Dear RoboRealm community and the totally awesome dude STeven,
I want to build a robot and vision system able to pick up a 4-40 bolt and thread the bolt into a metal block placed on a tabletop. I want this because I think it would be really cool, and as a step toward a flexible system for assembling things out of parts.
I can't seem to forget this project, so I need to ask for feedback here. I realize building this would be hard and expensive: it would need extensive coding for object and pose detection, motion planning, contact sensing, etc., as well as a fairly high precision 6-axis robot arm with a specialized end effector.
My questions (any advice is appreciated):
1. How do you forget a project that's too ambitious?
2. What current project is closest to this? I'm aware that industrial systems exist for installing a single part on an assembly line, but I don't know of any systems for more flexible assembly tasks (eg identifying assembling two unconstrained parts together).
3. Any hardware/software recommendations? I'm thinking the best value would be to build my own 6-axis arm and end effector, using stepper motors and encoders. For software, using RoboRealm for image processing with the ROS (Player/Gazebo) for motion planning and control seems like the way to go.