Force and trajectory control of industrial robots in stiff contact
The paper aims to develop an automated wheel loading system in the trim-and-final assembly in automotive manufacturing. Currently most of the trim-and-final assemblies are still done manually since the production lines are typically moving randomly. Industrial robots are hardly used to perform any assembly tasks on the randomly changing environments because it is difficult for conventional industrial robots to adjust to any sort of change. Therefore, more intelligent industrial robotic system has to be developed to adopt the random motion of the moving production line for the wheel loading process. This paper presents an intelligent robotics system that performs the wheel loading process while the car is moving randomly with the production line using a synergic combination of visual servoing and force control technology. The developed intelligent robotic technology has been successfully implemented to assembly the wheel onto the car. This practical solution of performing wheel loading on the moving production line, which is not available on the current industrial robot market, can save a lot of money and increase the assembly quality for automotive manufacturing. Since the developed platform is based on the synergic combination of visual servoing and force control technology, it can be used in other areas, such as seam tracking, battery loading and seat loading etc.