The University of Edinburgh -
Division of Informatics
Forrest Hill & 80 South Bridge

PhD Thesis #9623

Title:Basic Set of Behaviours for Programming Asembly Robots
Date: 1996
Abstract:We know from the well established Church-Turing thesis that any computer programming language needs just a limited set of commands in order to perform any computable process. However, programming in these terms is so very inconvencient that a large set of machine codes need to be introduced and on top of these higher programming languages are erected. In assembly Robotics we could theoretically formulate any assembly task, in terms of moves. Nevertheless, it is as tedious and error prone to program assemblies at this low level as it would be to program a computer by using just Turing Machine commands. An interesting survey carried out in the beginning of the nineties showed that the most common assembly operations in manufacturing industry cluster in just seven classes. Since the research conducted in this thesis is developed within the behaviour-based assembly paradigm which views every assembly tsk as the external manifestation of the execution of a behavioural module, we wonder whether there exists a limited and ergonomic set of elementary modules with which to program at lease 80 percent of the most common operations. In order to investigate such a problem, we set a project in which, taking into account the statistics of the aforementioned survey, we analyze the experimental behavioural decomposition of three significant assembly tasks (two similar benchmarks, the STRASS assembly, and a family of torches). From these three we establish a basic set of such modules. The three test assemblies with which we ran the experiments cannot possibly exhaust all the manufacturing assembly tasks occurring in industry, nor can the results gathered or the speculations made represent a theoretical proof of the existence of the basic set. They simply show that it is possible to formulate different assembly tasks in terms of a small set of about 10 modules, which may be regarded as an embryo of a basic set of elementary modules. Compa

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