Robotics Testbed for Manufacturing - NIST
Posted on Sep 19, 2014 2:40 AM. 2 min read time
What is flexible grasping and manipuation? Can you benchmark flexibility to compare different approaches? These are fundamental questions being studied at NIST, the National Institute of Standards and Technology. The NIST robotics' testbed for manufacturing consists of several labs located in three buildings on the main NIST campus. Combined, these serve as a resource for research in robotics for advanced manufacturing and material handling.
The testbed contains representative state-of-the-art manufacturing robots, including ones that have been designed specifically for safe interactions with human workers in shared environments. The testbed also includes advanced multi-fingered grippers, sensors, conveyors, and an industrial robot arm that can be mounted on a linear rail or on a pedestal. A custom-configured automatic guided vehicle (AGV) is used for research in industrial vehicular safety and performance standards, including mobile manipulation. The robot systems also include vision and force-torque sensing capability. Highly accurate simulation systems model the real components and allow different combinations of real and virtual components to be used in experiments.
The test laboratories are instrumented with a number of reconfigurable measurement devices, such as high resolution laser trackers that can accurately measure the dynamic locations and orientation of parts, and motion capture systems that are used to track people, robots, and objects moving in and around the test bed. Research in the test labs focuses on human-robot collaboration, rapid retasking of robot systems, improvements to robot safety standards, and performance evaluations of robots, industrial vehicular systems, sensor systems, and dexterous manipulation for industrial applications.
Since the research focuses, among other aspects, on dexterous manipulation for industrial applications, they needed a range of flexible multi-fingered robot grippers to handle complex parts, such as our 3-Finger Adaptive Robot Gripper.
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