Robots have been integrated with inspection systems for many years where automated repetitive inspection is required, typically in-line production environments.
One of the historical challenges however for these combined technologies has been the lack of accuracy of the industrial robot. While industrial robot accuracy is absolutely fine for general assembly automation process needs, metrology by definition, operates on a different scale all together.
What this can mean in practice is that highly accurate measurement systems attached to the end of a less accurate industrial robot inevitably lose some of their potential capability, unless additional components are brought into the system. Perhaps this could mean tracking of the scanner head, applying surface mounted targets to the subject being captured, or limiting the inspection to single ‘disconnected’ viewpoints rather than the whole part all combined.
Other surface capture (targetless) photogrammetry solutions do exist. These are however predominantly used for creating 3D models for ‘CGI’ visualisation purposes, or perhaps measurement at the scale of multiple mm, perhaps good enough for building survey or stock-pile volume measurement, but certainly not suitable for engineering inspection which requires micron level accuracy.
GigaScan Technologies (Xtura’s R&D dept.) has resolved this final challenge through its proprietary calibration process combined with unique processing algorithms. XTURA have been developing GigaScan for over 8 years with the intent to create a highly flexible automated inspection 3D scanning technology based on Photogrammetry, not only offering improved accuracy when compared to other metrology solutions, but also including all the advantages that targetless photogrammetry provides.
“GigaScan Technologies produce highly accurate automated measurements from photographs that enable the precise calculation of the geometry of an object. Photography is the projection of a 3D scene onto a 2D plane which results in the loss of depth information. The goal of GigaScan technologies is to reverse this process.” states Patrik Folkesson, founder of Xtura AB.
On a recent test project with KUKA, GigaScan blended and applied the capabilities of the two respective technologies to industrial inspection application, by successfully integrating the XT series 3D Scanner onto a KUKA industrial robot.
For more information: www.gigascan-technologies.com