Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems

A special issue of Robotics (ISSN 2218-6581). This special issue belongs to the section "Industrial Robots and Automation".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 May 2022) | Viewed by 40062

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A printed edition of this Special Issue is available here.

Special Issue Editors

FEUP - Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto and INESC TEC - INESC Technology and Science, 4099-002 Porto, Portugal
Interests: control; automation; industrial manipulators; mobile robotics
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Asociación de Investigación Metalúrgica del Noroeste, 36410 Porriño, Spain
Interests: robotics for agile manufacturing; industry 4.0; collaborative robots; digital manufacturing
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Department of Mechanical Engineering, University of Coimbra, POLO II, 3030-788 Coimbra, Portugal
Interests: coatings application technology; manufacturing; industrial robotics; AI; pattern recognition
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Robotics, automation, control and mechatronics technologies have become essential to developing devices, machines, production lines and other activities that are repetitive, dangerous, difficult to perform and, in general, not suitable for human operators. Robotics and other related topics have seen a fast evolution in industry, services and other application areas. These systems are expected to operate in unstructured, unpredicted environments and deal with high-mix low-volume (HMLV) applications.

This Special Issue aims to disseminate the latest research achievements, ideas and applications of robotics, control and automation, including, but not limited to, the following:

  • Fast setup of robotic systems;
  • Programming robots based on CAD;
  • Programming manipulators by demonstration;
  • Autoadaptive and intelligent robotic cells;
  • Transportable manipulators;
  • Autonomous mobile manipulators;
  • Mobile robot fleet management;
  • Advanced sensing and perception;
  • Motion control;
  • Grasp planning;
  • Trajectory planning in challenging environments;
  • Applications of robots and mechatronics systems.

You may choose our Joint Special Issue in Applied Sciences.

Prof. Dr. António Paulo Moreira
Prof. Dr. Pedro Neto
Dr. Félix Vilariño
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Robotics is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1800 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • robotics
  • mechatronics
  • sensors
  • actuators
  • modelling
  • simulation
  • navigation
  • motion planning
  • kinematics
  • dynamics
  • control

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Editorial

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2 pages, 187 KiB  
Editorial
Special Issue on Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems
Robotics 2023, 12(2), 45; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics12020045 - 20 Mar 2023
Viewed by 1053
Abstract
Robotics and intelligent systems are intricately connected, each exploring their respective capabilities and moving towards a common goal [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)

Research

Jump to: Editorial

33 pages, 1413 KiB  
Article
Mutli-Robot Cooperative Object Transportation with Guaranteed Safety and Convergence in Planar Obstacle Cluttered Workspaces via Configuration Space Decomposition
Robotics 2022, 11(6), 148; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11060148 - 09 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1274
Abstract
In this work, we consider the autonomous object transportation problem employing a team of mobile manipulators within a compact planar workspace with obstacles. As the object is allowed to translate and rotate and each robot is equipped with a manipulator consisting of one [...] Read more.
In this work, we consider the autonomous object transportation problem employing a team of mobile manipulators within a compact planar workspace with obstacles. As the object is allowed to translate and rotate and each robot is equipped with a manipulator consisting of one or more moving links, the overall system (object and mobile manipulators) should adapt its shape in a flexible way so that it fulfills the transportation task with safety. To this end, we built a sequence of configuration space cells, each of which defines an allowable set of configurations of the object, as well as explicit intervals for each manipulator’s states. Furthermore, appropriately designed under- and over-approximations of the free configuration space are used in an innovative way to guide the configuration space’s exploration without loss of completeness. In addition, we coupled methodologies based on Reference Governors and Prescribed Performance Control with harmonic maps, in order to design a distributed control law for implementing the transitions specified by the high-level planner, which possesses guaranteed invariance and global convergence properties, thus avoiding the requirement for synchronized motion as inherently dictated by the majority of the related works. Furthermore, the proposed low-level control law does not require continuous information exchange between the robots, which rely only on measurements of the object’s configuration and their own states. Finally, a transportation scenario within a complex warehouse workspace demonstrates the proposed approach and verifies its efficiency. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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16 pages, 7877 KiB  
Article
Infrastructure-Aided Localization and State Estimation for Autonomous Mobile Robots
Robotics 2022, 11(4), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11040082 - 18 Aug 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1805
Abstract
A slip-aware localization framework is proposed for mobile robots experiencing wheel slip in dynamic environments. The framework fuses infrastructure-aided visual tracking data (via fisheye lenses) and proprioceptive sensory data from a skid-steer mobile robot to enhance accuracy and reduce variance of the estimated [...] Read more.
A slip-aware localization framework is proposed for mobile robots experiencing wheel slip in dynamic environments. The framework fuses infrastructure-aided visual tracking data (via fisheye lenses) and proprioceptive sensory data from a skid-steer mobile robot to enhance accuracy and reduce variance of the estimated states. The slip-aware localization framework includes: the visual thread to detect and track the robot in the stereo image through computationally efficient 3D point cloud generation using a region of interest; and the ego motion thread which uses a slip-aware odometry mechanism to estimate the robot pose utilizing a motion model considering wheel slip. Covariance intersection is used to fuse the pose prediction (using proprioceptive data) and the visual thread, such that the updated estimate remains consistent. As confirmed by experiments on a skid-steer mobile robot, the designed localization framework addresses state estimation challenges for indoor/outdoor autonomous mobile robots which experience high-slip, uneven torque distribution at each wheel (by the motion planner), or occlusion when observed by an infrastructure-mounted camera. The proposed system is real-time capable and scalable to multiple robots and multiple environmental cameras. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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14 pages, 2438 KiB  
Article
Human–Robot Interaction in Industrial Settings: Perception of Multiple Participants at a Crossroad Intersection Scenario with Different Courtesy Cues
Robotics 2022, 11(3), 59; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11030059 - 13 May 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 3023
Abstract
In environments shared with humans, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) should be designed with human-aware motion-planning skills. Even when AMRs can effectively avoid humans, only a handful of studies have evaluated the human perception of mobile robots. To establish appropriate non-verbal communication, robot movement [...] Read more.
In environments shared with humans, Autonomous Mobile Robots (AMRs) should be designed with human-aware motion-planning skills. Even when AMRs can effectively avoid humans, only a handful of studies have evaluated the human perception of mobile robots. To establish appropriate non-verbal communication, robot movement should be legible and should consider the human element. In this paper, a study that evaluates humans’ perceptions of different AMR courtesy behaviors at industrial facilities, particularly at crossing areas, is presented. To evaluate the proposed kinesic courtesy cues, we proposed five tests (four proposed cues—stop, deceleration, retreating, and retreating and moving aside—and one control test) with a set of participants taken two by two. We assessed three different metrics, namely, the participants’ self-reported trust in AMR behavior, the legibility of the courtesy cues in the participants’ opinions, and the behavioral analysis of the participants related to each courtesy cue tested. The retreating courtesy cue, regarding the legibility of the AMR behavior, and the decelerate courtesy cue, regarding the behavioral analysis of the participants’ signs of hesitation, are better perceived from the forward view. The results obtained regarding the participants’ self-reported trust showed no significant differences in the two participant perspectives. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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14 pages, 2190 KiB  
Article
Using Simulation to Evaluate a Tube Perception Algorithm for Bin Picking
Robotics 2022, 11(2), 46; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11020046 - 05 Apr 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2165
Abstract
Bin picking is a challenging problem that involves using a robotic manipulator to remove, one-by-one, a set of objects randomly stacked in a container. In order to provide ground truth data for evaluating heuristic or machine learning perception systems, this paper proposes using [...] Read more.
Bin picking is a challenging problem that involves using a robotic manipulator to remove, one-by-one, a set of objects randomly stacked in a container. In order to provide ground truth data for evaluating heuristic or machine learning perception systems, this paper proposes using simulation to create bin picking environments in which a procedural generation method builds entangled tubes that can have curvatures throughout their length. The output of the simulation is an annotated point cloud, generated by a virtual 3D depth camera, in which the tubes are assigned with unique colors. A general metric based on micro-recall is proposed to compare the accuracy of point cloud annotations with the ground truth. The synthetic data is representative of a high quality 3D scanner, given that the performance of a tube modeling system when given 640 simulated point clouds was similar to the results achieved with real sensor data. Therefore, simulation is a promising technique for the automated evaluation of solutions for bin picking tasks. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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24 pages, 10139 KiB  
Article
Evaluation Criteria for Trajectories of Robotic Arms
Robotics 2022, 11(1), 29; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11010029 - 15 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 4350
Abstract
This paper presents a complex trajectory evaluation framework with a high potential for use in many industrial applications. The framework focuses on the evaluation of robotic arm trajectories containing only robot states defined in joint space without any time parametrization (velocities or accelerations). [...] Read more.
This paper presents a complex trajectory evaluation framework with a high potential for use in many industrial applications. The framework focuses on the evaluation of robotic arm trajectories containing only robot states defined in joint space without any time parametrization (velocities or accelerations). The solution presented in this article consists of multiple criteria, mainly based on well-known trajectory metrics. These were slightly modified to allow their application to this type of trajectory. Our framework provides the methodology on how to accurately compare paths generated by randomized-based path planners, with respect to the numerous industrial optimization criteria. Therefore, the selection of the optimal path planner or its configuration for specific applications is much easier. The designed criteria were thoroughly experimentally evaluated using a real industrial robot. The results of these experiments confirmed the correlation between the predicted robot behavior and the behavior of the robot during the trajectory execution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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15 pages, 10334 KiB  
Article
A New Hyperloop Transportation System: Design and Practical Integration
Robotics 2022, 11(1), 23; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11010023 - 08 Feb 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4023
Abstract
This paper introduces a new Hyperloop transportation system’s design and implementation. The main contribution of this paper is the design and integration of propulsion components for a linear motion system, with battery storage. The proposed Hyperloop design provides a high-speed transportation means for [...] Read more.
This paper introduces a new Hyperloop transportation system’s design and implementation. The main contribution of this paper is the design and integration of propulsion components for a linear motion system, with battery storage. The proposed Hyperloop design provides a high-speed transportation means for passengers and freights by utilizing linear synchronous motors. In this study, a three-phase inverter was designed and simulated using PSIM. A prototype of this design was built and integrated with a linear synchronous motor. The operation of full system integration satisfies a proof-of-concept design. A study of the inverter system in conjunction with a linear synchronous motor for a ridged Hyperloop system is made. The prototype of this system achieves propulsion for the bidirectional movements. Battery state of charge simulation results are given in a typical motoring and braking scenario. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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20 pages, 12776 KiB  
Article
A Recursive Algorithm for the Forward Kinematic Analysis of Robotic Systems Using Euler Angles
Robotics 2022, 11(1), 15; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics11010015 - 14 Jan 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 3902
Abstract
Forward kinematics is one of the main research fields in robotics, where the goal is to obtain the position of a robot’s end-effector from its joint parameters. This work presents a method for achieving this using a recursive algorithm that builds a 3D [...] Read more.
Forward kinematics is one of the main research fields in robotics, where the goal is to obtain the position of a robot’s end-effector from its joint parameters. This work presents a method for achieving this using a recursive algorithm that builds a 3D computational model from the configuration of a robotic system. The orientation of the robot’s links is determined from the joint angles using Euler Angles and rotation matrices. Kinematic links are modeled sequentially, the properties of each link are defined by its geometry, the geometry of its predecessor in the kinematic chain, and the configuration of the joint between them. This makes this method ideal for tackling serial kinematic chains. The proposed method is advantageous due to its theoretical increase in computational efficiency, ease of implementation, and simple interpretation of the geometric operations. This method is tested and validated by modeling a human-inspired robotic mobile manipulator (CHARMIE) in Python. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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16 pages, 545 KiB  
Article
A* Based Routing and Scheduling Modules for Multiple AGVs in an Industrial Scenario
Robotics 2021, 10(2), 72; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10020072 - 19 May 2021
Cited by 13 | Viewed by 5379
Abstract
A multi-AGV based logistic system is typically associated with two fundamental problems, critical for its overall performance: the AGV’s route planning for collision and deadlock avoidance; and the task scheduling to determine which vehicle should transport which load. Several heuristic functions can be [...] Read more.
A multi-AGV based logistic system is typically associated with two fundamental problems, critical for its overall performance: the AGV’s route planning for collision and deadlock avoidance; and the task scheduling to determine which vehicle should transport which load. Several heuristic functions can be used according to the application. This paper proposes a time-based algorithm to dynamically control a fleet of Autonomous Guided Vehicles (AGVs) in an automatic warehouse scenario. Our approach includes a routing algorithm based on the A* heuristic search (TEA*—Time Enhanced A*) to generate free-collisions paths and a scheduling module to improve the results of the routing algorithm. These modules work cooperatively to provide an efficient task execution time considering as basis the routing algorithm information. Simulation experiments are presented using a typical industrial layout for 10 and 20 AGVs. Moreover, a comparison with an alternative approach from the state-of-the-art is also presented. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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32 pages, 4511 KiB  
Article
Multi AGV Coordination Tolerant to Communication Failures
Robotics 2021, 10(2), 55; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10020055 - 27 Mar 2021
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 4430
Abstract
Most path planning algorithms used presently in multi-robot systems are based on offline planning. The Timed Enhanced A* (TEA*) algorithm gives the possibility of planning in real time, rather than planning in advance, by using a temporal estimation of the robot’s positions at [...] Read more.
Most path planning algorithms used presently in multi-robot systems are based on offline planning. The Timed Enhanced A* (TEA*) algorithm gives the possibility of planning in real time, rather than planning in advance, by using a temporal estimation of the robot’s positions at any given time. In this article, the implementation of a control system for multi-robot applications that operate in environments where communication faults can occur and where entire sections of the environment may not have any connection to the communication network will be presented. This system uses the TEA* to plan multiple robot paths and a supervision system to control communications. The supervision system supervises the communication with the robots and checks whether the robot’s movements are synchronized. The implemented system allowed the creation and execution of paths for the robots that were both safe and kept the temporal efficiency of the TEA* algorithm. Using the Simtwo2020 simulation software, capable of simulating movement dynamics and the Lazarus development environment, it was possible to simulate the execution of several different missions by the implemented system and analyze their results. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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23 pages, 2058 KiB  
Article
Globally Optimal Redundancy Resolution with Dynamic Programming for Robot Planning: A ROS Implementation
Robotics 2021, 10(1), 42; https://doi.org/10.3390/robotics10010042 - 04 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 5744
Abstract
Dynamic programming techniques have proven much more flexible than calculus of variations and other techniques in performing redundancy resolution through global optimization of performance indices. When the state and input spaces are discrete, and the time horizon is finite, they can easily accommodate [...] Read more.
Dynamic programming techniques have proven much more flexible than calculus of variations and other techniques in performing redundancy resolution through global optimization of performance indices. When the state and input spaces are discrete, and the time horizon is finite, they can easily accommodate generic constraints and objective functions and find Pareto-optimal sets. Several implementations have been proposed in previous works, but either they do not ensure the achievement of the globally optimal solution, or they have not been demonstrated on robots of practical relevance. In this communication, recent advances in dynamic programming redundancy resolution, so far only demonstrated on simple planar robots, are extended to be used with generic kinematic structures. This is done by expanding the Robot Operating System (ROS) and proposing a novel architecture meeting the requirements of maintainability, re-usability, modularity and flexibility that are usually required to robotic software libraries. The proposed ROS extension integrates seamlessly with the other software components of the ROS ecosystem, so as to encourage the reuse of the available visualization and analysis tools. The new architecture is demonstrated on a 7-DOF robot with a six-dimensional task, and topological analyses are carried out on both its state space and resulting joint-space solution. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Industrial Robotics and Intelligent Systems)
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