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Robot Guidance and Adaptive Control

Today’s automation processes rely more and more on information collected by various sensors installed right within the production line。 Specifically, robots may be guided through the use of measurements devices, mounted either at the end of the robot or fixed alongside of its base。 Dynalog has taken advantage of its extensive expertise in Precision Robotic Applications, and of its well-established technology in robot calibration and communication  to develop the DynaGuide software。

 

The DynaGuide Software...


 

The DynaGuide software has come about quite naturally, in response to the ever-increasing need to integrate robots with various measurement sensors. It provides a comprehensive solution for correction of robot programs based on real-time measurement data. The DynaGuide software addresses a seemingly trivial problem – move the robot by the distance measured – by offering a single interface combining several underlying technologies, resulting in a solution combining ease of use and high accuracy.

Many of the technologies and capabilities included in the DynaGuide software stem from Dynalog’s standard and well-established products, such as the DynaCal, the AutoCal, and the DynaFlex products – backed with years of exploitation in various production installations:

Compatibility/Interface with various measurements systems: from 1D to 6DOF; small- range robot-mounted or large-range floor-mounted; independent of the measurement principle (vision, laser, contact, non-contact, etc.).

Seamless robot communication: extensive library of robot controllers and languages.

PLC communication: to receive commands, and to send messages and warnings.

Robot-cell calibration: starting with an accurate robot greatly helps the guidance process through (1) improved cycle time (smaller correction factor), (2) better obstacle avoidance,(3) inherently higher guidance accuracy (‘linearization’ of the correction factor).

Extensive math toolkit: 1D to 6DOF offset calculations, coordinate frame transformations, statistical tools, etc.

Any Type of Robot Guidance or Adaptive Control Application...


 

The DynaGuide software is easily configurable to handle virtually any possible combination of robot and measurement sensor setup.

A typical robot guidance application includes the use of a handful of fixed sensors (3D or otherwise) measuring reference features on a production part, in order to correct the robot program accordingly for any part-to-part variation – from a simple shift to a full 6DOF transformation。 A variation on that same theme is to mount one or more sensors at the end of the robot, in some cases even combining both fixed and robot-mounted sensors (“hybrid” solution)。 Dynalog has participated in many such installations over the years, dealing with  3D vision systems (laser/camera), with touch-probes, with ultrasound devices, etc。

In an adaptive control application, the measurement process is essentially reversed: a fixed measurement system providing accurate 3D or 6DOF within a large area is used to measure the robot’s end (TCP)。 By comparing the acquired measurement data with the desired robot poses/path (from CAD), the DynaGuide software then corrects the robot program transparently one point/segment at a time (right before or even right at the desired robot location)。 This technology offers the ability to achieve high accuracy, even as unpredictable error sources (such as external forces, backlash, environmental drifts, etc。) might crop up。

To handle these different types of applications and configurations, the DynaGuide software has been designed to be intuitive to setup, based on a menu-driven interface with preexisting ‘configuration templates’. It allows the user to create different algorithms for robot program correction, or to draw from Dynalog’s extensive math toolbox. This results in robot guidance or adaptive control with the highest possible accuracy, especially when combined with Dynalog’s various calibration tools.

The DynaGuide software also acts as a central hub within the robot-cell, communicating with all peripheral equipment, including of course the selected robot(s) and measurement sensor(s), but also the PLC and the database server。 All that – measurement acquisition, correction calculation, communication, etc。 – naturally has to take place at fractions of a second。 As a robust production tool, the DynaGuide software also comes with all necessary error-handling and by-passing tools, remaining impervious to any peripheral equipment crash or malfunction。

System Compatibility


 

Measurement Sensors:

The DynaGuide software provides an interface to a variety of well-established measurement devices, whether robot-mounted or fixed within the robot envelope:

Robot-mounted (small-range):

Distance sensor (laser, ultrasound)

2D vision

3D laser/camera

Touch-probe

 

Fixed within robot envelope (large-range):

3D laser tracker

6DOF photogrammetry

 

Software Features


 

Platform/Architecture

Software fully developed in .NET

Multi-threaded software design

User-friendly menu-driven script editor

Self-descriptive, centralized GUI for errors, warnings and status information

All information saved in XML files

 

Communication with


 

Measurement sensor

Robot controller

PLC

Database server

 

Math Tools


 

1D shift to 6DOF alignment

Link to extensive math library

Averaging/manual offsets

Link to robot-cell calibration tools


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