Contact force handling

We can adjust and compensate for external forces affecting the robot during surface contact operations, thus providing better precision and in the end more reliable production.

Traditionally, the majority of industrial robots have been used in non-contact operations: pick-and-place, sealing, welding, etc, all operations where the robot is not continually in contact with a surface during its motion. There are many other applications where the robot is expected to perform a operation in contact with and along a surface, for example roller hemming.

The difficulty in using robots in contact operations arises from the deflections of the robot arm because of the forces acting on the robot. As the robot deflects, the tool is not kept on path. To make the system work today, a robot programmer must spend many hours adjusting target positions to account for the deflection. If anything changes in the robot cell, such as workpiece position, all the adjustments must be done again.

Using the original robot controller and standard industrial robot, Cognibotics’ solution is able to calibrate the robot for its force deflections and compensate the position using the robot’s own internal sensors and interfaces. This can be done in real-time or in a program modification after an initial run. The result is the ability to robustly adjust the robot positions to account for contact forces without costly touch up or reprogramming.

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