An interactive approach of assembly planning
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An interactive approach to assembly planning is presented. It provides a virtual reality interface for production engineers to program the virtual representation of robotic manipulators in a three-dimensional (3D) operation space. The direct human involvement creates a user-defined assembly sequence, which contains the human knowledge of mechanical assembly. By extracting the precedence relationship of machinery parts, for the first time it becomes possible to generate alternative assembly sequences automatically from a single sequence for robot reprogramming. This interactive approach introduces human expertise into assembly planning, thus breaking down the computational complexity of autonomous systems. Experiments and analysis provide strong evidence to support the incontestable advantages of "manufacturing in the computer".