(Dr. Harvey Lipkin, advisor)
"Design of a Compliant End Effector for Grasping Non-Rigid Materials"
Robotic applications in industrial settings have traditionally been limited to structured environments and rigid body manipulation. In these environments the geometry, structure, position and orientation of the object are defined to a high level of accuracy and grasp determination to maintain stability is well developed. However, in poultry processing the environment is unstructured due to the variability of the product. The position, orientation, size, weight and texture of the object are unknown. Image processing algorithms identify the position and orientation of the product, but not to a high level of accuracy. A robotic end effector for acquisition and manipulation of non-rigid materials with product irregularities is required. The goal of this design is to provide a solution to the cone loading operation, and produce a “skilled” robot, which meets the requirements of the Human Level Performance paradigm. The material-handling portion has three major requirements to satisfy: repeatable grasping, transportation, and finally fixturing of the object on a cone line.