[robotics-worldwide] PhD Position in Development of a Reconfigurable Multi-finger Robot for Packaging Applications

Ferdinando Cannella Ferdinando.Cannella at iit.it
Mon Sep 9 03:44:04 PDT 2013

19. Development of a Reconfigurable Multi-finger Robot for Packaging Applications

Tutor: Dr. Ferdinando Cannella, Prof. Lando Mentrasti

Nowadays the packaging is one of the technologies applied worldwide because all the goods exchanged (sold or bought) are packed. Half of the study in this field is on the speed manufacturing that reached very good results for simple boxes; the complex carton, in the inverse, are far from reliable solutions and large part of this production is still by hands. Despite this huge effort, till now few manipulators are built suitable for factories (as D-RAPS or ARCHAPS) and that demonstrates the difficult of this challenge.  In fact, the reconfigurability of the cartons not only requires dexterous manipulators, but for making competitive the devices, it is necessary even a deep knowledge of the cartonboard. Goal of this PhD is to design and build a new reconfigurable device able to fold origami carton autonomously depending on the initial final shape. This mechanism will be useful to study the cartonboard behavior during the folding and the new design of them. That means a virtual prototype of this device will be done in order to simulate the manipulation, so the best solution will be found quicker, because few physical prototyping will be necessary. Thus the study will be divided in two parts: carton board mechanical properties investigation and carton folding manipulator design. The first one involves the experimental tests on carton and paper in order to determine the crease and panel stiffness:
*     micro-model of cartonboard (fibers networks simulation): micro-scale crease stiffness
*     meso-model of cartonboard (multilayer): meso-scale crease stiffness (finite element): Creasing Process Design
*     1:1-model of cartonboard (one layer):  1:1 scale crease stiffness (finite element + multibody simulation): Damage
*     macro-model of the cartonboard (on line): macro-scale crease stiffness (multibody simulation+analitycal model of the crease stiffness)
Second one concerns the theory of the manipulation and hierarchy of the panel rotation. Together they will permit to simulate the physic model of origami carton folding. Considering the small forces and torques used in these folding, the feedback in the control will be very complex because the measurement signal are always very weak compared to the noise given by the cartonboard dynamics (e.g. the backlashes or panel bending). The paten should be another goal of this study.
This work will be developed in strong collaboration with King's College of London, UK under supervision of Prof. Jian S. Dai
Requirements: this position is open to a PhD candidate with strong interesting in reconfigurable mechanism and skill in mechanics. The background must be in mechanical/mechatronic engineer or robotics. The ideal competencies should be in multibody simulation/finite element analysis and robot dynamics and control.
Required technical skills: 50% mechanics, 25% control, 25% kinematics

Cannella F., Clari D. and Dai J. S., Multibody Modelling Applied to Origami Carton Folding, Proceedings of The Second ASME/IEEE International Conference on Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots (ReMAR 2012); book chapter: Advances in Reconfigurable Mechanisms and Robots I, J. S. Dai et al. (eds.), (c) Springer-Verlag London 2012, DOI: 10.1007/978-1-4471-4141-9_45,
Yao W., Cannella F. and Dai J. S., Automatic folding of cartons using a reconfigurable robotic system, Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing 27 (2011), pp. 604-613, DOI: 10.1016/j.rcim.2010.10.007

For further details concerning this research project and/or any questions or doubts about the application procedure as well as moving to and living in Genoa, etc. , please contact: ferdinando.cannella at iit.it<mailto:ferdinando.cannella at iit.it>, mentrasti at univpm.it<mailto:mentrasti at univpm.it>

Full details of the call and the application procedure can be found at: http://www.iit.it/phdschool


To apply, please visit the following link:

Applications are considered for the subsequent selection ONLY if received ELECTRONICALLY on the UNIVERSITY of GENOA's website strictly by the deadline.

Dr Ferdinando Cannella

Team Leader
Advanced Robotics Department
Istituto Italiano di Tecnologia
[Italian Institute of Technology]
Via Morego, 30
16163 Genova (Italy)
t: + 39 010 71 781 562
m: +39 338 96 76 884
f: + 39 010 71 781 232

More information about the robotics-worldwide mailing list