Force and Geometry Constraints in Robot Excavation

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by Darcy M. Bullock, Carnegie-Mellon Univ,
Sudheer M. Apte, Carnegie-Mellon Univ,
Irving J. Oppenheim, Carnegie-Mellon Univ,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Engineering, Construction, and Operations in Space II:

Abstract: One interest in this research effort was to develop and test an automatic control approach to adjust machine motions to the force conditions encountered during excavation - essentially constructing a robot which digs by feel. The problem is approached by supervisory control, consisting of discrete adjustments to the digging trajectory. A laboratory manipulator approximating a backhoe was configured with four actuated degrees of freedom, and an object-oriented programming environment was built to permit rapid prototyping of the supervisory control level. The object-oriented programming environment was also used to model spatial planning associated with excavation. The first approach applies to a Cartesian system and models the excavation volume as a rectangular prism, for decomposition into layers and further decomposition into unit cuboids forming an intended excavation plan. The work next addressed the mapping of an excavator in polar coordinates, typifying a backhoe at one fixed base position, to a prismatic excavation target.

Subject Headings: Excavation | Robotics | Equipment and machinery | Decomposition | Geometrics | Computer languages | Automation |

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