A kinematic controller for liquid pouring between vessels modelled with smoothed particle hydrodynamics

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In robotics, the task of pouring liquids into vessels in non-structured or domestic spaces is an open field of study. A real time, fluid dynamic simulation, based on smoothed particle hydrodynamics (SPH), together with solid motion kinematics, allow for a closed loop control of pouring. In the first place, a control criterion related with the behavior of the liquid free surface is established to handle sloshing, especially in the initial phase of pouring to prevent liquid adhesion over the vessel rim. A 2-D, free surface SPH simulation is implemented on a graphic processing unit (GPU) to predict the liquid motion with real-time capability. The pouring vessel has a single degree of freedom of rotation, while the catching vessel has a single degree of freedom of translation, and the control loop handles the tilting angle of the pouring vessel. In this work, a two-stage pouring method is proposed, differentiating an initial phase where sloshing is particularly relevant, and a nearly constant outflow phase. For control purposes, the free outflow trajectory was simplified and modelled as a free falling solid with an initial velocity at the vessel crest, as calculated by the SPH simulation. As the first stage of pouring is more delicate, a novel slosh induction method (SIM) is proposed to overcome spilling issues during initial tilting in full filled vessels. Both robotic control and fluid modelling showed good results at multiples initial vessel filling heights.
Robotic pouring of liquids, Free surface fluid motion control, Smoothed particle hydrodynamics, PID control
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Applied sciences, 9(23), 5007, Nov. 2019