy (Apr. 17, 2014) — According to SEC filings, Yahoo gave ousted COO Henrique de Castro a $58 million severance package. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

German Researchers Crack Samsung's Fingerprint Scanner

Newsy (Apr. 16, 2014) — German researchers have used a fake fingerprint made from glue to bypass the fingerprint security system on Samsung's new Galaxy S5 smartphone. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Twitter, Apple Social Data Purchases Likely to Spur More Mergers and Acquisitions

Twitter, Apple Social Data Purchases Likely to Spur More Mergers and Acquisitions

TheStreet (Apr. 16, 2014) — The social media data space is likely to see more mergers and acquisitions following Twitter Inc.'s acquisition of tweet analyzer Gnip Inc. on Tuesday and Apples Inc.'s purchase of Topsy Labs Inc. back in December. One firm in particular, the U.K.'s DataSift Inc., could be on the list of potential buyers. Among other social media startups that could be ripe for picking is Banjo, whose mobile app provides aggregated content by topic and location. Banjo could also be a good fit for Twitter. Video provided by TheStreet
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins