TechTalks from event: Technical session talks from ICRA 2012

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Semiconductor Manufacturing

  • Fabrication of a Microcoil through Parallel Microassembly Authors: Chu, Henry; Mills, James K.; Cleghorn, William L.
    This paper presents the fabrication of a three-dimensional microcoil through the technique of microassembly. The microcoil design is comprised of nine out-of-plane micro-sized windings. Each winding was assembled onto the base substrate orthogonally by a robotic manipulator through microassembly. In contrast to the conventional serial pick-and-place microassembly, this work incorporated the approach of parallel microassembly to grasp and assemble three windings onto the base substrate simultaneously for increased productivity. In addition, a vision-based algorithm was developed to automate the parallel grasping process of three windings. This algorithm utilized well-defined templates to provide high-precision position and orientation evaluations for the micro-sized components. The performance of the microcoil fabrication process was evaluated and discussed. To establish better electrical contact between the windings and the base substrate, conductive adhesive was introduced in the assembly process and the electrical properties of the assembled microcoil structure were examined.
  • Petri Net-Based Real-Time Scheduling of Time-Constrained Single-Arm Cluster Tools with Activity Time Variation Authors: Qiao, Yan; Wu, Naiqi; Zhou, MengChu
    It is very challenging to schedule time-constrained cluster tools subject to activity time variation. This work adopts our previously developed real-time control policy to offset the activity time variation in single-arm cluster tools. Then it derives analytical schedulability conditions and efficient scheduling algorithms for the first time. The resultant schedule executed together with the real-time control policy forms a real-time schedule. It is proven optimal in terms of cycle time. A semiconductor wafer production example is used to illustrate the research results.
  • Scheduling Transient Periods of Single-Armed Cluster Tools Authors: Lee, Jun-Ho; Lee, Tae-Eog
    Semiconductor manufacturing fabs recently tend to reduce the lot size, that is, the number of identical wafers in a lot, because of small lot orders and increased die throughput per wafer due to wafer size increase. Therefore, cluster tools for wafer processing, which mostly repeat identical work cycles, are subject to frequent lot changes. We therefore examine scheduling problems for transient periods of single-armed cluster tools that are scheduled to repeat identical work cycles for a number of identical wafers. We first develop a Petri net model for the tool’s operational behavior including the initial transient periods as well as the steady cycles. We then develop a mixed integer programming model for finding an optimal schedule. We also examine how to adapt the simple backward sequence, which is mostly used for scheduling steady work cycles of single-armed cluster tools, for a transient period. We identify a deadlock-free condition and also propose two efficient heuristic algorithms by modifying the backward sequence. Finally, through computational experiments, we analyze the efficiency of the proposed algorithms.
  • DNA as Template for Nanobonding and Novel Nanoelectronic Components Authors: Weigel-Jech, Michael; Fatikow, Sergej
    The importance of nanoelectronics for the future is well-recognized. Next-generation nanoelectronic technologies, for the usage in intelligent implants, intelligent drugs or even ICs for the coupling of destroyed nerves, are sensitive to dimensional change. Therefore, an appropriate packaging is essential to the success or failure of these technologies. In this paper current work to use DNA as a template for bonding at the nanoscale and for novel nanoelectronic components is presented. Moreover, a method is presented, which enables the handling and manipulation of DNA at dry conditions, thus enabling the feasible usage for industrial purposes as well as for science. For this the necessary steps, starting with the immobilization and choice of useable nanowires, followed by the extraction and separation of these wires, the coarse positioning, the immobilization onto the target substrates as well as a proper fine tuning at the target are presented.
  • The Robustness of Scheduling Policies in Multi-Product Manufacturing Systems with Sequence-Dependent Setup Times and Finite Buffers Authors: FENG, Wei; Li, Jingshan; Zheng, Li
    In this paper, a continuous time Markov chain model is introduced to study multi-product manufacturing systems with sequence-dependent setup times and finite buffers under seven scheduling policies, i.e., cyclic, shortest queue, shortest processing time, shortest overall time (including setup time and processing times), longest queue, longest processing time, and longest overall time. In manufacturing environments, optimal solution may not be applicable due to uncertainty and variation in system parameters. Therefore, in this paper, in addition to comparing the system throughput under different policies, we introduce the notion of robustness of scheduling policies. Specifically, a policy that can deliver good and stable performance resilient to variations in system parameters (such as buffer sizes, processing rates, setup times, etc.) is viewed as a ``robust'' policy. Numerical studies indicate that the cyclic and longest queue policies exhibit robustness in subject to parameter changes. This can provide production engineers a guideline in operation management.


  • A Compact Tactile Display Suitable for Integration in VR and Teleoperation Authors: Sarakoglou, Ioannis; Tsagarakis, Nikolaos; Caldwell, Darwin G.
    Haptic feedback should integrate kinaesthetic and tactile feedback. However current haptic displays do not satisfy the stringent performance and design requirements for integration in teleoperation and VR. This work presents the development of a compact, high performance tactile display for the fingertip. The compact design, high performance, reliability, and simple connectivity of this display make it suitable for immediate integration in current VR and master-slave haptic systems. In terms of performance this display achieves an excellent combination of force, amplitude and spatiotemporal resolution at the tactors, surpassing the performance of devices of a similar footprint. Its operation is based on the display of surface shape to an area of the fingertip through a 4x4 array of vertically moving tactors. The tactors are spring loaded and are actuated remotely by dc motors through a flexible tendon transmission. This work presents the overall design, control and performance of the device. A preliminary analysis of the transmission system is presented and is used to compensate for output errors induced by component elasticity.
  • Risk-Sensitive Optimal Feedback Control for Haptic Assistance Authors: Medina Hernandez, Jose Ramon; Lee, Dongheui; Hirche, Sandra
    While human behavior prediction can increase the capability of a robotic partner to generate anticipatory behavior during physical human robot interaction (pHRI), predictions in uncertain situations can lead to large disturbances for the human if they do not match the human intentions. In this paper, we present a risk-sensitive optimal feedback controller for haptic assistance. The human behavior is modeled using probabilistic learning methods and any unexpected disturbance is considered as a source of noise. The controller considers the inherent uncertainty of the probabilistic model and the process noise in the dynamics in order to adapt the behavior of the robot accordingly. The proposed approach is evaluated in situations with different uncertainties, process noise and risk-sensitivities in a 2 Degree-of-Freedom virtual reality setup.
  • Integration Framework for NASA NextGen Volumetric Cockpit Situation Display with Haptic Feedback Authors: Robles, Jose; Sguerri, Matthew; Rorie, Conrad; Vu, Kim-Phuong; Strybel, Thomas; Marayong, Panadda
    In this paper, we present a framework for the integration of force feedback information in a NASA NextGen Volumetric Cockpit Situation Display (CSD). With the current CSD, the user retrieves operational information solely through visual displays and interacts with the CSD tools through using a mouse. The advanced capabilities of the CSD may require complex manipulation of information which may be difficult to perform with input devices found in today’s cockpits. Performance with the CSD could benefit from a new user input device and enhanced user feedback modalities that can be operated safely, effectively, and intuitively in a cockpit environment. In this work, we investigate the addition of force feedback in two key CSD tasks: object selection and route manipulation. Different force feedback models were applied to communicate guidance commands, such as collision avoidance and target contact. We also discuss the development of a GUI-based software interface to allow the integration of a haptic device for the CSD. A preliminary user study was conducted on a testbed system using the Novint Falcon force-feedback device. A full experiment, assessing the effectiveness and usability of the feedback model in the CSD, will be performed in the next phase of our research.
  • Wearable Haptic Device for Cutaneous Force and Slip Speed Display Authors: Damian, Dana; Ludersdorfer, Marvin; Kim, Yeongmi; Hernandez Arieta, Alejandro; Pfeifer, Rolf; Okamura, Allison M.
    Stable grasp is the result of sensorimotor regulation of forces, ensuring sufficient grip force and the integrity of the held object. Grasping with a prosthesis introduces the challenge of finding the appropriate forces given the engineered sensorimotor prosthetic interface. Excessive force leads to unnecessary energy use and possible damage to the object. In contrast, low grip forces lead to slippage. In order for a prosthetic hand to achieve a stable grasp, the haptic information provided to the prosthesis wearer needs to display these two antagonistic grasp metrics (force and slip) in a quantified way. We present the design and evaluation of a wearable single-actuator haptic device that relays multi-modal haptic information, such as grip force and slip speed. Two belts that are activated in a mutually exclusive manner by the rotation direction of a single motor exert normal force and tangential motion on the skin surface, respectively. The wearable haptic device is able to display normal forces as a tap frequency in the range of approximately 1.5-5.0~Hz and slip speed in the range of 50-200~mm/s. Within these values, users are able to identify at least four stimulation levels for each feedback modality, with short-term training.
  • Development of a Haptic Interface Using MR Fluid for Displaying Cutting Forces of Soft Tissues Authors: Tsujita, Teppei; Ohara, Manabu; Sase, Kazuya; Konno, Atsushi; Nakayama, Masano; Abe, Koyu; Uchiyama, Masaru
    In open abdominal surgical procedures, many surgical instruments, e.g., knives, cutting shears and clamps, are generally used. Therefore, a haptic interface should display reaction force of a soft biological tissue through such a surgical instrument. Simplest solution for this difficulty is that an actual instrument is mechanically mounted on the traditional haptic interface driven by servomotors. However, operators lose a sense of reality when they change the instrument since they must perform a procedure which is not required in actual surgery for attaching/detaching the instrument to/from the haptic interface. Therefore, a novel haptic interface using MR (Magneto-Rheological) fluid is developed in this research. Rheological property of MR fluid can be changed in a short time by applied magnetic flux density. By cutting the fluid using a surgical instrument, operators can feel resistance force as if they cut tissue. However, MR fluid cannot display large deformation of soft tissues since elastic region of MR fluid is small. Therefore, a container of the fluid is moved by a motion table driven by servomotors. In this paper, concept and design of the haptic interface and performance evaluations are described.
  • Six-Degree-Of-Freedom Haptic Simulation of Organ Deformation in Dental Operations Authors: Wang, Dangxiao; Liu, Shuai; Zhang, Xin; Zhang, Yuru; Xiao, Jing
    Six-degree-of-freedom (6-DOF) haptic rendering is challenging when multi-region contacts occur between the graphic avatar of a haptic tool operated by a human user, which we call the graphic tool, and deformable objects. In this paper, we introduce a novel approach for deformation modeling based on a spring-sphere tree representation of deformable objects and a configuration-based constrained optimization method for determining the 6-dimensional configuration of the graphic tool and the contact force/torque response to the tool. This method conducts collision detection, deformation computation, and tool configuration optimization very efficiently based on the spring-sphere tree model, avoids inter-penetration, and maintains stability of haptic display without using virtual coupling. Experiments on typical dental operations are carried out to validate the efficiency and stability of the proposed method. The update rate of the haptic simulation loop is maintained at ~1kHz.

Learning and Adaptation Control of Robotic Systems II

  • Online Learning of Varying Stiffness through Physical Human-Robot Interaction Authors: Kronander, Klas; Billard, Aude
    Programming by Demonstration offers an intuitive framework for teaching robots how to perform various tasks without having to preprogram them. It also offers an intuitive way to provide corrections and refine teaching during task execution. Previously, mostly position constraints have been taken into account when teaching tasks from demonstrations. In this work, we tackle the problem of teaching tasks that require or can benefit from varying stiffness. This extension is not trivial, as the teacher needs to have a way of communicating to the robot what stiffness it should use. We propose a method by which the teacher can modulate the stiffness of the robot in any direction through physical interaction. The system is incremental and works online, so that the teacher can instantly feel how the robot learns from the interaction. We validate the proposed approach on two experiments on a 7-Dof Barrett WAM arm.
  • Reinforcement Planning: RL for Optimal Planners Authors: Zucker, Matthew; Bagnell, James
    Search based planners such as A* and Dijkstra’s algorithm are proven methods for guiding today’s robotic systems. Although such planners are typically based upon a coarse approximation of reality, they are nonetheless valuable due to their ability to reason about the future, and to generalize to previously unseen scenarios. However, encoding the desired behavior of a system into the underlying cost function used by the planner can be a tedious and error-prone task. We introduce Reinforcement Planning, which extends gradient based reinforcement learning algorithms to automatically learn useful surrogate cost functions for optimal planners. Reinforcement Planning presents several advantages over other learning approaches to planning in that it is not limited by the expertise of a human demonstrator, and that it acknowledges the domain of the planner is a simplified model of the world. We demonstrate the effectiveness of our method in learning to solve a noisy physical simulation of the well-known “marble maze” toy.
  • Adaptive Collaborative Estimation of Multi-Agent Mobile Robotic Systems Authors: Nestinger, Stephen; Demetriou, Michael
    Collaborative multi-robot systems are used in a vast array of fields for their innate ability to parallelize domain problems for faster execution. These systems are generally comprised of multiple identical robotic systems in order to simplify manufacturability and programmability, reduce cost, and provide fault tolerance. This work takes advantage of the homogeneity and multiplicity of multi-robot systems to enhance the convergence rate of adaptive dynamic parameter estimation through collaboration. The collaborative adaptive dynamic parameter estimation of multi-robot systems is accomplished by penalizing the pair-wise disagreement of both state and parameter estimates. Consensus and convergence is based on Lyapunov stability arguments. Simulation studies with multiple Pioneer 3-DX systems provides verification of the proposed theoretic collaborative adaptive parameter estimation predictions.
  • Lingodroids: Learning Terms for Time Authors: Heath, Scott Christopher; Schulz, Ruth; Ball, David; Wiles, Janet
    For humans and robots to communicate using natural language it is necessary for the robots to develop concepts and associated terms that correspond to the human use of words. Time and space are foundational concepts in human language, and to develop a set of words that correspond to human notions of time and space, it is necessary to take into account the way that they are used in natural human conversations, where terms and phrases such as ‘soon’, ‘in a while’, or ‘near’ are often used. We present language learning robots called Lingodroids that can learn and use simple terms for time and space. In previous work, the Lingodroids were able to learn terms for space. In this work we extend their abilities by adding temporal variables which allow them to learn terms for time. The robots build their own maps of the world and interact socially to form a shared lexicon for location and duration terms. The robots successfully use the shared lexicons to communicate places and times to meet again.
  • Teaching Nullspace Constraints in Physical Human-Robot Interaction Using Reservoir Computing Authors: Nordmann, Arne; Rüther, Stefan; Wrede, Sebastian; Steil, Jochen J.
    A major goal of current robotics research is to enable robots to become co-workers that collaborate with humans efficiently and adapt to changing environments or workflows. We present an approach utilizing the physical interaction capabilities of compliant robots with data-driven and model-free learning in a coherent system in order to make fast reconfiguration of redundant robots feasible. Users with no particular robotics knowledge can perform this task in physical interaction with the compliant robot, for example to reconfigure a work cell due to changes in the environment. For fast and efficient training of the respective mapping, an associative reservoir neural network is employed. It is embedded in the motion controller of the system, hence allowing for execution of arbitrary motions in task space. We describe the training, exploration and the control architecture of the systems as well as present an evaluation on the KUKA Light-Weight Robot. Our results show that the learned model solves the redundancy resolution problem under the given constraints with sufficient accuracy and generalizes to generate valid joint-space trajectories even in untrained areas of the workspace.
  • A Bayesian Nonparametric Approach to Modeling Battery Health Authors: Joseph, Joshua; Doshi, Finale; Roy, Nicholas
    The batteries of many consumer products are often both a substantial portion of the item's cost and commonly a first point of failure. Accurately predicting remaining battery life can lower costs by reducing unnecessary battery replacements. Unfortunately, battery dynamics are extremely complex, and we often lack the domain knowledge required to construct a model by hand. In this work, we take a data-driven approach and aim to learn a model of battery time-to-death from training data. Using a Dirichlet process prior over mixture weights, we learn an infinite mixture model for battery health. The Bayesian aspect of our model helps to avoid over-fitting while the nonparametric nature of the model allows the data to control the size of the model, preventing under-fitting. We demonstrate our model's effectiveness by making time-to-death predictions using real data from iRobot Roomba batteries.