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Technical Paper

Investigating Collaborative Robot Gripper Configurations for Simple Fabric Pick and Place Tasks

Fiber composite materials are widely used in many industrial applications - specially in automotive, aviation and consumer goods. Introducing light-weighting material solutions to reduce vehicle mass is driving innovative materials research activities as polymer composites offer high specific stiffness and strength compared to contemporary engineering materials. However, there are issues related to high production volume, automation strategies and handling methods. The state of the art for the production of these light-weight flexible textile or composite fiber products is setting up multi-stage manual operations for hand layups. Material handling of flexible textile/fiber components is a process bottleneck. Consequently, the long term research goal is to develop semi-automated pick and place processes for flexible materials utilizing collaborative robots within the process. Collaborative robots allow for interactive human-machine tasks to be conducted.
Technical Paper

Development of Subject-Specific Elderly Female Finite Element Models for Vehicle Safety

Previous study suggested that female, thin, obese, and older occupants had a higher risk of death and serious injury in motor vehicle crashes. Human body finite element models were a valuable tool in the study of injury biomechanics. The mesh deformation method based on radial basis function(RBF) was an attractive alternative for morphing baseline model to target models. Generally, when a complex model contained many elements and nodes, it was impossible to use all surface nodes as landmarks in RBF interpolation process, due to its prohibitive computational cost. To improve the efficiency, the current technique was to averagely select a set of nodes as landmarks from all surface nodes. In fact, the location and the number of selected landmarks had an important effect on the accuracy of mesh deformation. Hence, how to select important nodes as landmarks was a significant issue. In the paper, an efficient peak point-selection RBF mesh deformation method was used to select landmarks.
Technical Paper

Control of Robots Using Discrete Event System Theory

In this paper, we present a project being conducted at Yalong Educational Equipment Company on control of educational robots using discrete event system theory. An educational robot is a programmable robot to be used by students for training and learning. To model a robot, we divide the robot into nine physical modules. Each module is modeled as an automaton. Parallel composition is used to obtain the entire model. The robot can be programmed to perform sequences of basic tasks. We investigate six basic tasks and use supervisors to control and achieve the tasks. Desired languages are obtained for all tasks and supervisory control theory is used to synthesize supervisors. To reduce computational complexity, modular/coordinated supervisors are used
Technical Paper

Baxter Kinematic Modeling, Validation and Reconfigurable Representation

A collaborative robot or cobot is a robot that can safely and effectively interact with human workers while performing industrial tasks. The ability to work alongside humans has increased the importance of collaborative robots in the automation industry, as this unique feature is a much needed property among robots nowadays. Rethink Robotics has pioneered this unique discipline by building many robots including the Baxter Robot which is exclusive not only because it has collaborative properties, but because it has two arms working together, each with 7 Degrees Of Freedom. The main goal of this research is to validate the kinematic equations for the Baxter collaborative robot and develop a unified reconfigurable kinematic model for the Left and Right arms so that the calculations can be simplified.
Technical Paper

Driver Demand: Eye Glance Measures

This study investigated driver glances while engaging in infotainment tasks in a stationary vehicle while surrogate driving: watching a driving video recorded from a driver’s viewpoint and projected on a large screen, performing a lane-tracking task, and performing the Tactile Detection Response Task (TDRT) to measure attentional effects of secondary tasks on event detection and response. Twenty-four participants were seated in a 2014 Toyota Corolla production vehicle with the navigation system option. They performed the lane-tracking task using the vehicle’s steering wheel, fitted with a laser pointer to indicate wheel movement on the driving video. Participants simultaneously performed the TDRT and a variety of infotainment tasks, including Manual and Mixed-Mode versions of Destination Entry and Cancel, Contact Dialing, Radio Tuning, Radio Preset selection, and other Manual tasks. Participants also completed the 0-and 1-Back pure auditory-vocal tasks.
Journal Article

Methods for Evaluating the Functional Work Space for Machine Tools and 6 Axis Serial Robots

The ‘boundary of space’ model representing all possible positions which may be occupied by a mechanism during its normal range of motion (for all positions and orientations) is called the work envelope. In the robotic domain, it is also known as the robot operating envelope or workspace. Several researchers have investigated workspace boundaries for different degrees of freedom (DOF), joint types and kinematic structures utilizing many approaches. The work envelope provides essential boundary information, which is critical for safety and layout concerns, but the work envelope information does not by itself determine the reach feasibility of a desired configuration. The effect of orientation is not captured as well as the coupling related to operational parameters. Included in this are spatial occupancy concerns due to linking multiple kinematic chains, which is an issue with multi-tasking machine tools, and manufacturing cells.
Journal Article

A Linkage Based Solution Approach for Determining 6 Axis Serial Robotic Travel Path Feasibility

When performing trajectory planning for robotic applications, there are many aspects to consider, such as the reach conditions, joint and end-effector velocities, accelerations and jerk conditions, etc. The reach conditions are dependent on the end-effector orientations and the robot kinematic structure. The reach condition feasibility is the first consideration to be addressed prior to optimizing a solution. The ‘functional’ work space or work window represents a region of feasible reach conditions, and is a sub-set of the work envelope. It is not intuitive to define. Consequently, 2D solution approaches are proposed. The 3D travel paths are decomposed to a 2D representation via radial projections. Forward kinematic representations are employed to define a 2D boundary curve for each desired end effector orientation.
Journal Article

Modeling and Validation of Rapid Prototyping Related Available Workspace

Path planning and re-planning for serial 6 degree of freedom (DOF) robotic systems is challenging due to complex kinematic structure and application conditions which affects the robot's tool frame position, orientation and singularity avoidance. These three characteristics represent the key elements for production planning and layout design of the automated manufacturing systems. The robot trajectory represents series of connected points in 3D space. Each point is defined with its position and orientation related to the robot's base frames or predefined user frame. The robot will move from point to point using the desired motion type (linear, arc, or joint). The trajectory planning requires first to check if robot can reach the selected part(s). This can be simply done by placing the part(s) inside the robot's work envelope. The robot's work envelope represents a set of all robots' reachable points without considering their orientation.
Technical Paper

A Practical Approach for Cross-Functional Vehicle Body Weight Optimization

The goal of optimization in vehicle design is often blurred by the myriads of requirements belonging to attributes that may not be quite related. If solutions are sought by optimizing attribute performance-related objectives separately starting with a common baseline design configuration as in a traditional design environment, it becomes an arduous task to integrate the potentially conflicting solutions into one satisfactory design. It may be thus more desirable to carry out a combined multi-disciplinary design optimization (MDO) with vehicle weight as an objective function and cross-functional attribute performance targets as constraints. For the particular case of vehicle body structure design, the initial design is likely to be arrived at taking into account styling, packaging and market-driven requirements.
Journal Article

Shell Elements Based Parametric Modeling Method in Frame Robust Design and Optimization

Shell Elements based Parametric Frame Modeling is a powerful CAE tool, which can generate robust frame design concept optimized for NVH and durability quickly when combined with Taguchi Design of Experiments. The scalability of this modeling method includes cross members length/location/section/shape, frame rail segments length/section and kick in/out/up/down angle, and access hole location & size. In the example of the D. O. E. study, more than fifteen parameters were identified and analyzed for frequency and weight. The upper and lower bounds were set for each design parameter based on package and manufacturing constraints. Sixteen Finite Element frame were generated by parametrically updating the base model, which shows this modeling method is comparatively convenient. Sensitivity of these sixteen parameters to the frequency and weight was summarized through statics, so the favorable design alternative can be achieved with the major parameters' combination.
Journal Article

Jaw Loading Response of Current ATDs

Biomechanical surrogates are used in various forms to study head impact response in automotive applications and for assessing helmet performance. Surrogate headforms include those from the National Operating Committee on Standards for Athletic Equipment (NOCSAE) and the many variants of the Hybrid III. However, the response of these surrogates to loading at the chin and how that response may affect the loads transferred from the jaw to the rest of the head are unknown. To address part of that question, the current study compares the chin impact response performance of select human surrogates to that of the cadaver. A selection of Hybrid III and NOCSAE based surrogates with fixed and articulating jaws were tested under drop mass impact conditions that were used to describe post mortem human subject (PMHS) response to impacts at the chin (Craig et al., 2008). Results were compared to the PMHS response with cumulative variance technique (Rhule et al., 2002).
Technical Paper

Design for Lean Six Sigma (DFLSS): Philosophy, Tools, Potential and Deployment Challenges in Automotive Product Development

Lean Six Sigma is an approach that is gaining momentum both in manufacturing and service industries. Design for Lean Six Sigma (DFLSS) is an outgrowth of the DFSS and Lean Six Sigma approaches. The essence of DFLSS is to ensure design quality and predictability during the early design phases and the approach employs a structured integrated product development methodology and a comprehensive set of robust tools to drive product quality, innovation, faster time to market, and lower product costs. When it comes to automotive Product Development, applying lean principles and DFSS together becomes more of a challenge within the existing PD system. While the benefits of DFLSS present an attractive proposition in a fiercely competitive market it brings its own challenges as to how to deploy it for maximum benefits. This paper examines the challenges, potential and opportunities for DFLSS in the automotive industry and presents a vision for integrating it in to the Product Development System.
Technical Paper

Diagnostics of Engine Noise During Run-up Using HELS Based Nearfield Acoustical Holography

This paper describes the diagnostics of noise sources and characteristics of a full-size gasoline engine during its run-up using Helmholtz Equation Least Squares (HELS) method based nearfield acoustical holography (NAH). The acoustic pressures are measured using an array of 56 microphones conformal to the contours of engine surfaces at very close range. Measurements are collected near the oil pan, front and intake sides. The data thus collected are taken as input to HELS program, and the acoustic pressure mappings on the oil pan, front and intake surfaces are calculated. These reconstructed acoustic quantities clearly demonstrate the “hot spots” of sound pressures generated by this gasoline engine during its run-up and under a constant speed condition. These acoustic pressure mappings together with order-tracking spectrograms allow for identification of the peak amplitudes of acoustic pressures on a targeted surface as a function of the frequency and engine rpm.
Technical Paper

A Warpage Measurement System with Large Dynamic Range for Boards with Components

A new algorithm for carrier removal, a key step in the Fourier transform method of fringe pattern analysis, is presented in this paper. The accuracy of frequency estimations is critical to carrier removal to avoid potential significant errors in the recovered phase. A new algorithm on Fourier transform and curve fitting technique is developed. To avoid an ill-conditioned result in solving the least-square problem, an orthogonal polynomial curve fitting algorithm is developed. A new system that combines projected grating moiré (PM) with shadow moiré (SM), recently designed and built with large dynamic range for both component level and board level warpage measurement for the reliability study of electronic packaging materials and structures, is presented and demonstrated.
Technical Paper

A Hybrid System Solution of the Interrupt Latency Compatibility Problem

Microprocessors and microcontrollers are now widely used in automobiles. Microprocessor systems contain sources of interrupt and interrupt service routines, which are software components executed in response to the assertion of an interrupt in hardware. A major problem in designing the software of microprocessor systems is the analytical treatment of interrupt latency. Because multiple interrupt service routines are executed on the same CPU, they compete for the CPU and interfere with each other's latency requirements. Here, interrupt latency is defined as the delay between the assertion of the interrupt in hardware and the start of execution of the associated interrupt service routine. It is estimated that 80% of intermittent bugs in small microprocessor software loads are due to improper treatment of interrupts. Until this work, there is no analytic method for analyzing a particular system to determine if it may violate interrupt latency requirements.
Technical Paper

Institute for Manufacturing Research, Wayne State University

The purpose of the Institute for Manufacturing Research (IMR) is to enhance Wayne State University's existing technological strength in the areas of manufacturing research which have demonstrated potential benefits for the State's economy. IMR's faculty conduct basic and applied research in selected areas of manufacturing science. The research programs within the Institute are broadly interdisciplinary and industrially interactive, and are organized around the following areas: materials development, modification, and nondestructive evaluation; software technology for manufacturing and engineering; and product reliability and machine tool research. Faculty from eight departments within the Colleges of Science and Engineering participate in IMR.
Technical Paper

Reactor Evaluation of Ceria-Zirconia as an Oxygen Storage Material for Automotive Catalysts

We have prepared and tested laboratory scale monoliths wash-coated with 10, 20 and 30 wt% of either CeO2 or Ce.75Zr.25O2 (remainder is alumina). Wet impregnation was used to load the wash-coated monoliths with 50g/ft Pt:Rh at a 5:1 ratio. The catalyst were aged at temperatures between 825°C and 950°C using a cycled redox aging. The catalysts were then tested in a full-feed simulated exhaust laboratory reactor with air-to-fuel ratio (A/F) perturbations (frequencies at 1 and 3 Hz and amplitudes up to +/- 0.8 A/F). Even the lowest loading of Ce.75Zr.25O2 outperformed all three loadings of CeO2 over a full range of reaction temperatures, A/F perturbations, and catalyst space velocity (SV). Our data indicates that the ceria-zirconia catalysts can tolerate cycled redox aging at sustained bed temperatures at least 25°C higher (∼925°C vs. < 900°C) than can ceria. For the CeO2 catalysts aged at or above 900°C we observed an inverse correlation of catalyst activity to CeO2 loading.