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In 1999, when robotics wasn’t certainly advanced as today, we built the prototype of a complete Scara 3-axis robot (α-axis, β-axis, z-axis) for the palletisation of packages containing pharmaceutical products.

It was a research application, today inconceivable, on which we applied in total autonomy the complex mathematical calculations required for calculating inverse kinematics.

The application was solved by using an axis card installed on an industrial PC. The PC made it possible to combine in one controller only both the peculiar motion functions and those of the man-machine interface (Windows + Visual Basic), also developed by us according to the Customer’s specifications.

As already mentioned, the main difficulty we encountered was how to solve the problem of inverse kinematics linked with the robot geometry. In fact both target points (pick-up point and drop-off point) and path limitations are expressed in the three-dimensional Cartesian space, while the robot’s movements have to be managed in polar coordinates on two axes out of three. A correct resolving approach implies in this case the use of mathematical matrices.

So all points are re-elaborated at DSP level on the axis card in order to provide the α-axis and the β-axis with the correct position references.

In addition to the linear interpolation on all axes some sinusoidal acceleration ramps were used to minimize the stresses on the pallets in transit (and this requirement is even more crucial when handling fragile pharmaceutical bottles).





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