A curvilinear robot constructed from a number of modular flexible sections of fixed length and diameter but independently controlled radius and direction of curvature has been equipped with an optical fibre image guide transmitting images from between the gripper jaws to the remote TV camera of Microvision-100, a microcomputer controlled real-time DMA-based vision System that is easily trained to recognise the shape, position and orientation of components. The gripper position and orientation is controlled by feedback from the vision System, the action taken depending on component recognition and inspection for defects. Redundant degrees of freedom enable the curvilinear robot to avoid obstacles and work in confined spaces.
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