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Collision detection method for industrial robot based on envelope-like lines

Tie Zhang (School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)
JingDong Hong (School of Mechanical and Automotive Engineering, South China University of Technology, Guangzhou, China)

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 20 June 2019

Issue publication date: 5 August 2019

Abstract

Purpose

Successful sensorless collision detection by a robot depends on the accuracy with which the external force/torque can be estimated. Compared with collaborative robots, industrial robots often have larger parameter values of their dynamic models and larger errors in parameter identification. In addition, the friction inside a reducer affects the accuracy of external force estimation. The purpose of this paper is to propose a collision detection method for industrial robots. The proposed method does not require additional equipment, such as sensors, and enables highly sensitive collision detection while guaranteeing a zero false alarm rate.

Design/methodology/approach

The error on the calculated torque for a robot in stable motion is analyzed, and a typical torque error curve is presented. The variational characteristics of the joint torque error during a collision are analyzed, and collisions are classified into two types: hard and soft. A pair of envelope-like lines with an effect similar to that of the true envelope lines is designed. By using these envelope-like lines, some components of the torque calculation error can be eliminated, and the sensitivity of collision detection can be improved.

Findings

The proposed collision detection method based on envelope-like lines can detect hard and soft collisions during the motion of industrial robots. In repeated experiments without collisions, the false alarm rate was 0 per cent, and in repeated experiments with collisions, the rate of successful detection was 100 per cent. Compared with collision detection method based on symmetric thresholds, the proposed method has a smaller detection delay and the same detection sensitivity for different joint rotation directions.

Originality/value

A collision detection method for industrial robots based on envelope-like lines is proposed in this paper. The proposed method does not require additional equipment or complex algorithms, and highly sensitive collision detection can be achieved with zero false alarms. The proposed method is low in cost and highly practical and can be widely used in applications involving industrial robots.

Keywords

Citation

Zhang, T. and Hong, J. (2019), "Collision detection method for industrial robot based on envelope-like lines", Industrial Robot, Vol. 46 No. 4, pp. 510-517. https://doi.org/10.1108/IR-12-2018-0261

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

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