Date: January 1, 1997
Creator: Brown, R.G. & Brost, R.C.
Description: Modular fixturing kits are precisely machined sets of components used for flexible, short-turnaround construction of fixtures for a variety of manufacturing purposes. A modular vise is a parallel-jaw vise, where each jaw is a modular fixture plate with a regular grid of precisely positioned holes. A modular vise can be used to locate and hold parts for machining, assembly, and inspection tasks. To fixture a part, one places pins in some of the holes so that when the vise is closed, the part is reliably located and completely constrained. The modular vise concept can be adapted easily to the design of modular parallel-jaw grippers for robots. By attaching a grid plate to each jaw of a parallel-jaw gripper, the authors gain the ability to easily construct high-quality grasps for a wide variety of parts from a standard set of hardware. Wallack and Canny developed a previous algorithm for planning planar grasp configurations for the modular vise. In this paper, the authors expand this work to produce a 3-d fixture/gripper design tool. They describe several analyses added to the planar algorithm to improve its utility, including a three-dimensional grasp quality metric based on geometric and force information, three-dimensional geometric loading analysis, ...
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