Robotic applications in aerospace manufacturing and aircraft assembly today are limited. This is because most of the aircraft parts are relatively small or have complex shapes that make tasks like robotic drilling and riveting more challenging. These challenges include tool accessibility, path planning, and motion planning.
In this thesis, a process methodology was developed to overcome the tool accessibility challenges facing robotic drilling and riveting for aircraft parts. The tool accessibility was analyzed based on the Global Accessibility Area and the Global Accessibility Volume to determine the accessible boundaries for parts with zero, one and two surfaces curvatures. The path planning was optimized based on the shortest distance, least number of steps, and minimal tool orientation change. The motion planning was optimized based on the s-curve using the robot’s maximum velocity and acceleration for minimum cycle time and maximum production rate. A software application was developed to simulate the tasks.