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Title: Development of a low-cost industrial robot for the food industry
Author: Moreno Masey, Rene Javier
ISNI:       0000 0004 2740 0194
Awarding Body: University of Sheffield
Current Institution: University of Sheffield
Date of Award: 2011
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At present, the majority of industrial robots are not well suited to the specific needs of the food industry. Additionally the high cost of robotic systems means that it is cur- rently difficult for food manufacturers to financially justify the use of this technology. The availability of low-cost industrial robots specifically designed for food production might encourage a wider adoption of robotics and automation in the food industry and would benefit food manufacturers by reducing production cost.s and increasing compet- itiveness in what is becoming an increasingly difficult market. This thesis examines the unique requirements of the food industry relevant to robot. manipulator design and describes the design, manufacture and evaluation of a low-cost, high-speed robotic arm developed specifically for use in food production. Industrial requirements for hygienic design, low cost, high pick and place speed, safety for operation alongside human work- ers and ease of reprogramming are discussed in detail. A successful manipulator design must consider these functional requirements from the very outset of the design process. The low-cost robot prototype presented is an articulated arm. high-speed pick and place robot, hygienically designed in food grade stainless steel. Suitable for primary and sec- ondary packaging of foods, the arm has 4 degrees of freedom, a reach of 720 mm and weighs 20 kg. It is capable of pick and place speeds in excess of 100 picks/minute, has a payload capacity of 1 kg and repeatability of ± 0.2 mm. The robot is also fully back- driveable with a low average power consumption at full speed of around 110 W, which is comparable to levels which might. be considered safe for robot-human interaction. Op- tirnised performance was achieved by means of a novel trajectory planning algorithm, using an elliptical pick and place path coupled with a Modified Sine cam motion pro- file. This is compared to traditional methods of trajectory planning used in industry. The elliptical trajectory exhibits very smooth, continuous motion curves. Asymmetric acceleration is additionally used t.o reduce peak joint torques and increase maximum pick and place speed further. An asymmetry factor look-up table, calculated through dynamic modelling of the robot arm, specifies the optimum degree of asymmetry to use for any given trajectory. This enables the generation of high-speed, asymmetric pick and place trajectories over the entire work envelope. The performance of the food robot prototype is comparable to that of commercial high-speed industrial robots in terms of pick and place speed, payload capacity and repeatability.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available