Efficient Insertion of Partially Flexible Objects in Precision Assembly

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

9 Scopus Citations
View graph of relations


Related Research Unit(s)


Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)706-715
Journal / PublicationIEEE Transactions on Automation Science and Engineering
Issue number2
Online published24 Jul 2018
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2019


This paper proposes an efficient strategy for the insertion of the partially flexible object in precision assembly. The partially flexible object refers to the component with unevenly distributed flexibilities: coupling rigidity and flexibility. This paper focuses on the insertion of one class of partially flexible objects: rigid shapes connected by a compliant mechanism. We first analyze the horizontal compliance of the compliant mechanism and build a model to relate its state and force. The insertion is separated into two stages according to the insertion type. The first stage is a compliant insertion and we estimate the insertion direction based on the built model, horizontally compensate resorting to the horizontal compliance and the updated direction, and efficiently plan the vertical insertion in an aggressive strategy regarding the uncertainties caused by the compliant mechanism and predicting the future insertion. The second stage is a hybrid insertion with both rigid and compliant gripping and its features include that the object states are not precisely measurable and the motion of a part of the object is not directly controllable. To solve it, we qualitatively and quantitatively analyze all possible configurations and, taking advantage of the insertion property, conclude one insertion posture based on which a control strategy is proposed. Additionally, a conservative insertion strategy is planned resorting to the past execution performance and the current state evaluation. Experiments are carried out to demonstrate the validation of the proposed method.

Research Area(s)

  • Clamps, Efficient insertion, Force, Grippers, Interference, Manufacturing processes, partially flexible object, precision assembly., Springs, Uncertainty