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Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1148; doi:10.3390/s17051148

Development of a Virtual Collision Sensor for Industrial Robots

1
Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy
2
COMAU SpA, Via Rivalta 30, Grugliasco (TO) 10095, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Vittorio M. N. Passaro
Received: 6 April 2017 / Revised: 15 May 2017 / Accepted: 16 May 2017 / Published: 18 May 2017
(This article belongs to the Section Physical Sensors)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [2465 KB, uploaded 18 May 2017]   |  

Abstract

Collision detection is a fundamental issue for the safety of a robotic cell. While several common methods require specific sensors or the knowledge of the robot dynamic model, the proposed solution is constituted by a virtual collision sensor for industrial manipulators, which requires as inputs only the motor currents measured by the standard sensors that equip a manipulator and the estimated currents provided by an internal dynamic model of the robot (i.e., the one used inside its controller), whose structure, parameters and accuracy are not known. The collision detection is achieved by comparing the absolute value of the current residue with a time-varying, positive-valued threshold function, including an estimate of the model error and a bias term, corresponding to the minimum collision torque to be detected. The value of such a term, defining the sensor sensitivity, can be simply imposed as constant, or automatically customized for a specific robotic application through a learning phase and a subsequent adaptation process, to achieve a more robust and faster collision detection, as well as the avoidance of any false collision warnings, even in case of slow variations of the robot behavior. Experimental results are provided to confirm the validity of the proposed solution, which is already adopted in some industrial scenarios. View Full-Text
Keywords: collision detection; industrial manipulators; virtual sensors collision detection; industrial manipulators; virtual sensors
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Indri, M.; Trapani, S.; Lazzero, I. Development of a Virtual Collision Sensor for Industrial Robots. Sensors 2017, 17, 1148.

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