Robotic Workcell for Waste Handling

by Gregory P. Starr, Univ of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA,
Gregory W. Donohoe, Univ of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA,
David Wilson, Univ of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA,
Raghu Kopalle, Univ of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM, USA,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Robotics for Challenging Environments


During the sorting and repackaging of recovered waste, robotic systems for grasping and manipulating odd-shaped objects of varying sizes will be needed. Also, during the removal of buried waste, there will be items which need `surgical' removal, e.g. grasping by a multifingered dexterous gripper attached to a robot arm. It may not be possible to employ simple parallel-jaw grippers commonly used in current robot systems to grasp such ill-defined objects. Instead, dexterous end-effectors with grasping capabilities similar to human hands may need to be developed. The system described herein consists of a robot arm employing a three-fingered dexterous hand, plus a vision system, all controlled by the same computer. The system is capable of locating and identifying planar polygonal objects, synthesizing fingertip grasp locations on the objects, grasping and manipulating them. Grasps on two example objects are shown.

Subject Headings: Robotics | Waste management | Traffic engineering | Remote control | Automatic identification systems | Waste sites | Human factors | Professional societies

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