Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Mastering Procedure

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000112421D
Original Publication Date: 1994-May-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Mar-27
Document File: 2 page(s) / 76K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Chang, P: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A safe and efficient method for automatically mastering a robot is disclosed.

This text was extracted from an ASCII text file.
This is the abbreviated version, containing approximately 52% of the total text.

Automated Mastering Procedure

      A safe and efficient method for automatically mastering a robot
is disclosed.

      Whenever one of the robots used in the IBM 3495 Tape Library
was repaired, it had to be mastered.  Mastering is the process of
physically moving the robot to a known position relative to its base
and aligning all six coordinates (x, y, y, roll, pitch and yaw).
This initializes the starting reference position upon which all the
robot kinematics are based.

      Previously, mastering was done using a fixture with six dial
indicator gauges that are zeroed by the operator, who moved the robot
tooling head with a control pendant.  On the IBM 3495, performing
this procedure was not viable because an operator cannot see all the
gauges through the safety enclosure door.

      In addition, the mastering process could have operator induced
data input errors that could damage either personnel or equipment.
The mastering process was not efficient, taking up to thirty minutes
to perform and requiring an experienced operator.

      This article describes a solution for the robot mastering
problems.  This mastering solution is automated, more accurate and
faster than the original procedure.

      By changing all of the six manual indicators to digital
indicators, adding a data gathering unit, and writing a special robot
control program, it was possible to automate the mastering process.

The hardware required to automate the process was:

*  Measuring devices - 6 digital displacement indicators (for example
a Mintutoyo digital gauge)

*  Data Gathering unit - One data collection unit that reads the
digital gauges and transmits the data on an RS-232 port (for example
a Mintutoyo MIG-2)

*  RS-232 Communications Cable - The existing mastering fixture was
reworked to fit the new digital indicators.  The six digital
indicators were mounted in the same location as the old manual
indicators.  A cable was connected from every digitial indicator to
the data gathering unit.  The data gathering unit was connected to
the robot controller using the RS232C cable.

      A robot control program was written to communicate with the
gathering unit in order to gather all digital in...