Semester of Graduation

Summer 2022


Master of Science in Mechanical Engineering (MSME)


Mechanical Engineering

Document Type



Sanding operations in industry is one of the few manufacturing tasks that has yet to achieve automation. Sanding tasks require skilled operators that have developed a sense of when a work piece is sufficiently sanded. In order to achieve automation in sanding with robotic systems, this developed sense, or intelligence, that human operators have needs to be understood and implemented in order to achieve, at the minimum, the same quality of work. The system will also need to have the equivalent reach of a human operator and not be constrained to a single, small workspace. This thesis developed solutions for a control scheme and a path planning algorithm to provide the next steps into sanding automation. The control scheme uses found insights on how vibration forces evolve over time during sanding operations to estimate the quality of the surface and adapt the velocity of a sander, akin to how human operators do, with a robotic manipulator. The path planning algorithm was developed to allow for the use of mobile manipulators to perform the sanding tasks and giving the manipulator an equivalent reach to that of an operator.



Committee Chair

Barbalata, Corina