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Kinematically optimal robot placement for minimum time coordinated motion

Description: This paper describes an algorithm for determining the optimal placement of a robotic manipulator within a workcell for minimum time coordinated motion. The algorithm uses a simple principle of coordinated motion to estimate the time of a joint interpolated motion. Specifically, the coordinated motion profile is limited by the slowest axis. Two and six degree of freedom (DOF) examples are presented. In experimental tests on a FANUC S-800 arm, the optimal placement of the robot can improve cycle time of a robotic operation by as much as 25%. In high volume processes where the robot motion is currently the limiting factor, this increased throughput can result in substantial cost savings.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Feddema, J.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Visual Servoing: A technology in search of an application

Description: Considerable research has been performed on Robotic Visual Servoing (RVS) over the past decade. Using real-time visual feedback, researchers have demonstrated that robotic systems can pick up moving parts, insert bolts, apply sealant, and guide vehicles. With the rapid improvements being made in computing and image processing hardware, one would expect that every robot manufacturer would have a RVS option by the end of the 1990s. So why aren`t the Fanucs, ABBs, Adepts, and Motomans of the world investing heavily in RVS? I would suggest four seasons: cost, complexity, reliability, and lack of demand. Solutions to the first three are approaching the point where RVS could be commercially available; however, the lack of demand is keeping RVS from becoming a reality in the near future. A new set of applications is needed to focus near term RVS development. These must be applications which currently do not have solutions. Once developed and working in one application area, the technology is more likely to quickly spread to other areas. DOE has several applications that are looking for technological solutions, such as agile weapons production, weapons disassembly, decontamination and dismantlement of nuclear facilities, and hazardous waste remediation. This paper will examine a few of these areas and suggest directions for application-driven visual servoing research.
Date: May 1, 1994
Creator: Feddema, J. T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Rapid world modeling: Fitting range data to geometric primitives

Description: For the past seven years, Sandia National Laboratories has been active in the development of robotic systems to help remediate DOE`s waste sites and decommissioned facilities. Some of these facilities have high levels of radioactivity which prevent manual clean-up. Tele-operated and autonomous robotic systems have been envisioned as the only suitable means of removing the radioactive elements. World modeling is defined as the process of creating a numerical geometric model of a real world environment or workspace. This model is often used in robotics to plan robot motions which perform a task while avoiding obstacles. In many applications where the world model does not exist ahead of time, structured lighting, laser range finders, and even acoustical sensors have been used to create three dimensional maps of the environment. These maps consist of thousands of range points which are difficult to handle and interpret. This paper presents a least squares technique for fitting range data to planar and quadric surfaces, including cylinders and ellipsoids. Once fit to these primitive surfaces, the amount of data associated with a surface is greatly reduced up to three orders of magnitude, thus allowing for more rapid handling and analysis of world data.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Feddema, J. & Little, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Parallel Assembly of LIGA Components

Description: In this paper, a prototype robotic workcell for the parallel assembly of LIGA components is described. A Cartesian robot is used to press 386 and 485 micron diameter pins into a LIGA substrate and then place a 3-inch diameter wafer with LIGA gears onto the pins. Upward and downward looking microscopes are used to locate holes in the LIGA substrate, pins to be pressed in the holes, and gears to be placed on the pins. This vision system can locate parts within 3 microns, while the Cartesian manipulator can place the parts within 0.4 microns.
Date: March 4, 1999
Creator: Christenson, T.R. & Feddema, J.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Control of Multiple Robotic Sentry Vehicles

Description: As part of a project for the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, Sandia National Laboratories is developing and testing the feasibility of using of a cooperative team of robotic sentry vehicles to guard a perimeter and to perform surround and diversion tasks. This paper describes on-going activities in the development of these robotic sentry vehicles. To date, we have developed a robotic perimeter detection system which consists of eight ''Roving All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rover'' (RATLER{trademark}) vehicles, a laptop-based base-station, and several Miniature Intrusion Detection Sensors (MIDS). A radio frequency receiver on each of the RATLER vehicles alerts the sentry vehicles of alarms from the hidden MIDS. When an alarm is received, each vehicle decides whether it should investigate the alarm based on the proximity of itself and the other vehicles to the alarm. As one vehicle attends an alarm, the other vehicles adjust their position around the perimeter to better prepare for another alarm. We have also demonstrated the ability to drive multiple vehicles in formation via tele-operation or by waypoint GPS navigation. This is currently being extended to include mission planning capabilities. At the base-station, the operator can draw on an aerial map the goal regions to be surrounded and the repulsive regions to be avoided. A potential field path planner automatically generates a path from the vehicles' current position to the goal regions while avoiding the repulsive regions and the other vehicles. This path is previewed to the operator before the regions are downloaded to the vehicles. The same potential field path planner resides on the vehicle, except additional repulsive forces from on-board proximity sensors guide the vehicle away from unplanned obstacles.
Date: April 1, 1999
Creator: Feddema, J.; Klarer, P. & Lewis, C.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Probability of Detection for Cooperative Sensor Systems

Description: In this paper, the authors quantify how communication increases the effective range of detection of unattended ground sensors. Statistical analysis used to evaluate the probability of detection for multiple sensors using one, two, and infinite levels of cooperation. levels of cooperation are defined as the levels of communication between sensors. One level of cooperation means that one sensor passes its state information to several other sensors within a limited communication range, but this information is not passed beyond this range. Two levels of cooperation means that the state information received by this first set of sensors is relayed to another set of sensors within their communication range. Infinite levels of cooperation means that the state information is further percolated out to all sensors within a communicating group. With large numbers of sensors, every sensor will have state information about every other sensor regardless of communication range. With smaller numbers of sensors, isolated groups may form, thus lowering the probability of information transfer.
Date: March 26, 1999
Creator: Feddema, J.T. & Spletzer, B.L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Analysis of Decentralized Variable Structure Control for Collective Search by Mobile Robots

Description: This paper presents an analysis of a decentralized coordination strategy for organizing and controlling a team of mobile robots performing collective search. The alpha-beta coordination strategy is a family of collective search algorithms that allow teams of communicating robots to implicitly coordinate their search activities through a division of labor based on self-selected roIes. In an alpha-beta team. alpha agents are motivated to improve their status by exploring new regions of the search space. Beta a~ents are conservative, and reiy on the alpha agents to provide advanced information on favorable regions of the search space. An agent selects its current role dynamically based on its current status value relative to the current status values of the other team members. Status is determined by some function of the agent's sensor readings, and is generally a measurement of source intensity at the agent's current location. Variations on the decision rules determining alpha and beta behavior produce different versions of the algorithm that lead to different global properties. The alpha-beta strategy is based on a simple finite-state machine that implements a form of Variable Structure Control (VSC). The VSC system changes the dynamics of the collective system by abruptly switching at defined states to alternative control laws . In VSC, Lyapunov's direct method is often used to design control surfaces which guide the system to a given goal. We introduce the alpha-beta aIgorithm and present an analysis of the equilibrium point and the global stability of the alpha-beta algorithm based on Lyapunov's method.
Date: November 4, 1998
Creator: Feddema, J.; Goldsmith, S. & Robinett, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

A capacitance-based proximity sensor for whole arm obstacle avoidance

Description: This paper addresses the issue of collision avoidance in unknown or partially modeled environments using a capacitive sensor. An eight channel capacitance-based sensor system which can detect obstacles up to 400 mm (16 inches) away has been developed. This sensor can detect both conductive and non-conductive obstacles of arbitrary color and shape. The sensor hardware is reliable and inexpensive, and it may be fabricated using flexible printed circuit boards to provide whole-arm and joint protection for any robot or manipulator. Simple collision avoidance control algorithms have been implemented on a two-link robot arm. The sensor and control system enable the robot arm to avoid a conductive post and a concrete block. 13 refs., 9 figs.
Date: January 1, 1991
Creator: Novak, J.L. & Feddema, J.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Whole arm obstacle avoidance for teleoperated robots

Description: This paper describes a collision avoidance system using Whole Arm Proximity (WHAP) sensors on a PUMA 560 robot arm. The capacitance-based sensors generate electric fields which can completely encompass the robot arm and detect obstacles as they approach from any direction. The directional obstacle information gathered by the WHAP sensors together with the sensor geometry and robot configuration is used to scale the commanded joint velocities of the robot. A linearized relationship between the WHAP sensor reading and the distance from the obstacle allows direct transformation of perturbations in VHAP readings to perturbations in joint velocities. The VHAP reading is used to directly reduce the component of the command input velocity along the normal axis of the sensor, allowing graceful reductions in speed as the arm approaches the obstacle. By scaling only the component of the velocity vector in the,direction of the nearest obstacles, the control system restricts motion in the direction of obstacles while permitting unconstrained motion in other directions.
Date: October 1, 1993
Creator: Feddema, J. T. & Novak, J. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Generic data acquisition system for robotic waste characterization

Description: This paper describes a generic data acquisition system for robotic characterization of DOE production facilities and waste sites. While the specific suite of characterization sensors on the end of a robotic arm or vehicle will depend on site needs, many of the data acquisition, display, archival and interpretation requirements of the sites are common. Therefore, the objective is to create a generic, reusable computing and data acquisition system which can accept a multitude of sensors. This paper discusses the progress to date and future plans for the system.
Date: July 1, 1993
Creator: Feddema, J. T. & Spletzer, B. L.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Knowledge assistant: A sensor fusion framework for robotic environmental characterization

Description: A prototype sensor fusion framework called the {open_quotes}Knowledge Assistant{close_quotes} has been developed and tested on a gantry robot at Sandia National Laboratories. This Knowledge Assistant guides the robot operator during the planning, execution, and post analysis stages of the characterization process. During the planning stage, the Knowledge Assistant suggests robot paths and speeds based on knowledge of sensors available and their physical characteristics. During execution, the Knowledge Assistant coordinates the collection of data through a data acquisition {open_quotes}specialist.{close_quotes} During execution and post analysis, the Knowledge Assistant sends raw data to other {open_quotes}specialists,{close_quotes} which include statistical pattern recognition software, a neural network, and model-based search software. After the specialists return their results, the Knowledge Assistant consolidates the information and returns a report to the robot control system where the sensed objects and their attributes (e.g. estimated dimensions, weight, material composition, etc.) are displayed in the world model. This paper highlights the major components of this system.
Date: December 1, 1996
Creator: Feddema, J.T.; Rivera, J.J. & Tucker, S.D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Ultra-Precise Assembly of Micro-Electromechanical Systems (MEMS) Components

Description: This report summarizes a three year effort to develop an automated microassembly workcell for the assembly of LIGA (Lithography Galvonoforming Abforming) parts. Over the last several years, Sandia has developed processes for producing surface machined silicon and LIGA parts for use in weapons surety devices. Some of these parts have outside dimensions as small as 100 micron, and most all have submicron tolerances. Parts this small and precise are extremely difficult to assembly by hand. Therefore, in this project, we investigated the technologies required to develop a robotic workcell to assembly these parts. In particular, we concentrated on micro-grippers, visual servoing, micro-assembly planning, and parallel assembly. Three different micro-grippers were tested: a pneumatic probe, a thermally actuated polysilicon tweezer, and a LIGA fabricated tweezer. Visual servoing was used to accuracy position two parts relative to one another. Fourier optics methods were used to generate synthetic microscope images from CAD drawings. These synthetic images are used off-line to test image processing routines under varying magnifications and depths of field. They also provide reference image features which are used to visually servo the part to the desired position. We also investigated a new aspect of fine motion planning for the micro-domain. As parts approach 1-10 {micro}m or less in outside dimensions, interactive forces such as van der Waals and electrostatic forces become major factors which greatly change the assembly sequence and path plans. We developed the mathematics required to determine the goal regions for pick up, holding, and release of a micro-sphere being handled by a rectangular tool. Finally, we implemented and tested the ability to assemble an array of LIGA parts attached to two 3 inch diameter wafers. In this way, hundreds of parts can be assembled in parallel rather than assembling each part individually.
Date: April 1, 1999
Creator: Feddema, J.T.; Simon, R.; Polosky, M. & Christenson, T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

CAD-driven microassembly and visual servoing

Description: This paper describes current research and development on a robotic visual servoing system for assembly of LIGA (Lithography Galvonoforming Abforming) parts. The workcell consists of an AMTI robot, precision stage, long working distance microscope, and LIGA fabricated tweezers for picking up the parts. Fourier optics methods are used to generate synthetic microscope images from CAD drawings. These synthetic images are used off-line to test image processing routines under varying magnifications and depths of field, They also provide reference image features which are used to visually servo the part to the desired position.
Date: March 10, 1998
Creator: Feddema, J.T. & Simon, R.W.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Efficient Control Law Simulation for Multiple Mobile Robots

Description: In this paper we consider the problem of simulating simple control laws involving large numbers of mobile robots. Such simulation can be computationally prohibitive if the number of robots is large enough, say 1 million, due to the 0(N2 ) cost of each time step. This work therefore uses hierarchical tree-based methods for calculating the control law. These tree-based approaches have O(NlogN) cost per time step, thus allowing for efficient simulation involving a large number of robots. For concreteness, a decentralized control law which involves only the distance and bearing to the closest neighbor robot will be considered. The time to calculate the control law for each robot at each time step is demonstrated to be O(logN).
Date: October 6, 1998
Creator: Driessen, B. J.; Feddema, J. T.; Kotulski, J. D. & Kwok, K. S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Assembly planning at the micro scale

Description: This paper investigates a new aspect of fine motion planning for the micro domain. As parts approach 1--10 {micro}m or less in outside dimensions, interactive forces such as van der Waals and electrostatic forces become major factors which greatly change the assembly sequence and path plans. It has been experimentally shown that assembly plans in the micro domain are not reversible, motions required to pick up a part are not the reverse of motions required to release a part. This paper develops the mathematics required to determine the goal regions for pick up, holding, and release of a micro-sphere being handled by a rectangular tool.
Date: May 14, 1998
Creator: Feddema, J.T.; Xavier, P. & Brown, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Experiments in micromanipulation and CAD-driven microassembly

Description: This paper discusses recent experiments in the manipulation and assembly of parts with 100 micron outside dimensions and submicron tolerances. The objective of this work is to develop a micromanipulation workcell which can automatically assemble LIGA (Lithography Galvonoforming Abforming) parts using an assembly plan and a CAD drawing of each of the components. The workcell consists of an AdeptOne robot, precision stages, long distance microscope, and a high aspect ratio modeled polysilicon tweezers for picking up the parts. Fourier optics methods are used to generate synthetic microscope images from CAD drawings. These synthetic images are used off-line to test image processing routines under varying magnifications an depths of field. They also provide reference image features which are used to visually servo the true part to the desired position.
Date: October 1, 1997
Creator: Feddema, J.T.; Keller, C.G. & Howe, R.T.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Cooperative control of a squad of mobile vehicles

Description: Tasks such as the localization of chemical sources, demining, perimeter control, surveillance and search and rescue missions are usually performed by teams of people. At least conceptually, large groups of relatively cheap mobile vehicles outfitted with sensors should be able to automatically accomplish some of these tasks. Sandia National Labs is currently developing a swarm of semi-autonomous all terrain vehicles for remote cooperative sensing applications. This paper will describe the capabilities of this system and outline some of its possible applications. Cooperative control and sensing strategies will also be described. Eight Roving All Terrain Lunar Explorer Rovers (RATLERs) have been built at Sandia as a test platform for cooperative control and sensing applications. This paper will first describe the hardware capabilities of the RATLER system. Then it will describe the basic control algorithm for GPS based navigation and obstacle avoidance. A higher level cooperative control task will then be described.
Date: September 1, 1998
Creator: Lewis, C.; Feddema, J. & Klarer, P.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Knowledge assistant for robotic environmental characterization

Description: A prototype sensor fusion framework called the {open_quotes}Knowledge Assistant{close_quotes} has been developed and tested on a gantry robot at Sandia National Laboratories. This Knowledge Assistant guides the robot operator during the planning, execution, and post analysis stages of the characterization process. During the planning stage, the Knowledge Assistant suggests robot paths and speeds based on knowledge of sensors available and their physical characteristics. During execution, the Knowledge Assistant coordinates the collection of data through a data acquisition {open_quotes}specialist.{close_quotes} During execution and postanalysis, the Knowledge Assistant sends raw data to other {open_quotes}specialists,{close_quotes} which include statistical pattern recognition software, a neural network, and model-based search software. After the specialists return their results, the Knowledge Assistant consolidates the information and returns a report to the robot control system where the sensed objects and their attributes (e.g., estimated dimensions, weight, material composition, etc.) are displayed in the world model. This report highlights the major components of this system.
Date: August 1, 1996
Creator: Feddema, J.; Rivera, J.; Tucker, S. & Matek, J.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Robotically controlled slosh-free motion of an open container of liquid

Description: This paper describes two methods for controlling the surface of a liquid in an open container as it is being carried by a robot arm. Both methods make use of the fundamental mode of oscillation and damping of the liquid in the container as predicted from a boundary element model of the fluid. The first method uses an infinite impulse response filter to alter an acceleration profile so that the liquid remains level except for a single wave at the beginning and end of the motion. The motion of the liquid is similar to that of a simple pendulum. The second method removes the remaining two surface oscillations by tilting the container parallel to the beginning and ending wave. A double pendulum model is used to determine the trajectory for this motion. Experimental results of a FANUC S-800 robot moving a 230 mm diameter hemispherical container of water are presented.
Date: October 1, 1995
Creator: Feddema, J.; Dohrmann, C.; Parker, G.; Robinett, R.; Romero, V. & Schmitt, D.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Micro-grippers for assembly of LIGA parts

Description: This paper describes ongoing testing of two microgrippers for assembly of LIGA (Lithographie Galvanoformung Abformung) parts. The goal is to place 100 micron outside diameter (OD) LIGA gears with a 50 micron inner diameter hole onto pins ranging from 35 to 49 microns. The first micro gripper is a vacuum gripper made of a 100 micron OD stainless steel tube. The second micro gripper is a set of tweezers fabricated using the LIGA process. Nickel, Permalloy, and copper materials are tested. The tweezers are actuated by a collet mechanism which is closed by a DC linear motor.
Date: December 31, 1997
Creator: Feddema, J.; Polosky, M.; Christenson, T.; Spletzer, B. & Simon, R.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Miniature Autonomous Robotic Vehicle (MARV)

Description: Sandia National Laboratories (SNL) has recently developed a 16 cm{sup 3} (1 in{sup 3}) autonomous robotic vehicle which is capable of tracking a single conducting wire carrying a 96 kHz signal. This vehicle was developed to assess the limiting factors in using commercial technology to build miniature autonomous vehicles. Particular attention was paid to the design of the control system to search out the wire, track it, and recover if the wire was lost. This paper describes the test vehicle and the control analysis. Presented in the paper are the vehicle model, control laws, a stability analysis, simulation studies and experimental results.
Date: December 31, 1996
Creator: Feddema, J.T.; Kwok, K.S.; Driessen, B.J.; Spletzer, B.L. & Weber, T.M.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Decentralized fuzzy control of multiple nonholonomic vehicles

Description: This work considers the problem of controlling multiple nonholonomic vehicles so that they converge to a scent source without colliding with each other. Since the control is to be implemented on simple 8-bit microcontrollers, fuzzy control rules are used to simplify a linear quadratic regulator control design. The inputs to the fuzzy controllers for each vehicle are the (noisy) direction to the source, the distance to the closest neighbor vehicle, and the direction to the closest vehicle. These directions are discretized into four values: Forward, Behind, Left, and Right, and the distance into three values: Near, Far, Gone. The values of the control at these discrete values are obtained based on the collision-avoidance repulsive forces and the change of variables that reduces the motion control problem of each nonholonomic vehicle to a nonsingular one with two degrees of freedom, instead of three. A fuzzy inference system is used to obtain control values for inputs between the small number of discrete input values. Simulation results are provided which demonstrate that the fuzzy control law performs well compared to the exact controller. In fact, the fuzzy controller demonstrates improved robustness to noise.
Date: September 1, 1997
Creator: Driessen, B.J.; Feddema, J.T. & Kwok, K.S.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department

Modeling, system identification, and control for slosh-free motion of an open container of liquid

Description: This report discusses work performed under a Cooperative Research And Development Agreement (CRADA) with Corning, Inc., to analyze and test various techniques for controlling the motion of a high speed robotic arm carrying an open container of viscous liquid, in this case, molten glass. A computer model was generated to estimate the modes of oscillation of the liquid based on the shape of the container and the viscosity of the liquid. This fluid model was experimentally verified and tuned based on experimental data from a capacitive sensor on the side of the container. A model of the robot dynamics was also developed and verified through experimental tests on a Fanuc S-800 robot arm. These two models were used to estimate the overall modes of oscillation of an open container of liquid being carried by a robot arm. Using the estimated modes, inverse dynamic control techniques were used to determine a motion profile which would eliminate waves on the liquid`s surface. Experimental tests showed that residual surface waves in an open container of water at the end of motion were reduced by over 95% and that in-motion surface waves were reduced by over 75%.
Date: April 1, 1996
Creator: Feddema, J.; Baty, R.; Dykhuizen, R.; Dohrmann, C.; Parker, G.; Robinett, R. et al.
Partner: UNT Libraries Government Documents Department