The skinning and defatting of pig legs is a labor intensive task, which the DeboFlex project focuses
on to automate by replacing human workers by robotic manipulators. In this internship
the necessity and influence of force control is investigated on the contact dynamics between the
skinning tool and pig leg.
An intuitive and simplified 6DOF (Degree of Freedom) model is derived to perform continuoustime
simulations using a PERA (Philips Experimental Robotic Arm). An inner and outer control
loop is used to respectively control the motion of the end-effector using independent joint control
and the interaction force exercised on the pig leg using an impedance controller. Moreover a
discrete-time implementation is realized in Gazebo, a robotic simulator. The developed software
is compatible for real-time implementation.
An impedance controller has been developed to shape the dynamic contact properties between
skinner and pig leg. The controller parameters are dependent on the contact properties of the pig
leg. Stability and robustness of the control structure is investigated. Furthermore, discrete-time
simulations are performed for practical implementation.
This research has shown several scenarios where force control shows huge potential and advantages. But before a fair assessment can be made whether force control is necessary, the contact properties and their variations have to be investigated.