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Robot Tool-Tracking Pattern Optimization

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000046321D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jul-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-07
Document File: 3 page(s) / 39K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Mandeville, JR: AUTHOR [+2]

Abstract

Robot tool-tracking patterns may be optimized by optical scanning of a pattern and computer analysis and sequencing of pattern segment traversal by the tool-positioning mechanism.

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Robot Tool-Tracking Pattern Optimization

Robot tool-tracking patterns may be optimized by optical scanning of a pattern and computer analysis and sequencing of pattern segment traversal by the tool-positioning mechanism.

Many robot applications (welding or soldering, construction of cables, drilling a large set of holes) require a robot to trace a path in-plane in an efficient manner, e.g., with a minimum of starts and stops. Today, robots are usually taught to follow a given path by physically moving the robot through a succession of points ("guiding the robot through the motions"). If the path is long or intricate, this can be time consuming. Furthermore, if a path crosses itself many times, choosing which part of a path to follow at a crossing can be tedious and error prone.

Fig. 1 shows a sample tool path. Figs. 2-4 illustrate computations for efficient traversal of the sample tool path shown in Fig. 1. A computer vision system (part of an integrated robot system) defines a path and its efficient traversal by analyzing an image of a line drawing (see Fig. l for a sample drawing). In different applications, using different robot systems, efficient traversal of a path depends on a number of factors. These include number of starts and stops, changes in direction and acceleration, order in which to visit path points, etc. Therefore, a single quantitative measure of efficiency is not used. Instead, heuristic rules consistent with the requirements of a given application are used to define the efficient traversal of a path.

The process includes the following steps:

Bit Array Representation

Acquire a binary image of the line drawing, i.e., a

two-dimensional bit array (Fig. 2).

Method: The robot system can acquire binary images

using a TV camera, related hardware, and a digital

storage medium.

Thinned Array Representation

Transform the image (bit array) to one that contains

line segments...