Mobile manipulator for logistics and smart factories

The rise of e-commerce has made logistics and material handling the fastest-growing industry sector today with the annual growth rate of 10-15% worldwide. The digitalization of consumer markets is also calling for new paradigm of manufacturing to cope with increasing demands for short-life cycle products and burst manufacturing. The immediate consequence of this trend is an urgent need for faster and more efficient operation of large scale material handling plants such as sorting facilities for parcels, distribution centers for digital retail and machine tool factories for discrete-part manufacture. These indoor areas are "semi-structured" in the sense that fixed installations (shelves, workstations) are blended with dynamic unpredictable entities (human workers, indoor vehicles) to transfer numerous objects in different sizes, shapes and properties. This research brings together experts in control, sensing, HRI (Human-Robot Interaction) and machine intelligence from Canada and Taiwan to develop intelligent mobile manipulators that can operate side-by-side with humans in semi-structured environments.

NMPC (Nonlinear Model-Predictive Control) for pick and placing

The operation of a mobile manipulator to adjust the width of a conveyer rail.

Related publications