Hybrid Assembly Path Planning for Complex Products by Reusing a Priori Data
Assembly path planning (APP) for complex products is challenging due to the large number of parts and intricate coupling requirements. A hybrid assembly path planning method is proposed herein that reuses a priori paths to improve the efficiency and success ratio. The assembly path is initially segmented to improve its reusability. Subsequently, the planned assembly paths are employed as a priori paths to establish an a priori tree, which is expanded according to the bounding sphere of the part
... sphere of the part to create the a priori space for path searching. Three rapidly exploring random tree (RRT)-based algorithms are studied for path planning based on a priori path reuse. The RRT* algorithm establishes the new path exploration tree in the early planning stage when there is no a priori path to reuse. The static RRT* (S-RRT*) and dynamic RRT* (D-RRT*) algorithms form the connection between the exploration tree and the a priori tree with a pair of connection points after the extension of the exploration tree to a priori space. The difference between the two algorithms is that the S-RRT* algorithm directly reuses an a priori path and obtains a new path through static backtracking from the endpoint to the starting point. However, the D-RRT* algorithm further extends the exploration tree via the dynamic window approach to avoid collision between an a priori path and obstacles. The algorithm subsequently obtains a new path through dynamic and non-continuous backtracking from the endpoint to the starting point. A hybrid process combining the RRT*, S-RRT*, and D-RRT* algorithms is designed to plan the assembly path for complex products in several cases. The performances of these algorithms are compared, and simulations indicate that the S-RRT* and D-RRT* algorithms are significantly superior to the RRT* algorithm in terms of the efficiency and success ratio of APP. Therefore, hybrid path planning combining the three algorithms is helpful to improving the assembly path planning of complex products.