A strategy to improve the performance of current commercial industrial robots is presented in this paper. This strategy involves cooperation of two robotic manipulators: the robotic controlled impedance device (RCID) and a commercial industrial robot. The RCID is a small six degrees-of-freedom (DOF) high bandwidth force-impedance controlled parallel manipulator, developed at the School of Engineering of the University of Porto (Portugal). The RCID works attached in series with a position controlled commercial industrial robot. Combination of the two manipulators behaves as a single manipulator having the impedance and force control dynamic performance of the RCID, as well as the workspace and trajectory tracking bandwidth of the industrial robot. Force-impedance control of the RCID, and experimental results on typical tasks that involve end-effector contact with uncertain environments of unknown stiffness are presented.
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