A force sensing tool for disassembly operations

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This paper discusses the design and characterization of a prototype disassembly tool that was designed to handle a family of electronic devices whose plastic, cantilever snap-fit covers house AA or AAA batteries. The tool was designed with the ability to release the snap-fit covers and the batteries contained inside. The tool design is based on the use of a force sensing tool tip that utilizes three force sensing resistors (FSRs) for force feedback. Two FSRs were used to measure horizontal forces applied to the tool tip while the third FSR was used to measure forces along a direction normal to the tool tip. The tool tip is used to push and lift up the snap-fit cover as well as the spring-loaded batteries. By using the conductance of the FSR sensors, a linear model of the FSR output was calibrated to the force applied to the FSR. The disassembly tool was mounted on a three-axis translational motion robot, and the robot was programmed to perform disassembly operations. Sensor feedback from the FSRs was used to control the movement of the tool during these operations. The results showed that the robot was able to successfully use the disassembly tool to perform the necessary operations to remove the device's snap-fit cover and batteries. Force readings recorded from the FSRs indicated that the disassembly tool was able to react to force interactions at the disassembly tool tip such as a missing part or misaligned part. The use of FSRs resulted in a low-cost, flexible disassembly tool. © 2013 Elsevier Ltd.

Publication Title

Robotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing