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In electronics manufacturing system, the design of the robotic gripper is important for the successful accomplishment of the assembly task. Due to the restriction of the architecture of traditional robotic grippers, the status of assembly parts during the assembly process cannot be effectively detected. In this research, an intelligent robotic gripper – i-Hand equipped with multiple small sensors is designed and built for this purpose, getting the essential parameters for some specific mathematical model. Mating connectors by robot, as a experimental case in this paper, is studied to evaluate the performance of i-Hand. A simple new model is proposed to describe the process of mating connectors, within which the distance between the connector and deformable Printed Circuit Board (PCB) is detected by i-Hand. An online Fault Detection and Diagnosis algorithm (FDD) is proposed. Various possible situations during assembly are detected and handled by using sensor data fusion. The effectiveness of proposed model and algorithm is proved by the experiments.

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