Towards an Autonomous Unwrapping System for Intralogistics

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Chiara Gabellieri, Alessandro Palleschi, Anna Mannucci, Michele Pierallini, Elisa Stefanini, Manuel G. Catalano, Danilo Caporale, Alessandro Settimi, Todor Stoyanov, Martin Magnusson, Manolo Garabini, and Lucia Pallottino
Towards an Autonomous Unwrapping System for Intralogistics
IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters


Warehouse logistics is a rapidly growing market for robots. However, one key procedure that has not received much attention is the unwrapping of pallets to prepare them for objects picking. In fact, to prevent the goods from falling and to protect them, pallets are normally wrapped in plastic when they enter the warehouse. Currently, unwrapping is mainly performed by human operators, due to the complexity of its planning and control phases. Autonomous solutions exist, but usually they are designed for specific situations, require a large footprint and are characterized by low flexibility. In this work, we propose a novel integrated robotic solution for autonomous plastic film removal relying on an impedance-controlled robot. The main contribution is twofold: on one side, a strategy to plan Cartesian impedance and trajectory to execute the cut without damaging the goods is discussed; on the other side, we present a cutting device that we designed for this purpose. The proposed solution presents the characteristics of high versatility and the need for a reduced footprint, due to the adopted technologies and the integration with a mobile base. Experimental results are shown to validate the proposed approach.

  author={Chiara {Gabellieri} and Alessandro {Palleschi} and Anna {Mannucci} and Michele {Pierallini} and Elisa {Stefanini} and Manuel G. {Catalano} and Danilo {Caporale} and Alessandro {Settimi} and Todor {Stoyanov} and Martin {Magnusson} and Manolo {Garabini} and Lucia {Pallottino}}, 
  journal={IEEE Robotics and Automation Letters},
  title={Towards an Autonomous Unwrapping System for Intralogistics},