Invited Research Lecture on A Novel Parallel Kinematic Manipulator for Robotic Machining

Date: 04 Nov 2010 - 04 Nov 2010

Venue: SIMTech Auditorium, Level 3, Tower Block

The industrial trend to adopt robot force control for various light machining applications is emerging. In this lecture, Professor Rolf Johansson will introduce a novel parallel kinematic mechanism robotic system designed to perform large workspace dexterous machining.

Flexible manufacturing puts high demands on industrial automation in terms of affordable and competitive solutions and is of key importance for short-lot production typically found in small and medium-sized (SME) enterprises, situations where today manual labor is extensively used despite environmental issues and harsh working conditions. Key factors in the successful introduction of new robot automation concepts are that they provide both the desired performance and quality (technical capability), but also that they enable fast deployment and extend available task repertoire. The Gantry-Tau manipulator is a new robot concept which in contrast to other high-performance parallel kinematic manipulators (PKM), has a large, open working range. Its high stiffness makes it ideal for a wide range of tasks such as grinding, deburring, and cutting. An additional aspect of such a PKM is the modularity, which in this work has been studied in terms of possibilities for assembly and mechanical reconfiguration at the end-user site, integration of such a kinematically different robot with a standard industrial controller, and new needs for methods/tools to support simple (re)configuration. A range of software tools and methods were found to be useful and necessary for efficient engineering and integration of the concept in typical SME manufacturing scenarios. For experimental evaluation, two full-scale prototype robots were designed and built, the kinematic software was developed and integrated into a couple of different robot control systems, robot CAD software was adapted to the configuration needs, and both simulations and physical experiments were carried out in the framework of the EUFP6 project SMErobot. Our findings make us believe that enhanced software tools should be integrated on a higher symbolic (or meta-) level to better support transformation of data and code generation, but also that the Gantry-Tau type of robot (with adequate software support) will bring a new dimension of flexibility into SME manufacturing. Experimental evaluation for a grinding application will be presented.  

About the Speaker
Prof Rolf Johansson, Robotics Laboratory & Dept. Automatic Control, Lund University, Sweden. Rolf Johansson received the Master of Science degree in Technical Physics in 1977, the Bachelor of Medicine degree in 1980, the Doctorate in Control Theory in 1983, was appointed Docent in 1985, and received the Doctor of Medicine degree (M.D.) in 1986, all from Lund University, Lund, Scandinavia. He is a member of the IEEE, fellow of the Swedish Society of Medicine and fellow of the Royal Physiographic Society, Section of Medicine. Since 1986 he has been with  the Dept. Automatic Control, Lund University, where he is currently Professor of control science. In his scientific work, he has been involved in research in adaptive system theory, mathematical modeling, system identification, robotics and signal processing. Since 1987, he has also participated in research and as a graduate advisor at the Faculty of Medicine, Lund University Hospital. Rolf Johansson was awarded the 1995 biomedical engineering prize (the Ebeling Prize) of the Swedish Society of Medicine for distinguished contribution to the study of human balance through application and development of system analysis and robotics. In 1993-2002, he was coordinating director in  robotics research  with participants from several departments of Lund University. He is Assoc. Editor of Int. J. Adaptive Control & Signal Processing since 1999. In 1993 he published the book System Modeling and Identification, Prentice Hall, Englewood Cliffs, NJ(Information and System Sciences Series Ed. T. Kailath).

2.00pm    Registration
2.15pm    Prof Rolf Johansson's Lecture
3.15pm    Refreshments & Networking
3.30pm    End

Who Should Attend
Industrial robot end users and manufacturers, R&D managers, scientists, engineers, robotics researchers, academic staff and students. 

Registration for this lecture is free of charge. Seats are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

Contact Us
For technical enquiries: Dr Lim Chee Wang, Tel: 6793 2193; Email:
For general enquiries: Melissa Loh, Tel: 6793 8276; Email: