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Automation Science and Engineering, IEEE Transactions on

Issue 3 • Date July 2013

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Displaying Results 1 - 25 of 38
  • Table of contents

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C1 - B482
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • IEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering publication information

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): C2
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Guest Editorial Microassembly for Manufacturing at Small Scales

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 483 - 484
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    Freely Available from IEEE
  • Research in Automated Planning and Control for Micromanipulation

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 485 - 495
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (666 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Manipulation of microscopic objects, especially biological objects and microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) components, has become an important area of robotics research over the past several years. Automation is necessary as it is challenging to manually control the microobjects due to the scaling effect of the surface forces, stochastic motion of objects in fluid media, and uncertainty associated with object state estimation. Automation requires real-time control of the position, orientation, and force applied by each of the operational manipulators, as governed by the system-level objectives of optimizing resource, time, and effort, by planning suitable actions for the manipulated objects. In this paper, we provide a survey of the research in planning and control of such automated micromanipulation operations. We present a broad taxonomy based on the underlying approach, and discuss the salient features and experimental success of each research effort. We also identify the major limitations and common trends across all the approaches, discuss the effectiveness of an approach depending on the operation characteristics, and outline promising future research directions. View full abstract»

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  • A Review of Haptic Feedback Teleoperation Systems for Micromanipulation and Microassembly

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 496 - 502
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1354 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a review of the major haptic feedback teleoperation systems for micromanipulation. During the last decade, the handling of micrometer-sized objects has become a critical issue. Fields of application from material science to electronics demonstrate an urgent need for intuitive and flexible manipulation systems able to deal with small-scale industrial projects and assembly tasks. Two main approaches have been considered: fully automated tasks and manual operation. The first one require fully pre determined tasks, while the later necessitates highly trained operators. To overcome these issues the use of haptic feedback teleoperation where the user manipulates the tool through a joystick whilst feeling a force feedback, appears to be a promising solution as it allows high intuitiveness and flexibility. Major advances have been achieved during this last decade, starting with systems that enable the operator to feel the substrate topology, to the current state-of-the-art where 3D haptic feedback is provided to aid manipulation tasks. This paper details the major achievements and the solutions that have been developed to propose 3D haptic feedback for tools that often lack 3D force measurements. The use of virtual reality to enhance the immersion is also addressed. The strategies developed provide haptic feedback teleoperation systems with a high degree of assistance and for a wide range of micromanipulation tools. Based on this expertise on haptic for micromanipulation and virtual reality assistance it is now possible to propose microassembly systems for objects as small as 1 to 10 micrometers. This is a mature field and will benefit small-scale industrial projects where precision and flexibility in microassembly are required. View full abstract»

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  • Precision Position/Force Interaction Control of a Piezoelectric Multimorph Microgripper for Microassembly

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 503 - 514
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2575 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Precision position and force control is a critical issue for automated microassembly systems to handle micro-objects delicately. This paper presents two new approaches to regulating both position and contact force of a piezoelectric multimorph microgripper dedicated to microassembly tasks. One of the advantages of the proposed approaches lies in that they are capable of controlling the position and contact force of a gripper arm simultaneously. The methodology is easy to implement since neither a state observer nor a hysteresis model of the system is required. The first approach is a position-based sliding mode impedance control which converts the target impedance into a desired position trajectory to be tracked, and the second one is established on the basis of a proportional-integral type of sliding function of the impedance measure error. Their tracking performances are guaranteed by two devised discrete-time sliding mode control algorithms, whose stabilities in the presence of model uncertainties and disturbances are proved in theory. The effectiveness of both schemes are validated by experimental investigations on a glass microbead gripping task. Results show that both approaches are capable of accomplishing promising interaction control accuracy. View full abstract»

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  • Automated Guiding Task of a Flexible Micropart Using a Two-Sensing-Finger Microgripper

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 515 - 524
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1971 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper studies automated tasks based on hybrid force/position control of a flexible object at the microscale. A guiding task of a flexible micropart is the case of the study and is achieved by a two-sensing-finger microgripper. An experimental model of the behavior of the microgripper is given and the interaction forces are studied. Based on grasp stability, a guiding strategy taking into account the pull off forces is proposed. A specific control strategy using an external hybrid force/position control and taking into account microscale specificities is proposed. The experimental results of automated guiding task are presented. View full abstract»

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  • Interval Analysis of Kinematic Errors in Serial Manipulators Using Product of Exponentials Formula

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 525 - 535
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2283 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper proposes a methodology for analysis of kinematic errors in robotic manipulators. The approach is based on interval analysis and predicts end-effector pose deviation from its ideal model using the interval bounds on the errors of the individual axes. In contrast to sampling-based Monte Carlo methods, the proposed methodology offers guaranteed bounds for the error that accumulates at the end-effector. The forward kinematics map is extended to intervals using the product of exponentials formulation with interval joint parameters. This is a convenient method that incorporates both analytical and computational techniques and can be used for error analysis, or inversely, for manipulator design. Simulation and experimental results confirm that the calculated interval bounds fully enclose the end-effector error distribution and provide a measure of its volumetric size. An important application of this method is in the design of modular precision manipulators that can be assembled using individual linear and rotary stages. View full abstract»

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  • Magnetic Self-Assembly of Ultra-Thin Chips to Polymer Foils

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 536 - 544
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1482 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A self-assembly process is developed for the placement and alignment of Ultra-Thin Chips (UTCs) to polymer foils. The chips are presented within the working range of a magnetic force field, and subsequently driven to and aligned at a target location. A low-viscosity die attach adhesive layer supports chip mobility during alignment, and is UV-cured after assembly to generate a mechanical bond. An adaptive electrical interconnection scheme compensates the position errors present after assembly. Standard Ni + Au bumps provide sufficient magnetization to generate the required alignment force. Numerical modeling confirms that over a long range magnetic forces operate on a chip and drive it to a target location. Also, an asymmetric bump arrangement supports achieving a unique in-plane orientation. Experimentally, chips with a thickness of 20 μm were successfully trapped and aligned with a repeatability of ±100 μm in x and y-direction, and the best achieved cycle time is below 1.0 s. The cycle time depends considerably on the viscosity of the die attach adhesive. The presence of unique in-plane orientations, depending on the bump arrangement, is demonstrated. View full abstract»

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  • Analysis and Motion Control of a Centrifugal-Force Microrobotic Platform

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 545 - 553
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2202 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents the analysis, design, and closed-loop motion control of a mobile microrobotic platform capable of micrometer positioning on a plane. The mobile microrobot, including chassis, actuators, drives, microprocessor, and electronics, is of low cost (less than $20), can be fabricated rapidly and is made of commercially available components. Its motion is induced by centrifugal forces generated by two vibration motors installed inside the platform body. The asynchronous operation of the vibration motors is shown by simulation to result in planar motions of two degrees-of-freedom locally, with micrometer resolution. A motion controller has been designed to generate controlled motions using sets of motor angular velocities. A prototype has been developed and used to validate the motion principle and the controller efficacy. Open loop experiments show that the platform motion resolution is approximately 20 μm, while its speed is greater than 2 mm/s. Closed-loop experiments demonstrate a 5 μm resolution, i.e., a fourfold improvement compared to the open loop experiments. The low cost, the rapid fabrication, and the micrometer motion resolution suggest that this microrobotic platform is a promising solution for low-cost microfactories, where a group of such robots performs high throughput, advanced microassembly of microsystems. View full abstract»

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  • Automated Pick-Place of Silicon Nanowires

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 554 - 561
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1489 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Pick-place of single nanowires inside scanning electron microscopes (SEM) is useful for prototyping functional devices and characterizing nanowires's properties. Nanowire pick-place has been typically performed via teleoperation, which is time-consuming and highly skill-dependent. This paper presents an automated approach to the pick-place of single nanowires. Through SEM visual detection and vision-based motion control, the system automatically transferred individual silicon nanowires from their growth substrate to a microelectromechanical systems (MEMS) device that characterized the nanowires's electromechanical properties. The performance of the nanorobotic pick-up and placement procedures was experimentally quantified. View full abstract»

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  • Analysis and Specificities of Adhesive Forces Between Microscale and Nanoscale

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 562 - 570
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1472 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Despite a large number of proofs of concept in nanotechnologies (e.g., nanosensors), nanoelectromechanical systems (NEMS) hardly come to the market. One of the bottlenecks is the packaging of NEMS which require handling, positioning, assembling and joining strategies in the mesoscale (from 100 nm to 10 μm, between nanoscale and microscale). It requires models of the interaction forces and adhesion forces dedicated to this particular scale. This paper presents several characteristics of the mesoscale in comparison with nanoscale and microscale. First, it is shown that the distributions of charges observed on the micro-objects and meso-objects would have negligible effects on the nano-objects. Second, the impact of both chemical functionalization and physical nanostructuration on adhesion are presented. Third, the van der Waals forces are increased by local deformations on the mesoscale contrary to the nanoscale where the deformation is negligible. This paper shows some typical characteristics of the mesoscale. View full abstract»

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  • Cross-Domain Model Building and Validation (CDMV): A New Modeling Strategy to Reinforce Understanding of Nanomanufacturing Processes

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 571 - 578
    Cited by:  Papers (3)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (951 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Understanding nanostructure growth faces issues of limited data, lack of physical knowledge, and large process uncertainties. These issues result in modeling difficulty because a large pool of candidate models almost fit the data equally well. Through the Integrated Nanomanufacturing and Nanoinformatics (INN) strategy, we derive the process models from physical and statistical domains, respectively, and reinforce the understanding of growth processes by identifying the common model structure across two domains. This cross-domain model building strategy essentially validates models by domain knowledge rather than by (unavailable) data. It not only increases modeling confidence under large uncertainties, but also enables insightful physical understanding of the growth kinetics. We present this method by studying the weight growth kinetics of silica nanowire under two temperature conditions. The derived nanowire growth model is able to provide physical insights for prediction and control under uncertainties. View full abstract»

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  • EM Estimation of Nanostructure Interactions With Incomplete Feature Measurement and Its Tailored Space Filling Designs

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 579 - 587
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1837 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Automatic assessment of nanostructure quality is essential for scale-up nanomanufacturing. In our previous work, we have developed a method to quantify nanostructure growth quality and detect structural defects through interaction analysis. However, because the method builds on complete feature measurement, its direct application to nanomanufacturing systems is severely constrained by nanostructure metrology. For current inspection techniques such as scanning electron microscope (SEM), the major difficulties of measuring nanostructures lie in two aspects: (i) taking and calibrating images for seamless coverage and (ii) extracting and matching feature information from the images. In this paper, we develop a tailored sampling strategy to relax the metrology constraint. It not only explores the growth region with greatly reduced metrology efforts but maintains desired sampling resolution. In addition, we customize Expectation-Maximization algorithm to optimize interaction estimation with corresponding “incomplete” measurement. Our developed approach enables nanostructure characterization within manufacturing relevant time spans and thus provides a supporting tool for nanomanufacturing. Note to Practitioners-Automatic assessment of nanostructure quality is essential for scale-up nanomanufacturing, but current characterization of nanostructures based on SEM or transmission electron microscopy (TEM) is labor and computation intensive. This paper develops methods to quantify nanostructure local variability and detect defects with minimum metrology efforts. View full abstract»

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  • Building Energy Management: Integrated Control of Active and Passive Heating, Cooling, Lighting, Shading, and Ventilation Systems

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 588 - 602
    Cited by:  Papers (12)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1985 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Buildings account for nearly 40% of global energy consumption. About 40% and 15% of that are consumed, respectively, by HVAC and lighting. These energy uses can be reduced by integrated control of active and passive sources of heating, cooling, lighting, shading and ventilation. However, rigorous studies of such control strategies are lacking since computationally tractable models are not available. In this paper, a novel formulation capturing key interactions of the above building functions is established to minimize the total daily energy cost. To obtain effective integrated strategies in a timely manner, a methodology that combines stochastic dynamic programming (DP) and the rollout technique is developed within the price-based coordination framework. For easy implementation, DP-derived heuristic rules are developed to coordinate shading blinds and natural ventilation, with simplified optimization strategies for HVAC and lighting systems. Numerical simulation results show that these strategies are scalable, and can effectively reduce energy costs and improve human comfort. View full abstract»

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  • Smart Management of Multiple Energy Systems in Automotive Painting Shop

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 603 - 614
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3289 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Automotive painting shops consume electricity and natural gas to provide the required temperature and humidity for painting processes. The painting shop is not only responsible for a significant portion of energy consumption with automobile manufacturers, but also affects the quality of the product. Various storage devices play a crucial role in the management of multiple energy systems. It is thus of great practical interest to manage the storage devices together with other energy systems to provide the required environment with minimal cost. In this paper, we formulate the scheduling problem of these multiple energy systems as a Markov decision process (MDP) and then provide two approximate solution methods. Method 1 is dynamic programming with value function approximation. Method 2 is mixed integer programming with mean value approximation. The performance of the two methods is demonstrated on numerical examples. The results show that method 2 provides good solutions fast and with little performance degradation comparing with method 1. Then, we apply method 2 to optimize the capacity and to select the combination of the storage devices, and demonstrate the performance by numerical examples. View full abstract»

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  • Instrumented Knee Prosthesis for Force and Kinematics Measurements

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 615 - 624
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1336 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this work, we present the general concept of an instrumented smart knee prosthesis for in-vivo measurement of forces and kinematics. This system can be used for early monitoring of the patient after implantation and prevent possible damage to the prosthesis. The diagnosis of defects can be done by detecting the load imbalance or abnormal forces and kinematics of the prosthetic knee in function. This work is a step towards the fabrication of an instrumented system for monitoring the function of the knee in daily conditions. Studying the constraints of commercially available prostheses, we designed a minimal sensory system and required electronics to be placed in the polyethylene part of prostheses. Three magnetic sensors and a permanent magnet were chosen and configured to measure the prosthetic knee kinematics. Strain gauges were designed to measure the forces applied to the polyethylene insert. Kinematic and force measurements were validated on a mechanical knee simulator by comparing them to different reference systems. Embedded electronics, including the A/D converters and amplifier were designed to acquire and condition the measurements to wirelessly transmit them to an external unit. By considering the necessary power budget for all components, the optimum coil for remote powering was investigated. The necessary rectifier and voltage doubler for remote powering were also designed. This is the first system capable of internally measuring force and kinematics simultaneously. We propose to package the system in the polyethylene part, bringing versatility to the instrumented system developed, as the polyethylene part can be easily modified for different types of prostheses based on the same principle, without changing the prosthesis design. View full abstract»

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  • Open-Loop Precision Grasping With Underactuated Hands Inspired by a Human Manipulation Strategy

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 625 - 633
    Cited by:  Papers (2)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2342 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    In this paper, we demonstrate an underactuated finger design and grasping method for precision grasping and manipulation of small objects. Taking inspiration from the human grasping strategy for picking up objects from a flat surface, we introduce the flip-and-pinch task, in which the hand picks up a thin object by flipping it into a stable configuration between two fingers. Despite the fact that finger motions are not fully constrained by the hand actuators, we demonstrate that the hand and fingers can interact with the table surface to produce a set of constraints that result in a repeatable quasi-static motion trajectory. Even when utilizing only open-loop kinematic playback, this approach is shown to be robust to variation in object size and hand position. Variation of up to 20° in orientation and 10 mm in hand height still result in experimental success rates of 80% or higher. These results suggest that the advantages of underactuated, adaptive robot hands can be carried over from basic grasping tasks to more dexterous tasks. View full abstract»

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  • A Novel Method for Calculating Service Reputation

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 634 - 642
    Cited by:  Papers (5)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1741 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Owing to their rapid development, services are increasing rapidly in quantity. The consequence is that there are so many services that share the same or similar functions. Therefore, it is important to select a credible and optimal service. Reputation as one of the important parameters of services plays a significant role in the decision support for service selection. This paper proposes a novel two-phase method to calculate service reputation. The first phase uses a dynamic weight formula to calculate reputation such that it can reflect the latest tendency of a service. The second one uses an olfactory response formula to mitigate the negative effect of unfair ratings. Some experiments are conducted and the results validate the effectiveness of the proposed method. View full abstract»

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  • Representation and Exchange of Knowledge About Actions, Objects, and Environments in the RoboEarth Framework

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 643 - 651
    Cited by:  Papers (4)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1351 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    The community-based generation of content has been tremendously successful in the World-Wide Web - people help each other by providing information that could be useful to others. We are trying to transfer this approach to robotics in order to help robots acquire the vast amounts of knowledge needed to competently perform everyday tasks. RoboEarth is intended to be a web community by robots for robots to autonomously share descriptions of tasks they have learned, object models they have created, and environments they have explored. In this paper, we report on the formal language we developed for encoding this information and present our approaches to solve the inference problems related to finding information, to determining if information is usable by a robot, and to grounding it on the robot platform. View full abstract»

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  • A Data-Level Fusion Model for Developing Composite Health Indices for Degradation Modeling and Prognostic Analysis

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 652 - 664
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3024 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Prognostics involves the effective utilization of condition or performance-based sensor signals to accurately estimate the remaining lifetime of partially degraded systems and components. The rapid development of sensor technology, has led to the use of multiple sensors to monitor the condition of an engineering system. It is therefore important to develop methodologies capable of integrating data from multiple sensors with the goal of improving the accuracy of predicting remaining lifetime. Although numerous efforts have focused on developing feature-level and decision-level fusion methodologies for prognostics, little research has targeted the development of “data-level” fusion models. In this paper, we present a methodology for constructing a composite health index for characterizing the performance of a system through the fusion of multiple degradation-based sensor data. This methodology includes data selection, data processing, and data fusion steps that lead to an improved degradation-based prognostic model. Our goal is that the composite health index provides a much better characterization of the condition of a system compared to relying solely on data from an individual sensor. Our methodology was evaluated through a case study involving a degradation dataset of an aircraft gas turbine engine that was generated by the Commercial Modular Aero-Propulsion System Simulation (C-MAPSS). View full abstract»

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  • Coordination Motion Control in the Task Space for Parallel Manipulators With Actuation Redundancy

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 665 - 673
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1681 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    This paper presents a task space coordination controller for the parallel manipulators with actuation redundancy to improve the motion relation between multiple kinematic chains. According to the mechanism characteristic of multiple kinematic chains, two different types of synchronization error are developed in the joint space of active joints and in the task space of end-effector, respectively. The coordination controller is designed by using the synchronization error, and it is proved to guarantee asymptotic convergence to zero of both tracking error and synchronization error with the Barbalat's Lemma. The trajectory tracking experiments are carried out on an actual parallel manipulator with actuation redundancy, and the superiority of the coordination controller over the traditional augmented PD (APD) controller is studied. View full abstract»

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  • Type Synthesis, Kinematic Analysis, and Optimal Design of a Novel Class of Schönflies-Motion Parallel Manipulators

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 674 - 686
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (3106 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    A novel class of spatial four degree-of-freedom Schönflies-motion parallel manipulators with four identical subchains is presented. Their features are that each serial subchain undergoes the pure Schönflies motion without redundant joints. The parallel mechanisms possess the simplest topology and are suitable for pick-and-place operations. Kinematic analysis of the 4-PRPaR parallel manipulator, including its inverse and forward kinematics, singularity, and workspace, is discussed in detail. The analysis shows that the moving platform and the base must be in dissimilar dimension for good manipulability performance. The optimal design of the parallel manipulator is formulated as a multiobjective optimization problem. A novel performance index characterizing the approximation of the generated workspace to the prescribed regular workspace, the regular workspace share, is proposed to serve as one of the design objectives. The other objective is the global condition index, which measures the manipulability. The multiobjective optimization problem provides multiple optimal solutions for choice. Simulation verifies that the designed parallel manipulator can approximate the prescribed regular workspace with good condition index. View full abstract»

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  • Decentralized Fault Diagnosis of Continuous Annealing Processes Based on Multilevel PCA

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 687 - 698
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (2563 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Process monitoring and fault diagnosis of the continuous annealing process lines (CAPLs) have been a primary concern in industry. Stable operation of the line is essential to final product quality and continuous processing of the upstream and downstream materials. In this paper, a multilevel principal component analysis (MLPCA)-based fault diagnosis method is proposed to provide meaningful monitoring of the underlying process and help diagnose faults. First, multiblock consensus principal component analysis (CPCA) is extended to MLPCA to model the large scale continuous annealing process. Secondly, a decentralized fault diagnosis approach is designed based on the proposed MLPCA algorithm. Finally, experiment results on an industrial CAPL are obtained to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed method. View full abstract»

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  • Noncyclic Scheduling for Timed Discrete-Event Systems With Application to Single-Armed Cluster Tools Using Pareto-Optimal Optimization

    Publication Year: 2013 , Page(s): 699 - 710
    Cited by:  Papers (6)
    Save to Project icon | Request Permissions | Click to expandQuick Abstract | PDF file iconPDF (1223 KB) |  | HTML iconHTML  

    Recently, semiconductor manufacturing fabs tend to reduce the wafer lot size, down to just a few. Consequently, the wafer recipe or wafer flow pattern changes frequently. For such problems, it is impossible to apply conventional prevalent cyclic scheduling methods that repeat processing of wafers in an identical cyclic tool operation sequence. We therefore consider the noncyclic scheduling problem of single-armed cluster tools that process wafers with different recipes. Our proposed method is to transforms the problem into a multiobjective problem by considering the ready times of the resources as objectives to minimize. Only feasible states are generated based on the initial state of the system. These feasible states form a multiobjective shortest path problem and give us as an upper bound for the number of states, where , and are the number of different wafer recipes, wafers, and processing chambers. We solve this problem with implicit enumeration by making our scheduling decisions based on the Pareto optimal solutions for each state. The experimental results show that the proposed algorithm can quickly solve large sized problems including ones with arbitrary initial tool states, changing recipes, reentrant wafer Ωows, and parallel chambers. Note to Practitioners-The scheduling method developed in this paper is designed for scheduling robots used in semiconductor production. The method is able to efficiently represent the state of the manufacturing system and uses this to find an optimal schedule to maximize productivity. The same approach can be used for other manufacturing systems with discrete events. The main advantage of this method is that it can fast find an optimal schedule based on the current state of the system. A long-time horizon can be used because of the high efficiency of the algorithm with respect to the number of jobs. However, the method is best suited for manufacturing systems with few buffers and limited degrees of freedom, in other w- rds highly interconnected systems. View full abstract»

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Aims & Scope

T-ASE will publish foundational research on Automation: scientific methods and technologies that improve efficiency, productivity, quality, and reliability, specifically for methods, machines, and systems operating in structured environments over long periods, and the explicit structuring of environments.

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Meet Our Editors

Editor-in-Chief
Ken Goldberg
University of California, Berkeley