Evaluating End-Effector Modalities for Warehouse Picking: A Vacuum Gripper vs a 3-finger Underactuated Hand

TitleEvaluating End-Effector Modalities for Warehouse Picking: A Vacuum Gripper vs a 3-finger Underactuated Hand
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2016
AuthorsLittlefield, Z, Zhu, S, Kourtev, C, Psarakis, Z, Shome, R, Kimmel, A, Dobson, A, A. De Souza, F, Bekris, KE
Conference Name12th IEEE International Conference on Automation Science and Engineering (IEEE CASE)
Date Published08/2016
Conference LocationFort Worth, TX
Abstract

This paper evaluates two end-effector modalities in the context of warehouse picking tasks, where a robot has to grasp objects inside shelves. The two end-effectors correspond to (i) a recently developed, underactuated three-finger hand and (ii) a custom built, vacuum-based gripper. The two systems significantly differ on how they need to be placed relative to an object so that a successful grasp occurs. The first tool provides increased flexibility, while the vacuum alternative is simpler and has smaller form. The objective is to highlight how the end-effector choice can significantly influence the success rate of robotic picking as well as the speed of the overall solution. For the evaluation, the same grasping planning process is followed with both end-effectors given knowledge of an objects' pose. Multiple objects with different geometries and characteristics are placed in various poses for testing purposes. The resulting trajectories are executed on a real system to evaluate the effectiveness of the corresponding end-effector modalities in practice. The results indicate that, under different conditions, different types of end-effectors can be beneficial, which motivates the development of hybrid solutions.

URLhttps://www.cs.rutgers.edu/~kb572/pubs/apc_grasping_evaluation.pdf