Intelligent robotic systems require a tremendous flexibility and intelligence to execute complex tasks. To facilitate task planning of intelligent robots and integrate sensory information for on-line task monitoring, there is a need to establish a communication linkage between robot controller and human operator through a computer. This paper presents the design of a generic cell controller for intelligent planning and execution of robotic cell operations and for real-time task monitoring. This paper details the architecture of hardware and software developed for the control of a commercial robot interfaced with a computer through a parallel I/O communication bus. Results indicate that by means of a relatively inexpensive setup, flexibility with regard to coordinated activities of robotic cells can be greatly increased.

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