Roboticists are faced with new challenges in robotic-based manufacturing. Up to now manufacturing operations that require both high stiffness and accuracy have been mainly realized by using computer numerical control machine tools. This paper aims to show that manufacturing finishing tasks can be performed with robotic cells knowing the process cutting phenomena and the robot stiffness throughout its Cartesian workspace.

It makes sense that the finishing task of large parts would be cheaper with robots. However, machining robots have not been adapted for such operations yet. As a consequence, this paper introduces a methodology that aims to determine the best placement of the workpiece to be machined knowing the cutting forces exerted on the tool and the elastostatic model of the robot. In this vein, a machining quality criterion is proposed and an optimization problem is formulated. The KUKA KR270-2 robot is used as an illustrative example throughout the paper.

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