Parts Orienting with Partial Sensor Information

Proceedings of the 1998 IEEE International Conference on Robotics and Automation, Leuven, Belgium, May 1998.

Srinivas Akella and Matthew T. Mason


Parts orienting, the process of bringing parts in initially unknown orientations to a goal orientation, is an important aspect of automated assembly. Bowl feeders used in industry rely on a sequence of mechanical operations, without using sensors, to orient parts. In our work, we use partial information sensors along with mechanical operations to eliminate uncertainty in part orientation. We show that sensor-based orienting plans need $O(m)$ operations, where $m$ is the maximum number of states with the same sensor value. We characterize the relation between part shape, orientability, and recognizability to identify conditions under which a single plan can orient and recognize multiple part shapes. We describe implemented planners and experiments to demonstrate generated plans.}