An ontology and rule-based method for human–robot collaborative disassembly planning in smart remanufacturing

Youxi Hu, Chao Liu*, Ming Zhang, Yuqian Lu, Yu Jia, Yuchun Xu

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Disassembly is a decisive step in the remanufacturing process of End-of-Life (EoL) products. As an emerging semi-automatic disassembly paradigm, human–robot collaborative disassembly (HRCD) offers multiple disassembly methods to enhance flexibility and efficiency. However, HRCD increases the complexity of planning and determining the optimal disassembly sequence and scheme. Currently, the optimisation process of heuristic methods is difficult to interpret, and the results cannot be guaranteed as globally optimal. Consequently, this paper introduces a general ontology model for HRCD, along with a rule-based reasoning method, to automatically generate the optimal disassembly sequence and scheme. Firstly, the HRCD ontology model establishes the disassembly-related information for EoL products in a standardised approach. Then, customised disassembly-related rules are proposed to regulate the precedence constraints and optional disassembly methods for each disassembly task of EoL products. The optimal disassembly sequence and scheme are automatically generated by combining supportive rules with the ontology model. Lastly, the human–robot collaborative disassembly planning of a gearbox is presented as a case study to validate the feasibility of the proposed methods. Our method generates an optimal disassembly scheme compared with other heuristic algorithms, achieving the shortest process time of 308 units and the fewest number of disassembly direction change of 3 times. Additionally, the reasoning procedure can be easily tracked and modified. The proposed method is both universal and easily reproducible, allowing it to be extended to support the entire remanufacturing process.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102766
Number of pages20
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Early online date20 Mar 2024
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Mar 2024

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2024 The Author(s). Published by Elsevier Ltd. This is an open access article under the CC BY license (


  • Disassembly planning
  • Human–Robot Collaborative Disassembly (HRCD)
  • Ontology
  • Remanufacturing
  • Semantic Web Rule Language (SWRL) rule


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