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Sensors (Basel). 2011;11(1):90-110. doi: 10.3390/s110100090. Epub 2010 Dec 23.

3D geometrical inspection of complex geometry parts using a novel laser triangulation sensor and a robot.

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Design and Manufacturing Engineering Department, University of Zaragoza, María de Luna, 3, E-50018, Zaragoza, Spain.


This article discusses different non contact 3D measuring strategies and presents a model for measuring complex geometry parts, manipulated through a robot arm, using a novel vision system consisting of a laser triangulation sensor and a motorized linear stage. First, the geometric model incorporating an automatic simple module for long term stability improvement will be outlined in the article. The new method used in the automatic module allows the sensor set up, including the motorized linear stage, for the scanning avoiding external measurement devices. In the measurement model the robot is just a positioning of parts with high repeatability. Its position and orientation data are not used for the measurement and therefore it is not directly "coupled" as an active component in the model. The function of the robot is to present the various surfaces of the workpiece along the measurement range of the vision system, which is responsible for the measurement. Thus, the whole system is not affected by the robot own errors following a trajectory, except those due to the lack of static repeatability. For the indirect link between the vision system and the robot, the original model developed needs only one first piece measuring as a "zero" or master piece, known by its accurate measurement using, for example, a Coordinate Measurement Machine. The strategy proposed presents a different approach to traditional laser triangulation systems on board the robot in order to improve the measurement accuracy, and several important cues for self-recalibration are explored using only a master piece. Experimental results are also presented to demonstrate the technique and the final 3D measurement accuracy.


in-process measurement; optical measurement for geometrical quantity evaluation; robot; self-recalibration; triangulation laser probe

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