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Standardisation efforts related to industrial robots for measurement and inspection purposes
The use of industrial robots for measuring and testing is becoming increasingly significant as a component of flexible production. In the early stages of their development robots were used mainly for monotonous and repetitive tasks such as handling and spot welding. Thanks to improvements in the precision with which they work and also in control and regulation technologies, it is possible today to employ robots as flexible, sensor-assisted and even "intelligent" tools for measuring and testing. As a result, however, higer accuracy is demanded of the robots used for such purposses. In addition, robot measurement and acceptance test requirements have become more precise. Apart from the technical equipment involved, the use of industrial robots for measuring purposes also calls for the devising and programming of appropriate measuring strategies. In this context the planning and implementation of measuring projects have to be discussed along with the necessary hard- and software tolink r obots with measuring Systems. In order to support a possible standardisation in this area, the available data have to be analysed and specified in a representational form. The structure of a developed database for robot utilisation in measurement and testing is presented and selected features are discussed. This paper is based on recommendations given by the german association of engineers (VDI-GMA) and the work that has been done in the technical committee named "Industrial Robots - Measurement and Inspection" under the chairmanship of Dr.-Ing. R.-J. Ahlers.