High Accuracy Articulated Robots with CNC Control Systems


A robotic arm manipulator is often an appealing method to position drills, bolt inserters, automated fiber placement heads, or other end effectors. In a standard robot the flexibility of the cantilevered arm as well as backlash in the drive system lead to large positioning errors. Previous work has greatly reduced this error through the use of secondary scales and a mathematical model of the robot deflection running on a CNC controller. Further research improved upon this model by accounting for linear deformation of each robot link regardless of position. The parameters describing these deformations are determined through a calibration routine and then used in real time to guide the end effector accurately to any reachable pose. In practice this method has been used to achieve total on-part positioning accuracy of better than +/- 0.25mm.

Brad Saund
PhD candidate in robotics