Articles | Volume 6, issue 2
Research article
11 Sep 2015
Research article |  | 11 Sep 2015

A two-stage calibration method for industrial robots with joint and drive flexibilities

M. Neubauer, H. Gattringer, A. Müller, A. Steinhauser, and W. Höbarth

Abstract. Dealing with robot calibration the neglection of joint and drive flexibilities limit the achievable positioning accuracy significantly. This problem is addressed in this paper. A two stage procedure is presented where elastic deflections are considered for the calculation of the geometric parameters. In the first stage, the unknown stiffness and damping parameters are identified. To this end the model based transfer functions of the linearized system are fitted to captured frequency responses of the real robot. The real frequency responses are determined by exciting the system with periodic multisine signals in the motor torques. In the second stage, the identified elasticity parameters in combination with the measurements of the motor positions are used to compute the real robot pose. On the basis of the estimated pose the geometric calibration is performed and the error between the estimated end-effector position and the real position measured with an external sensor (laser-tracker) is minimized. In the geometric model, joint offsets, axes misalignment, length errors and gear backlash are considered and identified. Experimental results are presented, where a maximum end-effector error (accuracy) of 0.32 mm and for 90 % of the poses a maximum error of 0.23 mm was determined (Stäubli TX90L).