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Parcel manipulation and dynamics with a distributed actuator array: the virtual vehicle

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3 Author(s)
Luntz, J.E. ; Dept. of Mech. Eng., Carnegie Mellon Univ., Pittsburgh, PA, USA ; Messner, W. ; Choset, H.

We are developing a materials handling system where many small simple actuators cooperate to transport and to manipulate large objects in the plane. A discrete set of cells, each comprising two actuators, are fixed in a planar array. By coordinating the actuators in the cells on which an object rests, an object can be transported and manipulated. In essence, this system is an improvement over traditional conveyor systems in that objects can be re-oriented, as well as conveyed. Such an array provides flexible materials handling in which many objects independently can be manipulated and transported at the same time. The array is coordinated in a distributed manner where each cell has its own controller and each controller communicates with its neighbors. Towards the goal of motion planning, in this paper we consider the dynamics of parcel transport and manipulation. The parcel dynamics are based on an exact discrete representation of the system, unlike other methods where a continuity assumption is made. Two types of contact models are considered

Published in:

Robotics and Automation, 1997. Proceedings., 1997 IEEE International Conference on  (Volume:2 )

Date of Conference:

20-25 Apr 1997