The Design of a Mechanical Assembly System
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This thesis describes a mechanical assembly system called LAMA (Language for Automatic Mechanical Assembly). The goal of the work was to create a mechanical assembly system that transforms a high-level description of an automatic assembly operation into a program or execution by a computer controlled manipulator. This system allows the initial description of the assembly to be in terms of the desired effects on the parts being assembled. Languages such as WAVE [Bolles & Paul] and MINI [Silver] fail to meet this goal by requiring the assembly operation to be described in terms of manipulator motions. This research concentrates on the spatial complexity of mechanical assembly operations. The assembly problem is seen as the problem of achieving a certain set of geometrical constraints between basic objects while avoiding unwanted collisions. The thesis explores how these two facets, desired constraints and unwanted collisions, affect the primitive operations of the domain.