Robert Krug, Todor Stoyanov, Vinicio Tincani, Henrik Andreasson, Rafael Mosberger, Gualtiero Fantoni and Achim J. Lilienthal
The Next Step in Robot Commissioning: Autonomous Picking & Palletizing
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L), 2016
Abstract: So far, autonomous order picking (commissioning) systems have not been able to meet the stringent demands regarding speed, safety and accuracy of real-world warehouse automation, resulting in reliance on human workers. In this work we target the next step in autonomous robot commissioning: automatizing the currently manual order picking procedure. To this end, we investigate the use case of autonomous picking and palletizing with a dedicated research platform and discuss lessons learned during testing in simplified warehouse settings. The main theoretical contribution is a novel grasp representation scheme which allows for redundancy in the gripper pose placement. This redundancy is exploited by a local, prioritized kinematic controller which generates reactive manipulator motions on-the- fly. We validated our grasping approach by means of a large set of experiments, which yielded an average grasp acquisition time of 23.5 s at a success rate of 94.7 %. Our system is able to autonomously carry out simple order picking tasks in a human- safe manner, and as such serves as an initial step towards future commercial-scale in-house logistics automation solutions.
Paper: [PDF (preprint, 0.8MB)]
  AUTHOR = {Krug, R. and Stoyanov, T. and Tincani, V. and Andreasson, H. and Mosberger, R. and Fantoni, G. and Lilienthal A. J.},
  TITLE = {The Next Step in Robot Commissioning: Autonomous Picking & Palletizing},
  JOURNAL = {IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters (RA-L)},
  YEAR = {2016},
  VOLUME = {1}
  NUMBER = {1},
  PAGES = {546-553}