Trajectory Planning: Pick-and-Place Operations

  • Jorge Angeles
Part of the Mechanical Engineering Series book series (MES, volume 124)


The motions undergone by robotic mechanical systems should be, as a rule, as smooth as possible; i.e., abrupt changes in position, velocity, and acceleration should be avoided. Indeed, abrupt motions require unlimited amounts of power to be implemented, which the motors cannot supply because of their physical limitations. On the other hand, abrupt motion changes arise when the robot collides with an object, a situation that should also be avoided. While smooth motions can be planned with simple techniques, as described below, these are no guarantees that no abrupt motion changes will occur. In fact, if the work environment is cluttered with objects, whether stationary or mobile, collisions may occur. Under ideal conditions, a flexible manufacturing cell is a work environment in which all objects, machines and workpieces alike, move with preprogrammed motions that by their nature, can be predicted at any instant. Actual situations, however, are far from being ideal, and system failures are unavoidable. Unpredictable situations should thus be accounted for when designing a robotic system, which can be done by supplying the system with sensors for the automatic detection of unexpected events or by providing for human monitoring. Nevertheless, robotic systems find applications not only in the well-structured environments of flexible manufacturing cells, but also in unstructured environments such as exploration of unknown terrains and systems in which humans are present. The planning of robot motions in the latter case is obviously much more challenging than in the former. Robot motion planning in unstructured environments calls for techniques beyond the scope of those studied in this book, involving such areas as pattern recognition and artificial intelligence. For this reason, we have devoted this book to the planning of robot motions in structured environments only.


Spline Function Belt Conveyor Supporting Point Robot Motion Trajectory Planning 
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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jorge Angeles
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Mechanical Engineering Centre for Intelligent Machines (CIM)McGill UniversityMontrealCanada

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