Institute of Assembly Technology and Robotics Research Publications
Robotergestützte Handhabung im kryogenen Arbeitsumfeld

Contour Tracking Control for Mobile Robots applicable to Large-scale Assembly and Additive Manufacturing in Construction

Categories Konferenz (reviewed)
Year 2022
Authors Lachmayer, L.; Recker, T.; Raatz, A.
Published in Procedia CIRP, Vol. 106, 2022, pp. 108-113 (9th CIRP CATS)

In the construction industry, as well as during the assembly of large-scale components, the required workspaces usually cannot be served by a stationary robot. Instead, mobile robots are used to increase the accessible space. Here, the problem arises that the accuracy of such systems is not sufficient to meet the tolerance requirements of the components to be produced. Furthermore, there is an additional difficulty in the trajectory planning process since the exact dimensions of the pre-manufactured parts are unknown. Hence, existing static planning methods cannot be exerted on every application. Recent approaches present dynamic planning algorithms based on specific component characteristics. For example, the latest methods follow the contour by a force-controlled motion or detect features with a camera. However, in several applications such as welding or additive manufacturing in construction, no contact force is generated that could be controlled. Vision-based approaches are generally restricted by varying materials and lighting conditions, often found in large-scale construction. For these reasons, we propose a more robust approach without measuring contact forces, which, for example, applies to large-scale additive manufacturing. We based our algorithm on a high-precision 2D line laser, capable of detecting different feature contours regardless of material or lightning. The laser is mounted to the robot’s end-effector and provides a depth profile of the component’s surface. From this depth data, we determine the target contour and control the manipulator to follow it. Simultaneously we vary the robot’s speed to adjust the feed rate depending on the contour’s shape, maintaining a constant material application rate. As a proof of concept, we apply the algorithm to the additive manufacturing of two-layer linear structures made from spray PU foam. When making these structures, each layer must be positioned precisely on the previous layer to obtain a straight wall and prevent elastic buckling or plastic collapse. Initial experiments show improved layer alignment within 10 % of the layer width, as well as better layer height consistency and process reliability.

DOI 10.1016/j.procir.2022.02.163