Optimizing Robot Placement for Visit-Point Tasks

Yong K. Hwang and Peter A. Watterberg

We present a manipulator placement algorithm for minimizing the length of the manipulator motion performing a visit-point task such as spot welding. Given a set of points for the tool of a manipulator to visit, our algorithm finds the shortest robot motion required to visit the points from each possible base configuration. The base configuration resulting in the shortest motion is selected as the optimal robot placement. The shortest robot motion requited for visiting multiple points from a given base configuration is computed using a variant of the traveling salesman algorithm in the robot joint space and a point-to-point path planner that plans collision-free robot paths between two configurations. Our robot placement algorithm is expected to reduce the robot cycle time during vlsit-point tasks, as well as speeding up the robot set-up process when building a manufacturing line.

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