Cardboard Box Depalletizing Robot Using Two-Surface Suction and Elastic Joint Mechanisms: Mechanism Proposal and Verification
Junya Tanaka and Akihito Ogawa
Corporate Research & Development Center, Toshiba Corporation
1 Komukai Toshiba-cho, Saiwai-ku, Kawasaki-shi, Kanagawa 212-8582, Japan
This paper proposes a new method for a depalletizing robot in distribution center to transfer cardboard boxes. Through the use of elastic joint mechanisms, the proposed method reduces the deformation and breakage of cardboard boxes as well as shifts in position and posture due to collapses of the stacks. To validate the proposed method, we developed a linear depalletizing robot that consists of a main arm that supports a vacuum suction type end effector via elastic joint mechanisms and a conveyor arm for conveying cardboard boxes. The proposed transfer method is characterized by a series of actions using the elastic joint mechanisms of the end effector to pick up and lift a cardboard box by two of its sides and then tilt and take it out of a roll box pallet on a conveyor. Tests show that the robot can successfully transfer cardboard boxes using only simple motions in spite of various changes in box position and posture, and that the new joint mechanisms operate effectively.
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