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RoboDK releases automated robotic instrument calibrator TwinTool


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RoboDK’s TwinTool affords robotic instrument calibration for industrial robots. | Supply: RoboDK

Canadian robotics software program supplier RoboDK has launched TwinTool, an utility that gives absolutely automated robotic instrument calibration for industrial robots. TwinTool is a cheap, fast and simple resolution to enhance the instrument’s accuracy in all kinds of producing purposes. It’s a aggressive different to expensive and complicated robotic calibration providers presently accessible available on the market.

Industrial robots are more and more used for high-accuracy manufacturing duties, reminiscent of meeting, soldering, and machining. Nonetheless, new customers are generally disenchanted by the obvious low accuracy of their robots. They put money into costly robotic calibration methods to attempt to enhance the accuracy.

“Many customers don’t notice how necessary it’s to calibrate the instrument correctly,” Albert Nubiola, CEO of RoboDK, stated. “They imagine they should calibrate the entire robotic. Nonetheless, correctly calibrating the instrument heart level (TCP) can present a big enchancment in accuracy.”

Repeatable, not correct: the issue with industrial robots

Industrial robots have excessive repeatability, however low accuracy. This implies they will transfer to the very same place each time (repeatability), however their place doesn’t precisely match the world coordinate system (accuracy).

There are two essential forms of calibration procedures for enhancing a robotic’s accuracy. Robotic calibration requires precision laser methods to calibrate the robotic mechanism itself. Instrument heart level (TCP) calibration is an easier process to make sure the programming system has an correct mannequin of the robotic’s instrument.

“TwinTool is a fast and inexpensive resolution to robotically calibrate the robotic’s TCP in comparison with different options reminiscent of laser trackers. Laser calibration is pricey, and lots of robotic purposes don’t want such excessive accuracy,” Samuel Bertrand, software program developer at RoboDK, stated.

TwinTool achieves instrument calibration with an off-the-shelf sensor

The standard manner of calibrating a robotic instrument heart level (TCP) is by a 4-point methodology, which encompass taking a sequence of at the very least 4 joint readings when shifting the instrument to the identical level with totally different orientations. This course of is time consuming and fewer correct because the consumer wants to maneuver the robotic in several place manually.

TwinTool calibration performance is distributed as a RoboDK App, a plugin that extends the capabilities of RoboDK’s robotic programming software program.

RoboDK TwinTool requires an off-the-shelf linear gauge sensor (or LVDT) to immediately talk with any robotic and to calculate the robotic instrument heart level (TCP) with out human intervention. TwinTool robotically information a vast variety of factors, and the linear gage sensor affords nice accuracy for instrument definition. 

The app is suitable with a variety of sensors from main manufacturers together with Mitutoyo, KEYENCE and Sylvac, permitting it to be versatile with any {hardware}. Different sensor manufacturers will also be built-in on request. 

RoboDK TwinTool helps greater than 600 robotic arms from 50 totally different robotic producers and is suited for a lot of industrial environments. This follows RoboDK’s well-established philosophy of remaining brand-agnostic for {hardware}. 

Ease of use and security on the coronary heart of the method

Equally necessary, RoboDK locations nice emphasis on the benefit of use and security of its merchandise. TwinTool runs immediately from RoboDK, making the bridge between the robotic controller and the sensor. No programming expertise are required. Customers solely want RoboDK simulation software program, a robotic, its instrument (spherical or conical), and a sensor. Singularities and collisions are averted, and trajectories robotically calculated.

“We’ve got created a user-friendly wizard to make sure that the calibration is completed appropriately and safely,” Bertrand stated. “That is easy sufficient that it may be utilized by operators that don’t have robotics data.”

To calibrate a robotic instrument, the consumer merely follows this 3-step process in RoboDK’s software program:

  1. Choose their robotic mannequin from RoboDK’s in depth robotic library.
  2. Join RoboDK to the robotic and to the sensor.
  3. Transfer the robotic on the sensor and begin the calibration.

“The process is absolutely automated and doesn’t require any guide intervention,” Nubiola stated. “It robotically avoids collisions and doesn’t require customers to jot down a single line of code.”

With TwinTool, customers can rapidly and robotically enhance the accuracy of their instrument by as much as 0.250 mm with some robotic setups. This offers an accuracy enchancment by 2 to 10 instances, relying on the robotic and the instrument.

“With out this calibration, robotic errors might be within the vary of 2-5 mm. With this instrument calibration, you’ll be able to often cut back robotic errors as much as 0.250-1 mm relying in your utility,” Nubiola stated.

This accuracy enchancment is greater than sufficient for many robotic purposes, even people who require precision. This will save customers some huge cash on pointless robotic calibration providers.

Future plans

Customers can now request so as to add TwinTool to their copy of the RoboDK software program as an optionally available RoboDK App.

Bertrand explains they’ll proceed to enhance TwinTool’s performance. “Presently, the instrument is oriented in the direction of upkeep modes,” he stated. “Nonetheless, we’re working in the direction of a mode that can run the calibration process robotically throughout manufacturing.”

RoboDK additionally plans to increase its App interface by making a RoboDK App Market. They are going to invite corporations to develop and publish their very own apps for the software program.

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