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Sharan R.V.,University of The South Pacific | Onwubolu G.C.,Knowledge Management and Mining
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture | Year: 2012

This article presents the software development for a vision-based pick-and-place robot to provide the computational intelligence required for its operation. It follows a client-server control architecture and aims to expand the applications of simply PC-based mechatronics systems to achieve distributed and flexible control through the introduction of a multi-featured and application-suited control unit in the form of a microcontroller as a client to the PC-based server. The system includes a five degree-of-freedom pick-and-place robot whereby a vision system is incorporated in its workspace to identify workpieces with respect to their shape and color. On user specification of the class of workpiece to be manipulated through a graphical user interface, the robot performs the manipulation. A personal computer, operating under the Windows platform, carries out all vision related processing and motion planning for the robot. On request, relevant motion information is communicated through the parallel port of the computer to peripheral interface controller (PIC) microcontroller, which interfaces with the sensing and actuation devices for robot control. The development of the system sees the integration of a number of technologies to achieve a customized control unit including: a vision system, actuation and sensing devices for precise motions, personal computer, microcontroller, and enhanced parallel port. In addition, a layered approach towards software development enables reusability, maintainability, and testability of the system through data abstraction. © IMechE 2012.


Sharan R.V.,University of The South Pacific | Onwubolu G.C.,Knowledge Management and Mining
Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering | Year: 2015

This paper compares the results for manual method of burr height measurement with the image-processing technique for end-milled work-pieces under various conditions. The manual method refers to the traditional way where a few readings are taken at random locations using a microscope and the burr height is approximated with an average value. In contrast, the image processing technique analyzes the whole burr profile as seen through the lens of the microscope and captured using a digital camera. With the results obtained using the image processing method as reference, the results show a significant difference between the two average readings in most cases and generally the percentage error is greater for work-pieces with irregular burrs. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


Sharan R.V.,University of The South Pacific | Onwubolu G.C.,Knowledge Management and Mining
Lecture Notes in Electrical Engineering | Year: 2015

Industrial robots find profound usage in today’s industries and an important characteristic required of such robots in pick-and-place operations is determining the gripping force when picking objects. This paper presents the use of a FlexiForce force sensor for measuring the gripping force when picking work-pieces using the two-finger gripper of a pick-and-place robot. This thin and flexible analogue force sensor is capable of measuring both static and dynamic forces. It has an output resistance that is inversely proportional to the applied force and easily calibrated and interfaced to a microcontroller with an in-built analogue-to-digital convertor. Through experimentation, a relationship between the weight of work-piece to be gripped and the force to be applied for gripping was determined. This was used to successfully manipulate work-pieces of various shapes and sizes up to the robot payload of 0.5 kg. Analysis of various forces acting on the work-piece was also carried out. © Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015.


VSharan R.,University of The South Pacific | Onwubolu G.C.,Knowledge Management and Mining
Proceedings of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, Part B: Journal of Engineering Manufacture | Year: 2011

This paper presents a method that has been developed to measure the height of end-milling burr on the edges of a work-piece using techniques of image processing. This simple and economical system consists of a microscope with a digital camera mounted on the viewing lens and a personal computer for image processing. An image is captured and then processed whereby the whole burr profile is analysed and compared to traditional methods, where normally a few readings are taken at random locations. An added feature of this system is that disorientation of the reference horizontal axis, along which burr height measurements are taken, on the work-piece during image capture is catered for with relevant image processing functions. In addition, the system determines and plots the height of the burr against its location, together with the average burr height, which can be used later for deburring or further analysis.

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