Development and Analysis of a Shape-Conformable Supporting Head for a Self-Reconfigurable Intelligent Swarm Fixture System

Conference: ISR/ROBOTIK 2010 - ISR 2010 (41st International Symposium on Robotics) and ROBOTIK 2010 (6th German Conference on Robotics)
06/07/2010 - 06/09/2010 at Munich, Germany

Proceedings: ISR/ROBOTIK 2010

Pages: 8Language: englishTyp: PDF

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Avvenente, Roberto; Khan, Aamir; Li, Xiong; Zoppi, Matteo; Zlatanov, Dimiter; Molfino, Rezia (PMAR Lab, DIMEC, University of Genoa, Via Opera Pia 15a, Genoa, 16145, Italy)

The development of a self-reconfigurable intelligent fixture system has been the focus of the SwarmItFIX project funded by European Commission. The proposed system consists of several actuated fixtures (agents) collaborating to hold the workpiece in position without human interference. Each fixture is composed of a mobile base, a parallel mechanism and a self-adjustable head. This paper focuses on development and analysis of the agent head. Based on an analysis of the design requirements, various conformable strategies are proposed, evaluated and compared. A head subsystem using granular material with vacuum adhesion, using the concept of pseudo-phase change, is proposed and analyzed. Prototypes have been created and experiments have been carried out to check their general feasibility, and in particular their self-adaptation to surfaces with various geometries.