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Survey of Industrial Manipulation Technologies for Autonomous Assembly Applications



Roger V. Bostelman, Joseph A. Falco


The need for agile manufacturing is moving the manufacturing industry towards more flexible and complex assembly operations involving, for example: - multiple manipulators providing flexible part manipulation and fixturing; - assembling parts while the manipulator and/or the parts are in motion; - and human/robot collaborative assembly where humans and robots work "hand-in-hand" to assemble a common and complex system of parts. The goal of this document is to provide an overview of the current state of manipulation systems as well as insight into future manipulation systems through the discussion of research being performed in the field. Discussion will focus on the end effector (mainly robot grippers) and the combined end-effector/manipulator capabilities to perform autonomous assembly tasks.
NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR) - 7844
Report Number


industry survey, assembly, manipulation, robot, force, tactile


Bostelman, R. and Falco, J. (2012), Survey of Industrial Manipulation Technologies for Autonomous Assembly Applications, NIST Interagency/Internal Report (NISTIR), National Institute of Standards and Technology, Gaithersburg, MD, [online], (Accessed April 20, 2024)
Created March 16, 2012, Updated November 10, 2018