The precision of a robot is not sufficient for many applications in the aircraft industry. One method to achieve the necessary precision is to use high-precision metrology systems to supervise the position of the end-effector.
Laser trackers are widely used throughout the aircraft industry for jig set-up, offering a measurement precision of 30mm. However, they can only be used as stand-alone measuring instruments, and cannot easily be integrated with other systems. Software tools provided with the laser tracker are also insufficient for calculating the required machine movements.
The innovation in ADFAST project was to demonstrate how the integration of metrology systems with robotic controllers can provide a high-precision positioning capability for the assembly of aircraft parts, the positioning of a self-moving device and the drilling of holes.
The objectives should be achieved by developing a novel laser tracker controller optimised for machine control, linked measurement and assembly planning tools, and a CAD referencing capability.
- Providing an Embedded System in combination with Laser Tracker System: A Tracker Controller with a high level Tracker Programming Interface (TPI), easy to integrate in other systems, i.e. customers can easily integrate the Leica Laser Tracker into their own production processes, as a measurement or control system for their manufacturing machines.
- Standalone application software based on CAD that supports the measurement process. Especially the build and inspect processes with professional result reporting adapted to the process needs defined together with project partners will be developed (Horizon).
- Technical support of Lab prototypes for evaluating the use of the laser tracker to control both the Crawler robot and conventional robots
- Adaptation of Leica's 6DOF system hardware for integration within a machine control system.
Partners can use these basic components and functions to develop a software, to calculate movement instructions based on the measured 6 DOF values and any other measurements made.