High accuracy mobile robot positioning using external large volume metrology instruments

Zheng Wang, M. Liang, Paul G. Maropoulos

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A method of accurately controlling the position of a mobile robot using an external large volume metrology (LVM) instrument is presented in this article. By utilising an LVM instrument such as a laser tracker or indoor GPS (iGPS) in mobile robot navigation, many of the most difficult problems in mobile robot navigation can be simplified or avoided. Using the real-time position information from the laser tracker, a very simple navigation algorithm, and a low cost robot, 5 mm repeatability was achieved over a volume of 30 m radius. A surface digitisation scan of a wind turbine blade section was also demonstrated, illustrating possible applications of the method for manufacturing processes. Further, iGPS guidance of a small KUKA omni-directional robot has been demonstrated, and a full scale prototype system is being developed in cooperation with KUKA Robotics, UK.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-492
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number5
Early online date16 Mar 2011
Publication statusPublished - May 2011


  • laser tracker
  • metrology
  • automated guided vehicle
  • iGPS


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