Next Article in Journal
Measuring Dynamic Signals with Direct Sensor-to-Microcontroller Interfaces Applied to a Magnetoresistive Sensor
Previous Article in Journal
Flexible, Low-Cost Sensor Based on Electrolyte Gated Carbon Nanotube Field Effect Transistor for Organo-Phosphate Detection
Article Menu
Issue 5 (May) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Sensors 2017, 17(5), 1148;

Development of a Virtual Collision Sensor for Industrial Robots

Dipartimento di Automatica e Informatica, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, Torino 10129, Italy
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)
Full-Text   |   PDF [2465 KB, uploaded 18 May 2017]   |  


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

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited (CC BY 4.0).

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Indri, M.; Trapani, S.; Lazzero, I. Development of a Virtual Collision Sensor for Industrial Robots. Sensors 2017, 17, 1148.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics



[Return to top]
Sensors EISSN 1424-8220 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top