Error management for robot programming

Richard Smith, Maria Gini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

4 Scopus citations


Reliability is a serious problem in computer controlled robot systems. Although robots serve successfully in relatively simple applications such as painting and spot welding, their potential in areas such as automated assembly is hampered by the complexity of programming. A program for assembling parts may be logically correct, execute correctly on a simulator, and even execute correctly on a robot most of the time, yet still fail unexpectedly in the face of real world uncertainties. Recovery from such errors is far more complicated than recovery from simple controller errors, since even expected errors can manifest themselves in unexpected ways. In this paper we present a novel approach for improving robot reliability. Instead of anticipating errors, we use knowledge-based programming techniques so that the robot can autonomously exploit knowledge about its task and environment to detect and recover from failures. We describe a system that we have designed and constructed in our robotics laboratory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-73
Number of pages15
JournalJournal of Intelligent Manufacturing
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1992


  • Robot programming
  • error detection
  • error recovery
  • reliability


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