JP2012024920A - Cmm arm with exoskeleton - Google Patents

Cmm arm with exoskeleton Download PDF

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JP2012024920A
JP2012024920A JP2011168620A JP2011168620A JP2012024920A JP 2012024920 A JP2012024920 A JP 2012024920A JP 2011168620 A JP2011168620 A JP 2011168620A JP 2011168620 A JP2011168620 A JP 2011168620A JP 2012024920 A JP2012024920 A JP 2012024920A
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Prior art keywords
cmm arm
probe
exoskeleton
robot
arm
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JP2011168620A
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JP5291158B2 (en
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Stephen James Crampton
クランプトン,ステファン,ジェームス
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3D Scanners Ltd
3ディー スキャナーズ リミテッド
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Priority to GB0309662A priority Critical patent/GB0309662D0/en
Priority to GB0309662.5 priority
Priority to GB0312963.2 priority
Priority to GB0312963A priority patent/GB0312963D0/en
Priority to GB0327503A priority patent/GB0327503D0/en
Priority to GB0327503.9 priority
Priority to GB0405396A priority patent/GB0405396D0/en
Priority to GB0405396.3 priority
Application filed by 3D Scanners Ltd, 3ディー スキャナーズ リミテッド filed Critical 3D Scanners Ltd
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    • BPERFORMING OPERATIONS; TRANSPORTING
    • B25HAND TOOLS; PORTABLE POWER-DRIVEN TOOLS; MANIPULATORS
    • B25JMANIPULATORS; CHAMBERS PROVIDED WITH MANIPULATION DEVICES
    • B25J13/00Controls for manipulators
    • B25J13/08Controls for manipulators by means of sensing devices, e.g. viewing or touching devices
    • B25J13/088Controls for manipulators by means of sensing devices, e.g. viewing or touching devices with position, velocity or acceleration sensors
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B11/00Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means
    • G01B11/02Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring length, width or thickness
    • G01B11/03Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of optical means for measuring length, width or thickness by measuring coordinates of points
    • GPHYSICS
    • G01MEASURING; TESTING
    • G01BMEASURING LENGTH, THICKNESS OR SIMILAR LINEAR DIMENSIONS; MEASURING ANGLES; MEASURING AREAS; MEASURING IRREGULARITIES OF SURFACES OR CONTOURS
    • G01B5/00Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of mechanical means
    • G01B5/004Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of mechanical means for measuring coordinates of points
    • G01B5/008Measuring arrangements characterised by the use of mechanical means for measuring coordinates of points using coordinate measuring machines
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B2219/00Program-control systems
    • G05B2219/30Nc systems
    • G05B2219/37Measurements
    • G05B2219/37274Strain gauge
    • GPHYSICS
    • G05CONTROLLING; REGULATING
    • G05BCONTROL OR REGULATING SYSTEMS IN GENERAL; FUNCTIONAL ELEMENTS OF SUCH SYSTEMS; MONITORING OR TESTING ARRANGEMENTS FOR SUCH SYSTEMS OR ELEMENTS
    • G05B2219/00Program-control systems
    • G05B2219/30Nc systems
    • G05B2219/40Robotics, robotics mapping to robotics vision
    • G05B2219/40305Exoskeleton, human robot interaction, extenders

Abstract

PROBLEM TO BE SOLVED: To provide a CMM arm with an exoskeleton and a transmission means.SOLUTION: The CMM arm apparatus having the exoskeleton comprises: an internal CMM arm with a base end and a probe end; and the exoskeleton for driving the internal CMM arm through a plurality of transmission means. One or more contact probes, optical probes and tools are mounted on the probe ends. The CMM arm with the exoskeleton is provided in manually operable and automated embodiments. The CMM arm with the exoskeleton is operable for accurate measurement or for performing accurate operations. Methods are provided for operations of the CMM arm with the exoskeleton.

Description

[Field of the Invention]
The present invention relates to an apparatus and a method related to a CMM arm having an exoskeleton for performing highly accurate measurement and operation.

[Background of the invention]
Existing automatic measurement method Automatic measurement of medium to large size objects requires a measuring machine accuracy of 0.05mm (+/- 2 sigma), usually 0.025mm (+/- 2 sigma) or higher. is there. “Sigma” means one standard deviation. Automatic measurement currently has two main methods: (i) a large and expensive conventional computer numerical control coordinate measuring machine (CNC CMM) with more than two axes; (ii) a dedicated cell at the end of the automobile production line It is usually done with a rigid structure of a static optical probe, which is positioned. In a conventional CMM, an optical probe moves around a stationary object in a highly controlled manner to generate accurate data. In the second case, both the optical probe and the object are stationary and the positioning is calibrated to allow accurate data. Most conventional CMMs are moving bridge or horizontal arm structures, which are produced by companies including Zeiss (Germany), Hexagon Brown & Sharpe (Sweden), and LK (UK). Mechanical touch probes attached to conventional CMMs are supplied by companies including Renishaw (UK). Optical probes attached to conventional CMMs are supplied by companies including Metris (Belgium). Automatic probe mounts such as Renishaw Autojoin are reproducible to high precision and are supplied with a probe rack for automatic probe replacement. The rigid structure of the static optical probe is supplied by Perceptron (USA). Both conventional CMM and static optical probes have the following disadvantages. In other words, conventional CMMs and static optical probes use up cell space that is normally used only for measurement and not for production work in the production line, and is usually installed at the end of the line, downstream processes. Data cannot be supplied to the network, it is expensive, and it is difficult to justify it even considering investment recovery. Furthermore, the rigid structure of the optical probe is not flexible to accommodate rapidly changing models in the production line. Due to the shortcomings of existing high-precision measurement systems, today, the production line uses an efficient production process that uses robots that are faster, perform better, and cheaper than conventional processes but require high-precision positioning. It is not possible.

Automatic Robot Measurement Since the 1960s, companies have developed heavy robot arms for applications that require short cycle times and repeatability. However, the accuracy of these robot arms is low, mainly due to temperature, wear, and vibration problems. Robots have been used to carry probes for automatic measurement. Robot arms do not have sufficient accuracy to meet the stringent requirements of most automatic measurements, especially in the automotive industry. Due to the high reproducibility of the robotic arm, “quasi-static” measurements have become a solution that is more or less adopted by the automotive industry. In a “quasi-static” measurement, the probe moves from one position to the next and takes data only when it is stationary or moving slowly. The measurement can be performed with either a contact probe or a non-contact probe. The measurement probe of the robot arm usually takes 3D data from the surface of the object while moving at a speed of 10 mm / sec to 200 mm / sec (however, it may be faster or slower). Low. Companies that produce robot arms include Fanuc (Japan) and Kuka (Germany). Perceptron and LMI-Diffracto (USA) provide solutions using robotic arms and optical probes. 3D Scanners and Kuka showed solutions by real-time optical inspection at the Euromold 2001 trade show in Frankfurt, but the accuracy was on the order of 0.5-1 mm. Typical industrial robot thermal growth is about 10 microns for a 1 ° C. temperature rise per meter reach, and errors over 500 microns can be recorded in production line conditions. LMI-Diffracto has an automatic production line facility supplied by Kuka with four standard industrial robots each carrying an optical probe, which is compensated for thermal growth so that the production line condition Can be reduced to less than 100 microns. In US Pat. No. 6,078,846 to Greer, assigned to Perceptron, compensation for robot thermal growth is performed by measuring fixed artifacts with an optical probe. The optical probe performs measurements while the robot is stationary between movements. Error mapping increases the accuracy of the robot. Several measures, including dancing the robot during a planned movement program while taking measurements using a photogrammetry system such as those from Krypton (Netherlands) or Northern Digital (Canada) There is a technique. Subsequently, an error map is created using the measured values. Load error compensation has already been performed by measuring the power used by the servo and automatically calculating the load on the arm. Even when multiple types of error compensation were used, only 0.2 mm (+/− 2 sigma) accuracy was obtained with the type and reach robots often found in automobile production lines. A problem with a robotic arm carrying a scanning probe in which relative movement between the probe and object occurs during scanning is that the system is not accurate enough to be useful.

Pursuit
US Pat. No. 6,166,811 by Long et al. Discloses a photogrammetry system for improving the accuracy of object scanning by tracking a photogrammetry target attached to a probe in real time by a photogrammetry system. This method has many drawbacks. First, it is necessary to maintain a plurality of clear lines of sight between the probe and the photogrammetry camera. In practice, the line of sight from the photogrammetric camera to the photogrammetric target on the probe is often obstructed by programmed changes in probe orientation required for programmed robot movement and / or object scanning. . This limits the applicability of the system, making the system useless for many applications. Second, the ambient lighting conditions must be kept approximately ideal, otherwise the photogrammetry system will be less accurate or the system will stop functioning. In practice, this is difficult to set up and is often incompatible with other lighting requirements at that location. Third, photogrammetry systems often do not have both the resolution and speed necessary to provide sufficient accuracy for this application. Fourth, the photogrammetry camera and robot must be securely attached to each other. This often requires a rigid structure with large dimensions to obtain the desired accuracy. The main problem with incorporating photographic measurement technology into robotic measurement systems is that the resulting system is not small and robust enough to be useful.

  Leica Geosystems supplies the 6 degree of freedom laser tracker LTD800. This can measure the position and orientation over a range of 35 m with a single line of sight, with up to 1000 measurements per second. Its accuracy is on the order of 50 microns for a slowly moving target. Its price is over US $ 130,000. Many of the restrictions on robotic measurements are similar to those of photogrammetry. The main problem with incorporating laser tracker technology into a robotic measurement system is that it is expensive, the orientation of the probe being tracked is limited, and the resulting system is not small and robust enough to be useful.

Robot Controller and Programming Robot arm controllers are well understood by those skilled in the art. The standard reference is “Robot Manipulators, Mathematics Programming and Control” by Richard P Paul. Adept Technologies (USA) supplies a 6-axis robot controller starting at a price of US $ 8,500. There are many products available for robot programming that generate a sequence of movements offline and subsequently communicate them to a robot controller for later execution, one example being EmWorkplace from Tenomaxix (USA). In patent application GB2036376A by Richter, assigned to HA Shlatter AG (Switzerland), programming is performed by manually holding the device while the device is attached to the robot, and the device is the robot intended by the user. A strain gauge that detects the direction of

Manual CMM Arms Since the 1970s, companies have been manufacturing manually operable CMM arms, mainly depending on the reach of manual CMM arms, from 0.025mm (+/- 2 sigma) to 0.005mm ( Measurement accuracy of (+/- 2 sigma) has recently been achieved using a contact probe. The accuracy of the Manual CMM Arm is expected to increase further with further development. These manual CMM arms already have sufficient accuracy to meet many measurement requirements and are a growing sector in the measurement market. The Manual CMM Arm has the flexibility to reach areas that are difficult to access. Manual CMM Arms have satisfactory accuracy for many applications, but are not automated, are particularly expensive because they require semi-skilled workers, and human workers are prone to human error. Companies that produce manual CMM arms include Cimcore (USA), Faro Technologies (USA), Romer (France), Zett Mess Technik (Germany), and OGP (UK). Examples include U.S. Pat. No. 3,994,798 to Eaton, U.S. Pat. No. 5,402,582 to Rab assigned to Faro Technologies, U.S. Pat. No. 5,829,148 to Eaton, and assigned to Faro Technologies. Raab, US Pat. No. 6,366,831, discloses background information on manual CMM arms. It is known to provide a bearing on the joint of a manual CMM arm, and US Patent Application No. 2002/0087233 by Raab assigned to Faro Technologies discloses background information on bearings. Manual CMM arm designs are typically limited to a reach of about 2 meters from the center of fitting 1 to the probe tip, because longer than that requires two workers to use the arm. It is. The accuracy of the manual CMM arm decreases with increasing length. In general, in a modular manual CMM arm design, if all other elements are the same, the accuracy is also inversely proportional to the length. US Pat. No. 6,366,831 by Raab discloses that in the field, a manual CMM arm typically has an absolute positional accuracy of more than 10 times that of a robot arm. Some of the factors that cause inaccuracies including joint misalignment in robots are mentioned in US Pat. No. 6,366,831. Manual CMM arms, such as those manufactured by Faro Technologies and Romer, are generally operated by one person with both hands. Each of the operator's hands exerts six different degrees of freedom on the portion of the Manual CMM Arm that is gripped by the hand. Some skilled workers require only one hand, depending on the application. The manual CMM arm is a closed-loop controlled mechanism that allows the operator to complete the loop. Such control is a skillful task and requires the operator to control six or seven arm free axes in a variety of different spatial layouts under the influence of gravity using only two hands. Often, an operator misoperates the Manual CMM Arm and some or all of the Manual CMM Arm is accelerated by gravity until it collides or is pressed by the operator. During data capture, the operator may apply variable and possibly excessive force and torque to the Manual CMM Arm, reducing the accuracy of the measurement data output by the Manual CMM Arm.

Compensation Device and Holding Device Manual CMM Arms typically have a compensation device built into the second joint that provides the upper arm with a torque that tends to counterbalance by lifting the upper arm. Manual CMM Arm compensation devices are disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,298,569 by Raab et al., US Pat. No. 6,253,458 by Raab et al. And US Patent Application No. 2003/0167647 by Raab et al. All of which have been transferred to Faro Technologies. This means that the arm is light and easy to lift for the operator, so there is less fatigue during use. This also means that the torque transmitted through the Manual CMM Arm is greater, and as a requirement, the Manual CMM Arm is designed to be heavier than without such a compensation device to obtain the required accuracy. It must be. It is standard practice to compensate for robots to reduce robot power consumption and motor power, size, and weight. In 2003/0167647, when used in a suspended orientation, the processing spring compensation device can be removed, flipped and repositioned to compensate the arm, but this procedure must be performed in the factory This is inconvenient for the user. Some manual CMM arms have a holding device that locks one or more axes of the arm in any spatial orientation, and such holding devices require the arm to be down for each measurement set. Is lost. In the 3000 Series Manual CMM Arm made by Cimcore (USA), a sliding peg fixing is attached to the compensation device on axis 2 (first orthogonal hinge axis) and when the peg slides into the hole , The compensation device through which axis 2 passes is locked. Pneumatic brakes on multiple axes are disclosed in PCT / EP01 / 01570 by Nietz, assigned to Zett Mess Technik GmbH, and are provided on axes 1-4 of Zett Mess's AMPG-P manual CMM arm product. . The air brake can be released by a wireless remote control switch, and the air brake acts on the disc. The air brake and disc are attached directly to the manual CMM arm, increasing the weight of the manual CMM arm and transferring its moment to the bearings of the manual CMM arm, reducing its accuracy and usefulness.

Manual CMM Arm Optical Probes Manual CMM Arm optical probes have been disclosed in several patent applications including WO 9705449 by the inventor of the present invention, Crampton. Optical probes for manual CMM arms are provided or developed by 3D Scanners, Romer, Faro Technologies, Perceptron, Steinbichler (Germany), Pulstec (Japan), and Kreon (France), among others. The optical probe is generally mounted off the side of the manual CMM arm or attached to the probe end of the manual CMM arm. Broadly speaking, there are three types of optical probes: point optical probes, line optical probes, and area optical probes. At present, there is no measurement accuracy standard that defines how accuracy should be measured for point optical probes, line optical probes, and area optical probes. The market is in a situation where it is not possible to carry out standard tests that make it possible to compare accuracy between optical probe types in a practical way. Optical probes have become highly accurate mainly due to their short measurement range. In general, an optical probe collects measurement data over a measurement range on the order of 20-40 mm. This is often away from the end of the manual CMM arm. The accuracy when combining the best manual CMM arm with the best optical probe is already higher than 0.050 mm (+/- 2 sigma), and 0.010 mm (+/-) if the measurement range is short 2 sigma) and even higher than 0.002 mm (+/- 2 sigma).

Manual CMM Arm Optical Probe Synchronization and Interpolation In systems with a manual CMM arm and optical probe, measurements from each are combined to provide output measurement data. As disclosed in WO 9705449 by Crampton, the inventor of the present invention, the measurement accuracy of a system comprising a manual CMM arm and an optical probe synchronizes the timing of the measurement from the manual CMM arm and the measurement from the optical probe. Will increase. Alternatively, as further disclosed in WO 9705449, the measurement accuracy of a system comprising a manual CMM arm and an optical probe is time stamped on each measurement from the manual CMM arm and timed on each measurement from the optical probe. It is enhanced by using a process that stamps and then interpolates the two measurement sets to provide a combined measurement set. However, in some cases, the system is confused and one or more measurements from any device are lost. In this situation, the later interpolation process can be complicated.

Calibration and alignment of robots and manual CMM arms
As disclosed in US Pat. No. 5,687,293 by Shell, the robot uses a reference sphere and a probe with a spherical tip attached to the robot, and the tip is arranged in various robot space layouts. Calibration can be done by bringing the spherical probe into contact with the reference sphere multiple times. A 39-parameter kinematic model of a 6-axis robot embodiment is disclosed. The alignment of the optical probe with respect to the robot is disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,321,137 (B1) by De Smet. A method for manually calibrating a manual CMM arm is disclosed in US Pat. No. 5,402,582 by Raab assigned to Faro Technologies. The Manual CMM Arm is calibrated by the manufacturer before shipping. Several suppliers, including Faro Technologies, allow manual probe calibration to be easily performed each time the user changes the probe while the calibration of the manual CMM arm remains the same. OGP UK supplies Polar manual CMM arms, allowing users to fully calibrate polar arms and probes together in a simple procedure, which allows the arm to be placed in various spatial layouts. This is done using a reference artifact having a plurality of cones on which the spherical probe of the polar arm is placed. A 39-parameter kinematic model is used for these 6-axis polar arms. Full and accurate manual calibration of a Manual CMM Arm is a laborious process, typically 500 separate points are recorded in a process that takes several hours. Human error is likely to occur at each point. Different workers hold the Manual CMM Arm at different locations, apply different torques through different grips, and apply different patterns of loads and bending moments to the arms, resulting in different flexures and end tilts. A manual CMM arm that is manually calibrated will function differently depending on how each operator holds and uses. Whatever way you hold in each spatial orientation, you need a manual CMM arm that is under a reproducible pattern of loads and bending moments. There is a need for a method of manually calibrating a manual CMM arm such that the loads and bending moments that occur when used by different workers are in the same pattern. There is a need for a method of automatically calibrating a manual CMM Arm that increases the reproducibility and accuracy of its calibration and allows more points to be recorded than is practical or cost effective, especially with current manual processes. is there. The alignment of the optical probe to the manual CMM arm (also known as calibration or qualification) is disclosed in WO 9705449 by Crampton, the inventor of the present invention.

Installation of robot and measuring device
As disclosed in US Pat. No. 5,392,384 to Tounai et al., The tip of the six-axis articulation measurement device is attached to the tip of the robot to calibrate the robot. As disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,535,794 by Raab assigned to Faro Technologies, the tip of the six-axis articulation device is attached to the tip of the robot to generate an error map. As disclosed in US Pat. No. 6,519,860 to Bieg et al., The tip of the three-axis articulating device is attached to the tip of the robot or machine to measure the spatial performance of the robot or machine. None of these disclosures are used to measure objects. A surgical robot and a multi-joint sensor arm are attached to the base as disclosed in WO 98/27887 by Wahrburg. Patient measurements are made manually using the multi-joint sensor arm, a robot program is generated based on these measurements, and the robot performs the surgical intervention. In this disclosure, the measurement is not automated. Two items of the prior art disclose devices that measure the position and / or orientation of the end points of robotic arms that are susceptible to bending deflection and / or thermal expansion. As disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,119,212 by Flemming, the location of the end of the moving segment is monitored using a simple knee joint having a planar goniometer securely attached to both ends. This device is limited to operation in a plane and no out-of-plane bending is measured. Therefore, this device cannot measure the position and orientation in 3D space. As disclosed in U.S. Pat. No. 4,606,696 to Slocum, a device for measuring the position and orientation of the end of a robot arm comprises a number of measurement links connected by rotary and linear bearings, a rotation angle and A measuring device for measuring linear movement. The measurement link is not only pinned to the end points of the robot arm, but is also firmly pinned to the robot arm with at least one intermediate hinge joint. This technique requires twelve highly accurate rotation and linear measurement devices for a 6-axis robot. Since the errors from the twelve measuring devices accumulate, it is questionable whether this technique can be developed into a highly accurate 3D measuring device for a 6-axis robot. There is a need for a simpler and more robust system that does not require additional rotational and linear measurement devices and does not accumulate the errors associated with them. U.S. Pat. No. 4,119,212 and U.S. Pat. No. 4,606,696 both require a measurement device to be securely attached to each end of the robot arm. Secure attachment to the probe end is essential to accurately measure the position of the end of the robot arm. When positioning a CMM arm using a robotic arm, a secure attachment to the probe end is not necessary or desirable. Neither US Pat. No. 4,119,212 and US Pat. No. 4,606,696 provide a means for using calibration information in the device. None of these suggests using the device as a coordinate measuring machine. Without calibration information, it is questionable whether the device can be as accurate as needed in current applications.

Other background
As disclosed in PCT / GB01 / 01590 by Gooch, a robot is shown in which both an optical probe and a tool are attached to the probe end of the robot, using this robot to measure with an optical probe and work with a tool Can be selectively performed. However, to obtain measurement accuracy, an optical tracking system having all of the above-mentioned drawbacks is used. As further disclosed in PCT / GB01 / 01590 by Gooch, the robot is mobile, for example mounted on a rail, allowing access around a large object being measured. This further disclosure also has the disadvantage of optical tracking. A manual marking out system using Faro's arm and a robot marking system using an industrial robot made by Kuka are disclosed in PCT / GB01 / 03865 by Gooch. These two systems are either highly accurate or automated, but not both. Manual scanning of an object on a rotary table by a non-contact sensor attached to a manual CMM arm is disclosed in WO 9705449 by Crampton, the inventor of the present invention. Large object milling is performed by standard 5-axis or 6-axis industrial robots, but the resulting object is not highly accurate due to the limited accuracy of standard industrial robots. Usually, hand finishing is required in which cutting is performed from various directions. Milling of large objects is performed accurately with large 5-axis machining centers such as those manufactured by Mecof spa (Italy) and large 5-axis horizontal arms CMM such as those made by Zeiss and LK Tool. It is normal. The types of objects that can be machined are limited by Cartesian machine types, for example, horizontal arms cannot bend around corners. Delcam (UK) offers software called PowerShape that can generate milling programs for 5-axis and 6-axis industrial robots.

Need for accuracy Users want to get even higher accuracy from their manual CMM Arm. In manual CMM arms, the operator applies excessive stress to the manual CMM arm, there are variations in the moment applied to the arm from various handgrip positions, and the built-in counterweight gives moment to the bearing. A considerable error occurs. There is a need for a manual CMM arm that is highly reproducible and highly reproducible, with the load on the CMM arm being unaffected by how it is held. There is a further need for a more accurate calibration process that is automated to eliminate human error.

The need for automation Manual CMM arms with optical probes are usually used continuously for extended periods of time. During most of this time, the operator holds a manual CMM arm that is remote from him, often in an inconvenient location. The remotely supported weight can be several kilograms for a long manual CMM arm. This is hard work and fatigues many workers, especially those with a small body. Worker fatigue is a common problem, which can lead to illness, loss of function, or injury. Most of the work done with the Manual CMM Arm is for unique components that only require optical inspection once. In many cases, the surface to be inspected is not directly accessible, but requires a temporary gantry that allows the operator to climb up to operate the arm. The problem with manual CMM arms carrying scanning probes where relative movement occurs between the probe and the object during scanning is that the system cannot operate automatically even if they have sufficient accuracy Thus, the use of the system is fatigued and incorrect data can be output due to operator error or excessive stress on the manual CMM arm.

Necessity of accessibility The shape of the object to be measured and its accessibility to the probe on the movable member vary from application to application. A CMM that is flexible enough to access a larger range of object shapes is more useful. In practice, it has generally been found that articulated arm CMMs with a series of preferably six or seven joints separated by rigid segments are more flexible than orthogonal configuration CMMs. In the current state of the art, it is also generally known that an automatic CMM with orthogonal axis configuration is several orders of magnitude more accurate than an automatic articulated robot arm. It has also been generally found that an orthogonal CMM automatic CMM is less suitable for placement in a manufacturing environment such as an assembly line than an automatic articulated arm robot. The problem is that automatic CMM machines that are articulated and have sufficient accuracy are not available.

The need for portability As shown by the fact that around 5,000 portable manual CMM arms have been purchased since becoming sufficiently accurate in the mid-1990s, the demand for portable manual CMM arms is large. Correspondingly, a portable automatic CMM arm is also required, but currently does not exist.

The need for robustness Manual CMM arms have become more accurate and less robust. Existing designs of Manual CMM Arms have precision measurement systems that are susceptible to shock, moments, and abuse during use and transportation. Since the existing design of the transport case is simple, the manual CMM arm is particularly damaged by impact. There is a need for a robust, portable manual CMM arm and a transport case that minimizes the forces and moments applied to the manual CMM arm from impacts during transport.

[Summary of Invention]
In the prior art, Flemming discloses a robot arm fitted with a measuring arm that can only be used in a plane and does not take into account out-of-plane bending. Slocum discloses a measuring device for a robotic arm that operates in 3D space. This requires 12 rotational and linear measuring devices for a 6-axis robot, is complex, expensive to manufacture, and accuracy is limited by error stackup.

  Thus, one of the objectives of the present invention operates in 3D space and requires only one measurement device per axis, ie 6 angle encoders for 6 axis CMM arms and 7 for 7 axis CMM arms. It is to provide a CMM arm with an exoskeleton and a transmission means that requires only one angle encoder. This results in a CMM arm with an exoskeleton that is significantly more robust and accurate than the Slocum device and can operate in 3D space, which is a limitation with Flemming devices. It is a further object of the invention to provide a CMM arm with an exoskeleton that has both manual and automatic embodiments. Another object is to provide a CMM arm with an exoskeleton that can collect data. Yet another object is to provide a CMM arm having an exoskeleton capable of performing work.

  In a first embodiment of the invention, the portable Robot CMM Arm comprises an automatic exoskeleton that supports and manipulates the Internal CMM Arm via a transmission means so that object measurements can be performed. The Robot CMM Arm and the Internal CMM Arm are securely attached to the base. The exoskeleton and the internal CMM arms have the same number of axes and approximately the same joint axis orientation and joint center. The Robot CMM Arm preferably has 6 or 7 axes. There is a transmission means between the exoskeleton and the internal CMM arm so that the exoskeleton both drives and supports the internal CMM arm. The transmission means is non-rigid and the probe end of the internal CMM arm can move slightly relative to the probe end of the exoskeleton. This first embodiment is fundamentally different from the Slocum and Flemming devices that require a secure attachment of the probe end of the robot arm and the probe end of the measurement device. At least one probe is attached to the probe end of the internal CMM arm. In order to combine the position from the internal CMM arm and the measurements from the probe and avoid inaccuracies due to the ambiguity of the combination, a new systematically changing synchronization label and synchronization method is proposed. A control box is incorporated in the base of the Robot CMM Arm. A slip ring allows infinite rotation on the axial axes. The Robot CMM Arm usually weighs 20-30 kg and is portable so it can be moved towards the object to be measured. It is a further object of this first embodiment to provide a method for positioning a Robot CMM Arm to measure object data. This Robot CMM Arm invention has a new structure and new capabilities that are not possible with any robot, manual CMM arm, or conventional CMM.

  In the second embodiment of the present invention, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm comprises an exoskeleton surrounding the Internal CMM Arm. Tools for performing operations such as milling can be attached to the Industrial Robot CMM Arm. The exoskeleton and the internal CMM arm are securely attached at the probe end, allowing the internal CMM arm to measure the position of the tool and guide the tool in space with greater accuracy than any of the previous robots. .

  In a third embodiment, the active support Robot CMM Arm comprises active transmission means that support and move the Internal CMM Arm from the exoskeleton for accurate measurement. The exoskeleton swings the Internal CMM Arm, reducing the weight of the Internal CMM Arm and greatly reducing the forces and moments on the Internal CMM Arm. The transmission means is non-rigid and the probe end of the internal CMM arm can move slightly relative to the probe end of the exoskeleton. This means that the Active Support Robot CMM Arm is more accurate than other types of Robot CMM Arm. In a further modification, an air bearing is provided between the internal CMM arm and the exoskeleton.

  In a fourth embodiment, a method for measuring quantities, a method for modeling quantities, a method for analyzing quantities, a method for visualizing quantities, and a method for feeding back results to a manufacturing process are disclosed. A quantity measuring probe is attached to the probe end of the Robot CMM Arm. Means are provided for combining the measured quantity with the CAD model of the object being measured.

  In a fifth embodiment, a method and apparatus for a Mobile Robot CMM Arm is disclosed. A Robot CMM Arm is attached to a tripod with retractable legs built into an electric vehicle and moved from one measurement position to the next measurement position. This is typically used to automatically scan large objects such as vehicles or aircraft, and is a cheaper and more flexible alternative to the currently used large horizontal or bridge type CMMs .

  In a sixth embodiment, an embodiment of a Robot CMM Arm having a displaceable exoskeleton is disclosed. The Internal CMM Arm is displaced from the exoskeleton and used manually to generate a robot program. When the Internal CMM Arm is returned to the exoskeleton, the robot automatically executes the robot program. Manual operation of the Internal CMM Arm to generate the robot program has the advantage of being faster and more useful than conventional methods such as using a teaching pendant.

  In a seventh embodiment, a Robot CMM Arm comprising a coupled CMM Arm and Robot is disclosed. The CMM arm is supported by the robot in at least two positions: a probe end and an intermediate position. This embodiment has the advantage of moving the heat source from near the CMM arm.

  In an eighth embodiment, a manual CMM arm having an exoskeleton is disclosed. The internal CMM arm is supported and driven by the exoskeleton, which is further supported and moved by the operator. Current manual CMM arms combine measurement, self-supporting, and ruggedness features so that an operator operates with the same arm. This eighth embodiment provides a measurement function to the internal CMM arm and a support function and a robust function for the operator to operate on the exoskeleton. Whatever way the operator holds the exoskeleton, the internal CMM arm is always supported in exactly the same way at each spatial position, so the load on the internal CMM arm is reproducible, and the load during the calibration process The same. This reproducibility of the load pattern means that a manual CMM arm with an exoskeleton is a more accurate device than any existing manual CMM arm device. Flexible button means are provided and a wireless receiver is incorporated into the system so that the operator can attach the button unit with the wireless transmitter to a convenient location on the exoskeleton. Bump stop means are provided on the exoskeleton to protect the internal CMM Arm from unwanted impacts and loads. A probe cover is provided to protect the probe from hitting and to compensate for some of the load on the contact probe. Disclosed are multiple manual CMM arms with partial exoskeletons that are smaller and have improved maneuverability, especially in the wrist and probe areas, but still have significantly higher accuracy compared to manual CMM arms with exoskeletons Is done. A measurement method is provided for using a manual CMM arm having an exoskeleton and a plurality of different contact and non-contact probes. An automatic calibration apparatus and method for a manual CMM arm having an exoskeleton is disclosed. In order to minimize the magnitude of the impact load applied to the manual CMM arm with the exoskeleton during transport, a transport case with a load distribution mechanism is provided.

  In a ninth embodiment, a manual CMM arm having a holding exoskeleton is disclosed. One or more joints in the exoskeleton can be locked by a brake. This means that when the operator needs to be interrupted in the middle of the operation, the arm can be locked at any position, so that it is not necessary to return the arm to the stop position. Previous brake systems acted on the CMM arm and applied a load to the CMM arm, but this embodiment has the advantage of acting on the exoskeleton without applying any load to the internal CMM arm. Have.

  In a tenth embodiment, an embodiment of a manual CMM arm having an endoskeleton of the present invention is disclosed. The CMM arm is outside the supporting endoskeleton. In previous devices, the counterbalance function was either parallel to the arm, like the Romer and Cimcore devices, or external to the arm, or embedded in the arm so that a bending moment was applied to the arm. The present invention hides the compensation function inside the CMM arm and compensates without applying a bending moment to the arm.

  In an eleventh embodiment, a Robot CMM Arm having an endoskeleton is disclosed. This CMM arm is outside the support and drive robot endoskeleton. The first advantage is that an external CMM arm hides all the drives, thus providing an arm suitable for limited access applications. The second advantage is that the external CMM arm has a larger cross section and does not bend very much, resulting in higher accuracy.

  Embodiments of the present invention will now be described by way of example only with reference to the accompanying drawings.

1 is a schematic diagram of a 6-axis Robot CMM Arm according to a first embodiment of the present invention. FIG. It is the schematic of 7 axis | shaft Robot CMM. It is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm system. FIG. 4 is a schematic view of joints and segments of an exoskeleton and an internal CMM arm. It is the schematic of the reach of a Robot CMM arm. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a virtual reach of a Robot CMM Arm with an optical probe. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a long CMM segment. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a short CMM segment. 3 is a schematic diagram of a CMM segment 8. FIG. FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of cantilever orthogonal joint and in-line orthogonal joint options. It is the schematic of a base. Fig. 6 is a layout of separate base segments that are separately attached. Fig. 2 is a layout of separate base segments that are attached to the same surface. An exoskeleton-based layout that is attached to the surface. This is a general base layout. It is the schematic of a stand. It is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm attached to a vibration isolation table. This is a layout of a floor-mounted Robot CMM Arm. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached to the surface plate embedded in the floor. It is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm attached to a straight rail. 2 is a layout of two independent Robot CMM Arms attached to a horizontal rail. It is a layout of a horizontally moving Robot CMM Arm attached to a vertical axis. Figure 2 is a layout of two Robot CMM Arms attached to a mobile multi-arm base. It is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm attached to an object. It is a top view of the Robot CMM arm attached adjacent to a processing machine. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached between a plurality of processing machines. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached between a plurality of work areas. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm on the bridge above the object. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm adjacent to the object placed on the rotary table. It is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm adjacent to an object placed on a linear table. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached to the wall. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached to the gantry. Fig. 4 is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm that is attached to an inclined platform. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached to the Horizontal Arm CMM. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached to the Mobile Bridge CMM. It is a layout of the Robot CMM Arm attached to the rotating wedge. It is a layout of a Robot CMM Arm with a photogrammetry tracker. It is a detailed layout of a Robotic CMM Arm system. 1 is an architecture diagram of a Robotic CMM Arm. FIG. FIG. 4 is an alternative architecture diagram of a Robotic CMM Arm. It is the schematic of an encoder. It is the schematic of a dual pattern encoder. It is the schematic of a dual pattern encoder mapping apparatus. It is the schematic of an axis | shaft and a pattern center. It is the schematic of forced air circulation. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a high inertia Robot CMM Arm and a low inertia Robot CMM Arm. It is the schematic of the place of all the transmission means. FIG. 6 is a schematic view of the location of the transmission means of the segment 8. It is the schematic of a rotation suppression means. 2 is a cross-sectional view of two radial transmission means. FIG. It is two sectional drawing of a twist direction transmission means. 1 is a schematic diagram of a compensation device. It is the schematic of the hard limit and limit switch in an axial joint. It is the schematic of the hard limit in an orthogonal joint. It is the schematic of the hard limit in an orthogonal joint. 4 is a schematic comparison of the distance between axes of a Robot CMM Arm and a Manual CMM Arm. It is the schematic of a bearing. FIG. 6 is a diagram and a cross-sectional view of a probe end of an internal CMM arm. It is a longitudinal cross-sectional view of the touch trigger probe attached to a probe end. It is longitudinal direction sectional drawing of the optical probe attached to a probe end. It is a figure of an optical probe and a bracket. FIG. 2 is a diagram of a probe architecture. It is the schematic of the probe and probe box which were connected to three cables. This is a probe layout in which one cable connected to the probe box extends to the outside of the Robot CMM Arm. Fig. 3 is a probe layout in which a probe box is connected to a Robot CMM Arm. It is the schematic from two directions of the principle of a stripe probe. It is the schematic of stripe probe scanning. It is the schematic of the measurement area | region of a stripe. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a striped patch. FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a plurality of overlapping patches. It is the schematic of a 2 visual field stripe probe. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a two-field stripe probe that scans a stepped object. It is the schematic of a 2 stripe probe. FIG. 2 is a schematic diagram of a two-stripe probe that scans a vertical wall of a stepped object. 1 is a schematic diagram of a platform for a laptop computer. FIG. It is the schematic of a pendant. It is the schematic of the headset with which the operator wore. It is a layout of a button of a Robot CMM Arm. It is a layout of a foot switch. Fig. 6 is a layout of a remote control having a strap. It is a layout of a coordinate system. FIG. 2 is a diagram of a control PCB architecture. FIG. 4 is an architecture diagram of a joint PCB. It is a figure of position averaging in joint PCB. It is a timing diagram of an encoder count and a trigger pulse. 3 is a flowchart of a position averaging process. 1 is a diagram of a strain gauge system. Figure 5 is a flow chart of a synchronization process using a probe as a master. It is a timing diagram of probe measurement. It is a timing diagram of probe measurement. It is a timing diagram of probe measurement. FIG. 6 is a timing diagram illustrating a triggered probe measurement delay. Figure 6 is a flowchart of a synchronization process using a probe as a slave. It is a flowchart of a time stamping measurement process. FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a probe for scanning ridged artifacts. FIG. 6 is a diagram of + X scan and −X scan of a ridged artifact. It is a layout of a calibration device. FIG. 6 is a diagram of calibration artifacts. FIG. 5 is a location diagram for positioning calibration artifacts. 2 is a layout of a calibration device having a rotation axis. It is a flowchart of a measurement process. 6 is a schematic diagram of an industrial Robot CMM Arm according to a second embodiment of the present invention. FIG. It is a figure of a hybrid 6/7 axis industrial robot CMM arm. FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of global coordinate system artifacts in a multiple Robot CMM arm cell. It is a flowchart of a characteristic inspection process. It is a flowchart of a surface inspection process. It is a flowchart of a tool operation process. It is a flowchart of an inspection and a tool adjustment process. It is a flowchart of a component adjustment process. FIG. 6 is a schematic view of an active support Robot CMM Arm according to a third embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 4 is a diagram of radial active transmission means having an active axial support. FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a torsional active transmission means having an active axial and radial support. FIG. 4 is a diagram of active transmission means having an active radial support. It is the schematic of an active support part control system. It is the schematic of the control loop using an active support part. It is a flowchart of the quantity measurement process by the 4th Embodiment of this invention. 3 is a flowchart of a quantity modeling process. Figure 3 is a flow chart of a quantity analysis, visualization, and feedback process. FIG. 10 is a diagram of a Mobile Robot CMM Arm according to a fifth embodiment of the present invention. It is a floor layout of Mobile Robot CMM Arm equipment. It is a figure of reference | standard cone installation. Data structure for reference cone position, target position, and tape position. FIG. 5 is a flowchart of a Mobile Robot CMM Arm preparation process. FIG. 3 is a flowchart of a Mobile Robot CMM Arm measurement process. FIG. 9 is a view of a Robot CMM Arm having a displaceable exoskeleton according to a sixth embodiment of the present invention. FIG. 6 is a view of a slotted tubular robot segment. It is a figure of a split bearing transmission means. 3 is a flowchart of a measurement process of a Robot CMM Arm having a displaceable exoskeleton. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of a combined Robot CMM Arm. Fig. 2 is a layout of a manual CMM arm system with an exoskeleton. FIG. 6 is a schematic view of a manual CMM arm with the exoskeleton stationary. It is the schematic of a probe cover. It is the schematic of an optical probe cover. It is the schematic of the optical probe cover as a handle. It is the schematic of a partial exoskeleton. 1 is a schematic view of an extended partial exoskeleton. FIG. FIG. 4 is a schematic view of a protective extension partial exoskeleton with various internal CMM and exoskeleton joint positions. It is a flowchart of a manual contact measurement process. It is a flowchart of an automatic contact measurement process. It is a flowchart of a non-contact scanning process. 3 is a flowchart of a contact scanning process. FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of a modular robotic calibration rig. FIG. 6 is a schematic diagram of an external robot calibration rig. It is the schematic of a transport case. Fig. 2 is a layout of a manual CMM arm system with an exoskeleton. FIG. 6 is an illustration of an unsupported manual CMM arm showing force. FIG. 6 is a view of a manual CMM arm with an exoskeleton showing force. FIG. 6 is a view of a manual CMM arm with an exoskeleton showing force. FIG. 3 is a schematic diagram of joints and segments of a Robot Exoskeleton and an External CMM Arm.

[Preferred Embodiment]
[First Embodiment]
Portable Robot CMM Arm A first embodiment of a CMM arm having an exoskeleton of the present invention is a portable Robot CMM Arm. This embodiment of the portable Robot CMM Arm comprises an Internal CMM Arm guided by an exoskeleton. The exoskeleton supports and manipulates the internal CMM arm via a transmission means so that highly accurate measurements can be made. The present invention can be implemented in the articulated arm layout of many Robot CMM Arms. There are two preferred layouts for the Robot CMM Arm according to the first embodiment of the invention: a 6-axis type with 6 joints and a 7-axis type with 7 joints.

Robot CMM Arm Joint and Segment Layout FIGS. 1A and 1B are diagrams illustrating a preferred 6-axis layout and 7-axis layout of the Robot CMM Arm 1 according to the first embodiment of the present invention, respectively. Articulated Robot CMM Arm 1 has a base end 2 and a probe end 3 with a series of segments and a rotary joint between the two ends. There are two types of joints, axial joints and orthogonal joints. The axial joint (denoted “A” in FIGS. 1A and 1B) rotates about the common axis of its two adjacent segments. The orthogonal joint (denoted “O” in FIGS. 1A and 1B) rotates as a hinge between its two adjacent segments. In FIG. 1A, the type of joint is AOOAOA, in order from the base end 2 to the probe end 3, which refer to the joint centers 21, 22, 24, 25, 26, and 27, respectively. In FIG. 1B, the type of joint is AOAOAAA, in order from the base end 2 to the probe end 3, which refer to the joint centers 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, and 27, respectively. The 6-axis layout has the advantage of being less expensive than the 7-axis layout. The 7-axis layout has the advantage of greater flexibility in accessing complex objects than the 6-axis layout.

  Although the preferred 7-axis Robot CMM Arm 1 of FIG. 1B is described in this first embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention, the present invention is limited to this joint layout or the preferred 6-axis layout of FIG. 1A. There may be more or less than seven bearings. For simple applications, three joints may be sufficient. The present invention is not limited only to the rotational movement axis. As disclosed below, the present invention may comprise one or more linear movement axes to which the base end 2 is preferably attached.

  FIG. 1 c shows a Robot CMM Arm system 150 comprising a Robot CMM Arm 1 connected to a laptop computer 151 by a cable 152. The Robot CMM Arm 1 has a base end 2 and a probe end 3. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to the surface 7. A probe 90 is attached to the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. An optical probe 91 is also attached near the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The Robot CMM Arm 1 includes a base 4, an internal CMM arm 5, an exoskeleton 6, and a transmission means 10. The object 9 to be measured is placed on the surface 7.

  FIG. 2 shows two main parts of a Robot CMM Arm 1, namely an Internal CMM Arm 5 and an Exoskeleton 6, which have a common base 4 and a common joint center 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26 and 27 are shared. The internal CMM arm 5 comprises segments 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, and 38, referred to herein as CMM segments 2-8, respectively. CMM segment 8 38 reaches probe end 3 of Robot CMM Arm 1. The common base 4 is also called a CMM segment 31. The internal CMM arm 5 further comprises joints 51, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, referred to herein as CMM joints 1-7, respectively. The exoskeleton 6 comprises segments 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, and 48, referred to herein as exoskeleton segments 2-8, respectively. The exoskeleton segment 848 does not reach the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The common base 4 is also called an exoskeleton segment 41. The exoskeleton 6 further comprises joints 61, 62, 63, 64, 65, 66, and 67, referred to herein as exoskeleton joints 1-7, respectively. The Robot CMM Arm 1 further comprises transmission means 72, 73, 74, 75, 76, 77 and 78, referred to herein as transmission means 2-8, which connect the internal CMM arm 5 to the exoskeleton 6. Attach to. Transmission means 2 72 attaches CMM segment 2 32 to exoskeleton segment 2 42. The transmission means 3 73 attaches the CMM segment 3 33 to the exoskeleton segment 3 43, and the same applies to the transmission means 4 74, 5 75, 6 76, 7 77, and 8 78.

Inner CMM Arm Joint and Segment Layout The segments and joints of the Internal CMM Arm 5 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 are generally named and laid out as follows.

  Referring now to FIG. 3, the reach 80 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is from the joint center 222 to the probe end 3 of the CMM segment 838 when the CMM joints 3-7 rotate to maximize this distance. Is defined as The majority of the reach 80 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 consists of the sum of the length of CMM segment 3 33 and the length of CMM segment 5 35.

  Referring now to FIG. 4, when the optical probe 91 is attached to the CMM segment 8 38, the reach 80 will measure the optical measurement midpoint 82 at the measurement depth at which measurement can be performed with the probe end 3 of the CMM segment 8 38. Is increased by a virtual reach 81 which is the distance between.

  Each CMM segment is highly rigid. If any load is applied to the internal CMM arm 5, the segment is bent or twisted, and the accuracy of the internal CMM arm 5 is lowered. Gravity is a continuous load source, and the influence of gravity is different if the spatial orientation of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is different. The typical maximum angular torsional slope of a long CMM segment of a Robot CMM Arm during normal use is 0.25 arc seconds, but is larger, especially depending on the length of the CMM segment Or small. The typical maximum angular bending slope of a long CMM segment of a Robot CMM Arm during normal use is 0.5 arc seconds, depending on the material, length, and diameter of the long CMM segment It may be larger or smaller than that.

  Each CMM segment comprises one or more important items.

  Referring now to FIG. 5A, CMM segments 3 33, 5 35 include a link member 102 having a diameter 108 and a wall thickness 109 between two end housings 100 and 101 that each house a joint. Referring now to FIG. 5B, CMM segments 2 32, 4 34, 6 36, and 7 37 comprise a double housing 103 that houses two fittings, one at each end. Referring now to FIG. 5C1, the CMM segment 8 38 includes a probe end housing 105 that houses a CMM joint 757 at one end and a CMM probe mounting means to which a probe 90 terminating at the probe end 3 is attached at the other end. There are 39. It will be appreciated that there are various options for providing orthogonal joints for CMM joints 2 52, 4 54, 6 56. Referring now to FIG. 5C2, the cantilever option and the inline option are shown with respect to CMM fitting 252. A preferred option for CMM joints 2 52, 4 54, 6 56 is in-line. The scope of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is not limited to any of these joint options and can include any other design of orthogonal joints.

Exoskeleton Joint and Segment Layout The segments and joints of the Exoskeleton 6 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 are generally named and laid out as follows.

  Each exoskeleton segment comprises one or more important items.

Base Layout Referring now to FIG. 5D, the base 4 houses a CMM joint 151 having a bearing center 21 that is screwed into the mounting plate 8 by a standard 3.5 inch heavy duty thread 116. And an exoskeleton segment 1 41 that houses an exoskeleton joint 1 61 having a joint center 21 that is firmly attached to the CMM segment 31 by bolts 106. The attachment plate 8 is attached to the surface 7 by attachment means 104 such as attachment bolts 107. Both the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6 have base segments 31, 41, respectively. In this first embodiment, the exoskeleton segment 141 is securely attached to the CMM segment 131 by counter-bored bolts 106. Referring now to FIG. 5E, in another embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention, the CMM segment 1 31 is placed on the first surface 7a so that the CMM segment 1 31 is not attached to the exoskeleton segment 1 41. The exoskeleton segment 141 can be attached to the second surface 7b. Referring now to FIG. 5F, in a further embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention, both CMM segment 1 31 and exoskeleton segment 1 41 can be independently attached to the same surface 7. By providing a base extension section between the surface 7 and the base 2, the CMM joint 151 can be raised from the surface 7 to a higher position. Such a base extension section is preferably based on a lightweight tube made of a carbon fiber fabric having a low coefficient of thermal expansion, typically 0.075 ppm / ° C. This means that the measurement of the Robot CMM Arm 1 with the base extension tube relative to the surface 7 is not significantly affected by temperature changes. Referring now to FIG. 5G, in a further embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention, the CMM segment 1 31 is securely or flexibly attached to the exoskeleton segment 1 41 attached to the surface 7. be able to. Referring now to FIG. 5H, in a further embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention, CMM segment 1 31 and exoskeleton segment 1 41 may be the same base item 4 attached to surface 7, and CMM segment Both 2 32 and exoskeleton segment 2 42 are attached thereto via CMM joint 1 51 and exoskeleton joint 1 61, respectively. It is the purpose of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention that there can be any base mounting configuration.

Reach of Robot CMM Arm The Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is provided as a range of portable Robot CMM Arms having various reach in this first embodiment. The reach 80 of the portable Robot CMM Arm varies from 0.6m to 3m. The scope of the present invention is not limited to reach within this range, and reach 80 may be shorter than 0.6 m or longer than 3 m.

Internal CMM Arm Structure Rigidity and Mass One of the purposes of the present invention is to minimize the mass of the Internal CMM Arm 5. As a result, the rigidity of the robot CMM arm 1 can be minimized because the rigidity may be low and the driving force for moving the internal CMM arm 5 may be small, thereby further improving the portability of the robot CMM arm 1. Rise. Experience has shown that there is a beneficial synergistic effect and that for every 100 g of mass removed from the Internal CMM Arm 5, about 250-400 g can be removed from the design of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The typical weight of the moving parts of the Internal CMM Arm 5 with moderate reach is 2.5-4 kg. The exoskeleton 6 supports and drives the internal CMM arm 5 in order to minimize the stress on the internal CMM arm 5, in particular the joints 51-57 of the internal CMM arm. In use, the load on the exoskeleton 6 should be only the load transmitted through the gravity and transmission means 10. Since the exoskeleton 6 always supports the internal CMM arm 5 at the same place, a load is applied reproducibly in the same spatial orientation. In comparison, a state-of-the-art manual CMM arm is designed so that additional stress is applied by the operator, which is significantly higher than the stress on the internal CMM arm 5 and is gripped by the operator. Depending on the position to be gripped and the way of gripping, it is applied at different load locations and load directions. This means that the internal CMM arm 5 does not require as much rigidity as a manual CMM arm with a similar reach and is lighter.

Link Member Diameter and Thickness The greater the link member diameter 108, the greater the stiffness and accuracy. As material science advances, the arm's stiffness-to-weight ratio increases as new, more rigid and lightweight materials become available. The internal CMM arm 5 has two long link members 102 on the upper and lower arms, ie, CMM segment 333 and CMM segment 535. The link member diameter 108 of the internal CMM arm 5 is in the range of 40 mm to 70 mm. The range of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is not limited to this link member diameter, and link member diameters longer than 70 mm or shorter than 40 mm may be used. During operator operations, the forces and torques on the state-of-the-art manual CMM arm are related specifically to the combination of the current joint angle, compensation device, acceleration, and operator-induced forces and torques. Resulting from gravity. An operator can apply a bending force to any link. For this reason, manual CMM arms typically have the same link diameter in both segments. The exoskeleton 6 supports all the segments 32-38 of the internal CMM arm 5 approximately equally. For this reason, the internal CMM arm 5 of this first embodiment has the same link member diameter 108 in both segments 33 and 35. The scope of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention is not limited to a uniform link member diameter, and the link member diameter may be different. The link member 102 is essentially a simple beam supported at either end by a joint or transmission means. The main deflection mode occurs under gravity when it is horizontal. Assuming that there is no undesirable moment on the link member 102, the deflection of the link member 102 is largely independent of the thickness 109 of the link member. The thickness of the link member can be very thin, which is consistent with the objective of minimizing the mass of the internal CMM arm 5. The inner CMM arm link member thickness 109 is preferably between 1 mm and 1.5 mm for both segments 33 and 35. The longer the reach, the greater the link member thickness 109 and / or link member diameter 108 to maintain rigidity. The diameter and thickness of the link member are parameters that are optimized in the design process due to various design specifications and manufacturing constraints.

Shape Exoskeleton segment 2 42-8 48 passes down over the internal CMM arm segment during assembly. The shape of the CMM segments 32-38 of the inner CMM arm is constrained to have the smallest radial dimension possible. By reducing the maximum radial dimension, the size of the exoskeleton segment 2 42-848 can be reduced, which makes the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention smaller and more flexible in its application.

Exoskeleton Structure Performance One of the objects of the first embodiment is that the Robot CMM Arm 1 is portable and its weight is minimal. This objective is incompatible with the requirement of minimizing cycle time and correspondingly obtaining greater angular acceleration at the joint. The performance with respect to the maximum angular velocity and the maximum angular acceleration is higher for the Robot CMM Arm with a shorter reach than the Robot CMM Arm 1 with a longer reach. The maximum joint angular velocity is usually in the range of 20 ° / second to 400 ° / second. Exoskeleton joint 1 61-4 64 has a maximum angular velocity that is smaller than exoskeleton joint 5 65-767 due to the greater torque. If the reach 80 is as long as 3 m and the weight of the Robot CMM Arm is less than 35 kg, the joint 2 may typically have a maximum angular velocity of 20 ° / second. If the reach 80 is as short as 1 m and the Robot CMM Arm weighs about 20 kg, the joint 7 may have a maximum angular velocity of 400 ° / sec. The range of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention is not limited to the maximum angular velocity in this range, and the maximum angular velocity of the joint may be greater than 400 ° / second or less than 20 ° / second.

Mass and stiffness The exoskeleton structure is less rigid than the internal CMM arm because high stiffness is not required to perform the support and drive functions. Therefore, the exoskeleton structure is light and the portability of the Robot CMM Arm is higher. For a given performance criterion, reducing the mass of any moving segment has a virtuous cycle where less powerful drive systems are required and therefore lighter. The normal mass of a range of portable Robot CMM Arms varies from 18 kg for 1 m reach to 35 kg for 3 m reach. The range of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention is not limited to this range of mass, and the maximum mass may be heavier than 35 kg or lighter than 18 kg.

Shape The exoskeleton structure is small and close to the internal CMM arm. This means that the Robot CMM Arm can access areas that are difficult to measure, such as in a car. Therefore, the Robot CMM Arm applies to applications where the car seat cannot be measured while in its original position and cannot be tackled without extensive preparation of the object, such as when it must first be removed from the vehicle. be able to. Exoskeleton segments 42-48 form a hermetic shape to protect the internal CMM arm segments 32-38 from exposure to harmful solids, liquids, or gases during use. The exoskeleton segments 42-48 are hollow so as to fit over the internal CMM arm segments 32-38. The shape of the exoskeleton also serves to manually enable the Robot CMM Arm and protects the parts of the Internal CMM Arm in the event of a collision. The parts of the exoskeleton structure have a non-functional surface shape for aesthetic reasons. One of the biggest factors determining the shape of the exoskeleton is the size and location of the motor and gearbox drive elements.

Material Internal CMM Arm Material Housings 100, 101, 103, 105 are made of aircraft aluminum, which is anodized. The link member 102 consists of a thin-walled tube made of a carbon fiber woven-epoxy composite material such as Toray T700 that provides a coefficient of thermal expansion close to zero, high stiffness, and low density. As is well understood by those skilled in the art, the link member 102 can be attached to the end housings 100 and 101 by an adhesive such as epoxy while being supported by a precision jig.

Exoskeleton Material The joint housing item is made of aircraft aluminum. Aluminum is anodized. The link item consists of a precision molded product of carbon fiber. The link item is attached to the joint housing item by an adhesive such as epoxy while being supported by a precision jig.

Attachment of Robot CMM Arm One of the objects of the present invention is that the Robot CMM Arm can be attached to different structures in different orientations using different attachment means to suit the intended application. is there.

Attachment means Attachment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 to the surface 7 can be accomplished by a number of means 104 including bolting with bolts 107, magnetic mounting, vacuum attachment, and clamping. The mounting means 104 used has sufficient rigidity so as not to reduce the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1 by causing movement between the mounting plate 8 and the surface 7 during operation of the Robot CMM Arm 1.

Horizontal Surface with Vertical Robot CMM Arm Orientation Referring to FIG. 6, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is typically attached to the horizontal mounting surface 112 of the portable stand 110 using standard 3.5 inch × 8 screws 116. The stand 110 has three wheels 111 that can be locked. The stand 10 has a retractable foot 113. The stand 110 has a large installation area to avoid falling. Since the operator's foot receives a part of the arm load of the manual CMM arm, the torque with respect to the stand 110 is reduced. Since the Robot CMM Arm 1 is heavier than the corresponding Manual CMM Arm, the mass of the stand 110 is heavier than the corresponding Manual CMM Arm Stand. The stand 110 has an extendable vertical member 115 for raising and lowering the base of the Robot CMM Arm. The stand 110 must be used on a rigid floor surface and not on a carpet or compressible floor finish. The stand 110 is preferably heavy so that it is not swung by the dynamics of the Robot CMM Arm. By controlling the portable Robot CMM Arm attached to the stand, the angular acceleration and angular velocity are limited to avoid swinging the stand 110 and reducing accuracy. An example of a short reach CMC arm stand 110 is a stand number 231-0 weighing about 100 kg and manufactured by Brunson Instrument Company (USA), suitable for short and medium reach. An additional weight may be securely attached to the base of the stand 110 to increase its stability. Robot CMM Arm with long reach requires a larger and more sturdy stand. Referring to FIG. 7A, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is a stable table 120, such as an optical bench or granite block, which can be isolated from vibrations transmitted to the floor 119 by means of vibration isolation 121 located on the support 122. It can be attached firmly. Referring to FIG. 7B, the Robot CMM Arm 1 may be attached directly to the floor 119. Referring to FIG. 7C, Robot CMM Arm 1 may be attached to surface plate 123 attached to floor 119. Referring to the plan view of FIG. 7D, Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to rail shaft 124 and moves on floor 119 on rail shaft 124. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is shown at three different positions A, B, C along the rail axis 124. This means that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can measure a large object 9 with a much larger volume. A second Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to the second rail axis 124 and is shown in two different positions D and E. The two rail axes are preferably parallel. This means that the two Robot CMM Arms 1 can move independently and take measurements on both sides of a large object 9 such as a bicycle, car or large vehicle. The rail shaft 124 is preferably linear. The rail shaft 124 is preferably mounted on the floor 119 so that it can be removed and reinstalled at a different location. Alternatively, the rail shaft 124 may be permanently embedded in the floor 119. The rail shaft 124 can be manually operated, preferably motor driven in response to manual actuation via a button, or preferably CNC driven. Robot CMM Arm 1 is not as stable during translation along rail axis 124 as it is stationary. Robot CMM Arm 1 does not take measurements during translation along rail axis 124, but instead uses Robot Axis 124 to move Robot CMM Arm 1 from A via B to C, etc. It is preferable to move from one location to another measurement location. However, the Robot CMM Arm may take measurements while translating along the rail axis 124, but the accuracy is usually reduced. This situation is most likely to occur when the rail axis 124 is part of a large machine to which the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached. Referring now to FIG. 7E, two Robot CMM Arms 1 can be attached to the same rail axis 124 and moved independently. The movement of each Robot CMM Arm 1 along the rail axis 124 may be manual, preferably motor driven in response to manual actuation via a button, or preferably CNC driven. A suitable application is the measurement of automobile prototypes in the design room. This is because the production capacity of a measuring facility having four Robot CMM Arms 1 that move independently on each of the two rail axes 124 is only one Robot CMM Arm on each rail axis 124. It means that it can be twice the production capacity of the measuring equipment. Referring now to FIG. 7F, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to a vertical shaft 133 that can move the base of the Robot CMM Arm 1 up and down in the vertical direction. The vertical shaft 133 can move in the horizontal direction on the rail shaft 124. The vertical shaft 133 can be manually operated, preferably motor driven in response to manual actuation via a button, or preferably CNC driven. The vertical axis 133 may be provided for one or both Robot CMM Arms 1 of the twin opposed Robot CMM Arm configuration shown in FIG. 7D, or the vertical axis 133 may be one or both of the Robot CMM Arm configurations shown in FIG. 7E. You may provide with respect to this arm. Referring now to FIG. 7G, two Robot CMM Arms are attached to a moving multi-arm base 134 that moves on rail axis 124. The two Robot CMM Arms are separated by a suitable distance S so that there is enough work overlap to eliminate the unreachable gap between the robots in the working volume. This means that high productivity can be obtained with low cost and simple equipment requiring only one mobile multi-arm base 134 instead of two independent Robot CMM Arms 1. As previously disclosed, the short Robot CMM Arm is more accurate than the long CMM Arm. It is one purpose of this embodiment that each horizontal rail 124 and vertical axis 133, or a combination thereof, means that a shorter Robot CMM Arm can be used. This is because the horizontal rail 124 and the vertical axis 133 are more accurate over a longer distance than the Robot CMM Arm, so using the horizontal rail 124 and the vertical axis 133 individually or in combination increases the overall accuracy of the measuring equipment. Means that. One skilled in the art can optimize the length, horizontal axis, and vertical axis specifications of the Robot CMM Arm to maximize accuracy. Referring now to FIG. 7H, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to the object 9 to be measured. An adapter 136 is used. An example of such an object 9 is a part of a pipe of a gas pipeline that is being measured at or near a corroded surface area. In this example, it is easier and cheaper to attach the Robot CMM Arm 1 to the pipe than to provide a temporary structure with sufficient stability near the pipe. The adapter 136 may be magnetically attached to facilitate attachment and removal of the Robot CMM Arm 1 or any other attachment means 104 may be used. Depending on the object 9, the adapter 136 may not be necessary, and the Robot CMM Arm 1 may be directly attached to the object 9. Referring now to FIG. 7I, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached adjacent to the processing machine 137 on which the object 9 is placed. The processing machine 137 is surrounded by a housing 138 having an automatic sliding door 139. The Robot CMM Arm 1 can measure the object 9 in the processing machine 137. The processing machine 137 requires a housing 138 and a sliding door 139 because environmental contaminants are contained within the housing that can be harmful to the Robot CMM Arm during processing. Some processing machines 137 do not generate environmental pollutants harmful to the Robot CMM Arm 1 and do not require the casing 138 having the sliding door 139. The small Robot CMM Arm 1 with a short reach 80 can be directly attached to the processing machine 137 so that the Robot CMM Arm 1 is close to the object 9 and within the reach of the object 9. When the processing machine 137 generates harmful environmental pollutants, a sliding door is necessary to protect the Robot CMM Arm 1 attached to the processing machine 137. Next, referring to FIG. 7J, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached between the four processing machines 137 so that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can measure the object 9 placed on each of the four processing machines 137. Any number of processing machines 137 may be disposed around the Robot CMM Arm 1. Referring now to FIG. 7K, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted between three work areas 142. Each work area may contain one object 9. The work area 142 always includes either no object 9, the object 9 to be measured, the object 9 being measured, the measured object 9, or the object 9 being transferred to or from the work area 142. obtain. There may be any number of work areas 142 around the Robot CMM Arm 1. The object 9 in the work area 142 can be accurately positioned on the jig at a known position and orientation with respect to the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363. Alternatively, the object 9 may be roughly positioned by some means, such as aligning the object with a mark on the floor with the human eye. The object 9 can be positioned in the work area by any method known to those skilled in the art. Each object 9 in each work area may be a different part with a different part number, or each object may be the same part with the same part number. One advantage of having several work areas 142 around the Robot CMM Arm 1 is that the workpiece can remain on for overnight measurement for automated measurements, so the utilization of the Robot CMM Arm 1 Is to be higher. The second advantage is that the measured object 9 is replaced with an unmeasured object 9 in the first work area 142, while the Robot CMM Arm 1 measures another object 9 in the first work area 142. Therefore, the robot CMM arm 1 is used completely. Referring now to FIG. 7L, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to a low and robust bridge 118 that traverses the work area 142 where the object 9 is located. The Robot CMM Arm 1 and the bridge 118 are designed such that the probe 90 attached to the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 can operate on the entire upper side of the object 9. The object 9 must be relatively flat so that when it fits under the bridge 118, it can still operate on any area of it. The bridge 118 is rigid and robust and is securely attached to the floor 119 so that there is no significant deflection as the Robot CMM Arm 1 moves. The main field of application of this embodiment in which the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to a bridge is the optical inspection of sheet metal. In the first step, the object 9, which may be a sheet metal item, undergoes an upstream process such as press forming. In the second step, the object 9 is manually transferred to the work area 142 and placed. Alternatively, a mechanism such as an automatic conveyor or material handling robot may automatically place the sheet metal in the work area 142. In the third step, the object 9 is inspected by at least one probe 90 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1. In the fourth step, data is output from the inspection process. Data can be created by automatically comparing the data captured in the inspection process with a CAD model of the ideal object 9. The data output may be statistical data or complete test data. In the fifth step, the object 9 is removed from the workplace manually or automatically. In an optional step, the data output is used to change parameters that control the upstream process, either directly or through collection and analysis of process statistics. In an alternative optional step, the data output is used to physically change the tooling used in the upstream process. In a further embodiment, a straight rail 124 is provided on top of the bridge 118 to move the Robot CMM Arm 1 and inspect a large object 9. In an alternative embodiment, instead of being attached to the bridge 118, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to one side of the work area 142 to position the Robot CMM Arm 1 above the center of the work area 142. Attached to the end.

Displaceable object and moving object The Robot CMM Arm 1 can operate on an object 9 arranged on the object displacement means, and the object 9 can be displaced at least once during the operation. It is a further object of the invention. Referring now to FIG. 7M, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted adjacent to a turntable 820 on which the object 9 is positioned while rotating about axis A. The turntable 820 can be manually rotated and locked to a new position by a clamp 822. Alternatively, the rotary table 820 may be rotated by an electric mechanism 821 such as a motor or a servo drive. Automatic rotation of the turntable 820 can be controlled by the Robot CMM Arm System 150 or any other means such as manual actuation via buttons or slave control means. An angular position recording device 823 such as an encoder is usually attached to the axis A of the rotary table 820. In a normal process, by moving the rotary table to four positions at 90 ° intervals, the object 9 can be displaced four times so that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be accessed to operate on all quadrants of the object 9. Like that. In this embodiment, the Robot CMM Arm 1 does not perform an operation such as measurement while the object 9 is moving. An advantage of rotating the object 9 on the turntable 820 is that it can operate on an object 90 that is larger than the reach 80 of the Robot CMM Arm 1, which is a wide or tall object. Especially suitable for. A second advantage of rotating the object 9 on the turntable 820 is that the robot CMM arm 1 is provided with various access directions in the case of a complex object 9 that is difficult to access each part. Referring now to FIG. 7N, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted adjacent to a linear table 824 in which the object 9 is positioned with linear displacement along axis B. The linear table 824 has the same position measurement capability, controllability, and advantages as the rotary table 820. In other embodiments, an object can be displaced using a multi-axis table having two or more axes. One skilled in the art will appreciate that each type of table axis or combination of axes has different advantages for different types of object sizes and shapes. In a further embodiment, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is fixed and performs an operation such as non-contact measurement or a contact operation using a tool while moving the object 9. In a further embodiment, both the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 move simultaneously while an operation such as non-contact measurement or a contact operation using a tool is performed. If both the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 move relative to the floor, additional control algorithms are required to convert the coordinate system to a common coordinate system such as the object coordinate system. In all embodiments, the object 9 may be clamped or otherwise mounted on the table or not mounted to eliminate relative movement between the object 9 and the table. Also good. In all table embodiments in which the object 9 moves in operation, the table must be highly accurate and the object must not move relative to the table so that accurate work can be performed. A table of the required size and accuracy is usually an expensive item.

Other Robot CMM Arm Orientation In some applications, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted in an orientation that is not a horizontal surface and that the Robot CMM Arm 1 is not substantially upright. Referring to FIG. 8A, Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted at right angles to wall 125. Referring to FIG. 8B, Robot CMM Arm 1 is supported from gantry 126. Alternatively, the Robot CMM Arm 1 may be supported from the ceiling. Referring to FIG. 8C, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to a platform 127 having a surface at 60 ° to the normal. Referring to FIGS. 8D and 8E, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to a conventional large three-axis CMM such as used in an automobile company. There are many types of conventional 3-axis CMMs, including a horizontal arm CMM 128 and a moving bridge CMM 129. The Robot CMM Arm 1 has a considerable mass and is usually expected to have a weight of 18-32 kg depending on its accuracy and arm reach, but may be heavier or lighter. When attached to a conventional CMM, a lightweight Robot CMM Arm according to the present invention can be designed to have a mass substantially less than 12 kg. For automotive applications where the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to a conventional CMM, the Robot CMM Arm is attached to the Mobile Bridge CMM 129 and supported vertically downward from the vertical column 130 of the bridge 131, as shown in FIG. 8E. Is preferred. In this mode, the combination of the movement of the mobile bridge CMM 129 and the movement of the Robot CMM Arm 1 allows the Robot CMM Arm 1 to access all parts of the object 9 being measured. The scope of the invention is a robot mounted vertically downward from a vertical pole 130 of a conventional triaxial CMM 131 of bridge type having three linear axes or from a horizontal arm 132 of horizontal arm CMM 128 having three linear axes as well. The CMM arm 1 is not limited. The Robot CMM Arm 1 can be mounted from any substantially conventional CMM in any orientation with any number of axes. Referring now to FIG. 8F, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached to the rotating wedge base 135 at an angle A with respect to the vertical rotation axis B.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to the embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm installation shown in FIGS. 7A-7G and 8A-8F. One of the objects of the present invention is that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be mounted in free space in any orientation. It is a further object of the present invention that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be mounted from a fixed or movable structure. It is a further object of the present invention that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be attached to any moving structure and the Robot CMM Arm can be translated or oriented with 6 degrees of freedom. The moving structure can be moved at any time during or between measurements. It is a further object of the present invention that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be provided in the facility in any quantity and in any arrangement.

Rigid and non-rigid mounting platform The Robot CMM Arm 1 is preferably mounted on a surface 7 that is rigid relative to the object 9 being measured. In some cases, there may be a continuous relative movement between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 being measured, caused by a large machine operating nearby to transmit vibrations to the floor. Or there are irregular relative movements between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 being measured, such as caused by a large truck passing or the object being measured being accidentally hit. obtain. Alternatively, there may be a slow relative movement between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 being measured, as caused by thermal expansion of the structure to which the Robot CMM Arm is attached and the object is placed. Referring to FIG. 9 which shows an example of relative movement between the base end 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 that the Robot CMM Arm 1 is measuring, the relative movement of 6 degrees of freedom is measured by an independent measuring device. be able to. Examples of such independent measuring devices are a laser tracker from Leica and preferably a photogrammetric tracker 140 from Krypton. The Robot CMM Arm 1 and the photogrammetry tracker 140 are attached to the surface plate 123. The object 9 is placed on the floor 119 and moved so that the object 9 makes a large relative movement with respect to the surface plate 123. Photogrammetric targets 141 are attached to the object 9 so that a minimum of three and preferably four or more targets are visible to the photogrammetric tracker 140 at any time during the measurement process. It is important that the relative movement measurement by the photogrammetry tracker 140 is synchronized in time with the measurement of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Time synchronization includes any method commonly known to those skilled in the art, including simultaneously triggering the measurement device and time stamping all measurements with a common clock for later processing. It can be carried out. Such processing may include temporal interpolation where relative movement measurements and Robot CMM Arm measurements are not performed simultaneously. The process of calibrating the photogrammetric tracker 140 measurements to the Robot CMM Arm 1 measurements is known to those skilled in the art. As a result, the measured value of the object 9 is corrected with respect to the measured relative movement between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9.

Range of Robot CMM Arm The reach 80 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 varies depending on the application. The Robot CMM Arm 1 of this first embodiment is provided as a range of portable Robot CMM Arm 1 with various reach 80. For exemplary reasons only, these reach 80 may be between 0.5m and 5m, but the component buyer is most likely to be 1m to 1.5m reach 80, which is automotive related. 2m to 3.5m reach 80 is most desired by customers, and aerospace purchasers most require 2.5m to 5m reach 80. The reach 80 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is not limited to this disclosure. The reach 80 of the Robot CMM Arm may be longer or shorter than the above range. Supporting the Internal CMM Arm with the Robot Exoskeleton means that the Robot CMM Arm can have a reach longer than 2m, which is the practical limit of the Manual CMM Arm. This means that applications requiring reach longer than 2 m (no practical CMM arm for such applications is available) can be performed by the Robot CMM Arm. This first embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is a portable system and is not designed for large angular velocities and accelerations to limit the weight of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Other embodiments of the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be designed for much larger angular velocities and accelerations. In order to hold the same drive train element in all Robot CMM Arms 1 in this range, the maximum angular velocity that can be accepted is smaller as the reach is longer in this first embodiment. An important difference within this range is the length of the various links 102. The portable Robot CMM Arm may have a reach 80 of more than one range, for example 0.6-1.2 m and 1.5-3 m.

Robot CMM Arm System Overview Referring now to FIG. 10, the architecture of this first embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm System 150 is described. A control box 159 is attached to the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Power is supplied by a power cable 155 connected to the power connector 195. A power switch 156 and a power LED 157 are provided. In particular, an interface connector 194 is provided to connect the probe box 295 to the arm cable 296 via the probe box. A laptop computer 151 is connected to a laptop connector 197 by a laptop communication cable 152. The pendant 153 is connected to the pendant connector 198 by a pendant communication cable 154. A network 200 is connected via a network connector 199. Both the pendant 153 and the laptop computer 151 can be operated for a while by the batteries 163 and 164. The pendant battery 163 is charged by placing the pendant at a charging point 158 having electrical contacts 328, and a power connection is automatically established when the pendant is correctly placed at the charging point. The laptop battery 164 is charged from a commercial power source. When the touch trigger probe 92 is attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1, it establishes an automatic power connection 160 and a trigger connection. When the optical probe 91 is attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1, it establishes an automatic power connection 160, a trigger connection 161, and a communication connection 162.

  Next, the internal architecture of the Robot CMM Arm 1 will be described with reference to FIG. 11A. A control PCB 172 is connected to the ground line 165 and the +5 volt power rail 166. Seven motors 176, each driving each exoskeleton joint 1 61-7 67, are connected to seven amplifiers 175 by motor cable 196, and seven +/− 10 V control signals 168 output from control PCB 172 to amplifier 175. Driven by. The control PCB 172 is connected to seven joint PCBs 173 by a serial bus 169. The control PCB 172 has two additional communication connections 152 and 154 to communicate with the laptop computer 151 and the pendant 153, respectively. The +24 volt power rail 167 provides power to the amplifier 175. A power supply unit 171 is connected to the power cable 155, the battery 170, the ground 165, and the power rails 166 and 167. At least one coupling PCB 173 is connected to the probe 90 by a power source 160, a trigger 161, and a communication 162 if applicable. All seven motors 176 have brakes 177 driven by signals from the joint PCB 173. The internal CMM arm 5 includes seven CMM encoders 178 attached to the joint PCB 173. Seven encoders 179 attached to seven motors 176 that drive the exoskeleton 6 are connected to the joint PCB 173. A thermocouple 180 attached to the internal CMM arm 5 is connected to each joint PCB 173. A strain gauge 181 attached to the internal CMM arm 5 is connected to each joint PCB 173. Two limit switches 182 are connected to each joint PCB 182. Two operator buttons 183 are connected to the joint PCB 173 of the seventh joint. A touch sensor 184 is connected to each joint PCB 173. Each joint PCB 173 is connected to a ground line 165 and a +5 volt power rail 166. A trigger bus 174 is connected to each joint PCB 173 and control PCB 172 and is used to latch seven CMM encoders 178.

  Referring now to FIG. 11B, an alternative system implementation of the internal architecture of the Robot CMM Arm 1 that requires less cabling, an infinitely rotating axial joint, and is lighter, cheaper and more robust. A form is demonstrated. The control PCB 172 and the four joint PCBs 173 are connected in series by a bus 193 through four slip ring units 188 located at each axial CMM joint 151, 353, 555, 757. One to three joints are driven by each joint PCB 173, and the control PCB 172 can also drive one or more joints. Each slip ring unit 188 has a wiring capacity of 28 wires, but the number of wires may be more or less than 28 wires. Bus 193 also has 28 lines. These 28 lines of bus 193 are connected to the voltage, ground, serial bus, control bus, and all the functions of the components located after joint center 21 in internal CMM arm 5, exoskeleton 6 and probe 90, and Hold signal lines. The control bus 394 is incorporated into the bus 193 and uses five lines. The control bus 394 may be dedicated or may be a standard one such as a CAN bus. The CAN bus is a high-speed and low-latency control bus. The CAN bus and related circuits have limitations when driving 7 axes. A solution for speeding up the control is to use two CAN buses to drive four axes with the first CAN bus and to drive three axes with the second CAN bus. By using two CAN buses at the expense of the extra 5 lines, a high speed 1 millisecond servo loop is possible. An intelligent drive amplifier 175 is located next to each motor 176 and is connected to the coupling PCB 173 or control PCB 172 by a control bus 394 and 24V power and 0V ground. Examples of intelligent drive amplifiers 175 are EPOS 24/1 and 24/5 supplied by Maxon Motor (USA). Alternatively, intelligent drive amplifier functionality can be incorporated into the coupling PCB 173 and the control PCB 172. The control function including closing the servo loop is performed by the control unit 395. The control unit 395 is a PCI 208 supplied by Trio Motion Technology (UK). The PCI 208 has two control bus 394 outputs that allow high speed servo control. These control bus 394 outputs are a CAN bus standard. The 5-10 lines of the CAN bus replace the approximately 10 lines for each of the 7 motors / encoders that are normally wired directly across the entire area from the motor 176 to the controller 395. Since the number of lines in the slip ring 188 is limited by practical considerations such as size and weight, the axial CMM joint 1 can be reduced by reducing the number of lines in the arm by about 60 using the control bus 394. 51, 3 53, 5 55, and 757 can be used with a slip ring 188 that gives infinite rotation. Bus 193 provides power, signal, and communication to one or more probes 90, which may be contact or non-contact, of which stripe probes 97 are most commonly used. When attaching a probe 90 originally developed by a third party to the Robot CMM Arm 1, one of the objects of the present invention is to provide a through channel outside the interface connector 194 via the bus 193. In this manner, the third party probe 90 provider can use the through channel for any combination of power, ground, signal, and bus that is required within the wiring specification limits of the Robot CMM Arm System 150. . The typical number of lines provided in the through channel is nine, but may be less or more than nine. The interface connector 194 may also provide a synchronization signal connection for synchronizing the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the probe 90.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to the architecture of the Robot CMM Arm System 150 disclosed in this first embodiment, but includes all architectures that have the technical effects of the Robot CMM Arm System 150. For example, in a further embodiment, the control box 159 is separated from the Robot CMM Arm 1 and connected to the Base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm by a cable. This architecture is required for a Robot CMM Arm where the Robot CMM Arm needs to be so large that the items in the Control Box 159 will not fit into the Base 4 due to items in the Robot CMM Arm being made portable It can be. The architecture of the first embodiment is preferred because the portable Robot CMM Arm is a single unit that does not increase the manufacturing cost and footprint of a separate control box 159. In yet another embodiment, a full-size personal computer is used in place of the laptop computer 151 and the control PCB 172 is attached to a standard bus, such as a personal computer PCI bus. Alternatively, a network of several computers in the rack is used. In a further embodiment, no pendant is supplied and the Robot CMM Arm 1 is controlled using a laptop computer 151. In a further embodiment, a connector is provided for connecting one or more external axes driven by the controller 395 to the Robot CMM Arm 1. Examples of such external shafts are linear rails or turntables.

Internal CMM Arm Encoder The internal CMM arm 5 includes an angle encoder 178 at each CMM joint 51-57. The scope of the present invention is not limited to angle encoders or angle encoders of any particular design, and any highly accurate form of angle measurement device may be utilized. The resolution and accuracy of angle encoders is limited by several factors, including encoder diameter, number of printable edges, edge linearity, readhead linearity, amount of interpolation, and encoder irregularities. The In order to optimize the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1, it is desirable to have a more accurate angle encoder on the base end 2 side than on the tip end 3 side of the internal CMM arm 5. This is because when the base end joints 21 and 22 are slightly rotated, the tip 3 is moved greatly. On the other hand, when the joint of the tip 3 such as 25, 26, or 27 is slightly rotated, the tip 3 is moved slightly. If all other factors are controlled, the movement of the tip for a given joint rotation is proportional to the distance of the joint from the tip 3. The internal CMM arm 5 uses a CMM encoder 178 such as that manufactured by Renishaw or Micro-E Systems (USA). Since the distance from the CMM encoder 178 to the probe end 3 is long, the CMM joints 21 and 22 on the base end 2 side of the internal CMM arm 5 have large-diameter encoders. Since the distance from the encoder 178 to the probe end 3 is medium, the intermediate joints 23 and 24 at the elbow of the internal CMM arm 5 have medium diameter encoders. Because the distance from the encoder 178 to the probe end 3 is short, the distal joints 25-27 at the wrist of the internal CMM arm 5 have a small diameter encoder. The smaller the diameter of the encoder, the smaller the weight of the arm held by the operator in the fully extended state, and the smaller and easier to handle. When the virtual reach 81 is lengthened by the optical probe 91, it may be important to have a high resolution encoder in the joints 23-27 on the probe end side of the arm. It is expected that the technology behind the angle encoder will improve and that the diameter and weight of an angle encoder with a given accuracy will be reduced. Referring now to FIG. 12A, the internal CMM arm encoder 178 includes a Renishaw RESR angle encoder 185 having a 20 micron scale pitch, which angle encoder 185, along with one or more Renishaw RGH20 read heads 186 per fitting. Used. If more than one read head 186 is attached per encoder 185, the read heads 186 are attached at 90 ° to each other as shown in FIG. 12, or preferably at 180 ° to each other, It may be any other angle with respect to each other. For each CMM joint 23-27, 8192 counts of 52 mm diameter RESR is used, providing a quoted accuracy of +/− 5.6 arcsec for each joint. For each of the CMM joints 21 and 22, a 23,600 count 150 mm diameter RESR is used to provide an estimated accuracy of +/- 1.9 arc seconds per joint. The output of each Renishaw read head 186 is sent to a Renishaw RGE interpolator 187. The output from each Renishaw interpolator 187 is supplied to the joint PCB 173. There are two advantages of using more than one read head. First, errors due to any of the eccentric mounting of the encoder, read head misalignment, edge printing non-linearity, read head non-linearity, irregularities, and other mechanical / alignment errors, Improvement or compensation can be achieved by simple averaging. Second, in operation, readings from two or more interpolators 187 for the same encoder 185 can be averaged at the joint PCB 173, with some improvement in encoder accuracy. In an alternative embodiment, the angle encoder system is provided as a single unit with an encoder, one or more readheads, an interpolator, averaging, and error mapping, with one connection from the angle encoder system to the joint PCB 173. Can be. It is expected that companies such as Renishaw will provide an angle encoder system in the future with an accuracy of 0.1 arc second and a diameter of about 50 mm.

Dual Pattern Encoder The accuracy of the encoder provided in the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is an important factor in the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1. One object of the present invention is to provide a novel dual pattern encoder with one read head per pattern that is more accurate than a single pattern encoder with two read heads. Referring now to FIG. 12B, the dual pattern encoder 860 includes an encoder disk 861 with an edge pattern 862 printed on the circumference of each of the two faces A and B, and one read head 186 provides the face A pattern 862. Read, a second read head 186 reads the surface B pattern 862, and the two read heads are spaced approximately 180 ° apart. Referring now to FIG. 12C, a high-precision rotary stage 864 such as ABR1000 provided by Aerotech Inc (USA) and a rotary clamp mechanism 865 such as a deformed bolt that clamps the disk 861 on the rotating portion of the high-precision rotary stage 864. The first read head 186 reads the pattern 862 on the surface A when the pattern 862 moves relative to the fixed read head 186 by being disposed about 180 ° apart from each other and on the opposite side of the disk 861. Two stationary read heads 186 that allow the second read head 186 to read the surface B pattern 862, and a mapping system 866 connected to the precision rotary stage 864 and the read head 186 by a cable 868. Dual pattern encoder Ping device 863 is provided. The high precision rotary stage 864 has a much higher accuracy than the accuracy predicted by the dual pattern encoder 860. The mapping system 866 (a) controls the movement of the high-precision rotary stage 864, (b) reads a signal from the read head 186, and (c) outputs a map 867. Referring now to FIG. 12D, there is shown a disk 861 representing the center 869 of pattern A, the center 870 of pattern B, and the center of rotation 871 of the joint shaft holding the dual pattern encoder 860. The map 867 is a digital file, and (i) the displacement M of the two patterns 862 relative to each other, (ii) the displacement direction 872, and (iii) the high-precision rotation stage 864 and each pattern 862 are printed. Mapping information providing an error map for each pattern 862 that maps angular errors to and from the edges and covers at least the non-linearity of the edges of each pattern 862. The two patterns 862 are printed and properly aligned with an axial misregistration M of typically 10 microns, but this misalignment M may be greater or less than 10 microns. The misalignment M orientation 872 is manually marked on the disk 861. Surfaces A and B are manually marked on the disk 861. The misalignment direction 872 is usually known with reference to the absolute reference mark of the pattern 862 read by the reading head 186. The process of generating the map 867 is known to those skilled in the art. A fiducial mark for each pattern 862 is provided to reference the error map.

  The Robot CMM Arm 1 can be provided with a maximum of seven mapped dual pattern encoders 860. A map 867 is provided to each dual pattern encoder 860. In the encoder calibration process, the joint of the Robot CMM Arm 1 with the dual pattern encoder 860 normally steps from one rotation axis limit to the other rotation axis limit using a 5 ° step, but the step is more than 5 °. It can be large or small. Readings from each reading head 186 are taken at each step to form a set of readings. The set of readings is corrected using the error map in map 867 to provide corrected readings. In a process well understood by those skilled in the art, the corrected readings are processed using misalignment and misorientation information in map 867 to determine the position of joint center 871 relative to pattern A center 869 and pattern B center 870. Is calculated. After calibration, if the Robot CMM Arm 1 is in use, correct the reading from the dual pattern encoder 860 with the corrected position of the joint center 871 relative to the center 869 of pattern A and the center 870 of pattern B; Increase the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1. A calibrated dual pattern encoder 860 provides better angular accuracy than an equivalent single pattern encoder with two read heads, but it does (a) effectively has two independent error mapped encoder systems instead of one. Yes, the results of these two systems provide a more reliable average than the one pattern encoder system, and (b) errors due to non-vertical disc 861 with respect to the joint axis are automatically averaged Because it is done. The dual pattern encoder 860 has the same number of components as an equivalent single pattern encoder with two read heads, has the same weight, and occupies the same volume. In an alternative embodiment, dual pattern encoder 860 may have both patterns 862 provided on the same side of disk 861 in the form of an inner radial pattern and an outer radial pattern. In a further embodiment relating to the lower cost dual pattern encoder 860, if the pattern 862 is aligned with a sufficiently small misalignment M in the manufacturing process of the disk 861, it is necessary to have an additional process of mapping the dual pattern encoder 860. Nonetheless, the benefit is that any axial misalignment when fitted to the joint of Robot CMM1 is automatically averaged. In an alternative embodiment of the higher accuracy Robot CMM1, two dual pattern encoders 860 are provided at each joint, preferably located on both sides of the joint center.

Structure of Exoskeleton Drive System Environmental Emissions One object of the present invention is that the portable Robot CMM Arm is quiet in operation and can be used in an office environment. It is important to minimize the level of audible noise generated in the design. Inherently low noise drive systems and transmission methods including motors are selected to minimize the generation of audible noise. Basically, the level of audible noise output increases with the speed and acceleration at which the Robot CMM Arm is driven. In many applications, reducing the speed and acceleration has little effect on the cycle time. This is because typically 90% of the cycle time is occupied by measurements that are slow processes and can only be reduced by 10% by increasing the speed. If minimizing the level of audible noise generated is an important usage criterion, the user can set the control system to scan quietly at low speed and low acceleration. The Robot CMM Arm incorporates drive system components that are low in electromagnetic radiation and provides shielding around the components that emit most of the electromagnetic radiation, thereby minimizing the emission of electromagnetic radiation.

Heat Transfer One of the objects of the present invention is to minimize the heat transfer from the motor 176 and other drive components of the exoskeleton 6 to the internal CMM arm 5 and to maintain the internal CMM arm 5 with a relatively stable and uniform temperature. It is to improve accuracy. The following is disclosed.
-There is no significant direct heat transfer link from the exoskeleton motor 176 to the internal CMM arm 5 to eliminate heat transfer by conduction. The transmission means 10 is small and the thermal conductivity of the material is small. None of the hot items in the control box 159 are directly attached to the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm. This means that there is no conduction between the hot item in the control box 159 and the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm.
Internal CMM arm segments 32-38 are coated to minimize heat transfer due to radiation from motor 176 to internal CMM arm 5.
The motor has sufficient ventilation and is provided with a heat sink to maximize heat transfer by convection and minimize operating temperature; The angular speed of the joint in operation is programmed to avoid overheating of the motor 176.
-Referring now to Figure 13A, there is a conduit 189 between the internal CMM arm segments 32-38 and the exoskeleton segments 242-848. A low-capacity fan 190 having a large filter 191 disposed on the base 4 draws air 192 and blows it along a conduit 189 between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. Most of the air 192 exits from the tip 3 between the internal CMM arm segment 38 and the exoskeleton segment 848. This forced air circulation provides efficient cooling by convection. Fan 190 is selected to operate quietly in an office environment. The filter 191 is large and fie. When operating in an office environment, the filter 191 should not require replacement or cleaning for 5 years. Part of the air 192 sucked by the fan 190 passes through the control box and exits through the vent 353 of the control box 159. This air circulation removes heat from the control items including control PCB 172, PSU 171, and amplifier 175.

Exoskeleton Drive System The Robot CMM Arm 1 is driven by an electric motor 176 which is a brush DC servo motor having an encoder. The drive system of the present invention is not limited to any type of electric motor and can be driven by a range of different power systems including hydraulic or pneumatic. Oil pressure and air pressure are less likely to transmit vibration to the Robot CMM Arm than an electric motor with an encoder. The electric motor 176 may be an AC or DC servo motor, a stepper motor, or other form of motor. The motor 176 may be a brush motor or a brushless motor. A high speed control loop is provided in which the electric motor 176 and encoder 179 close the loop, and this high speed loop is successfully assembled in the Robot CMM Arm 1. When making contact measurements, the rigid probe at the end of the internal CMM arm 5 stops moving when contact is made, but the Robot CMM Arm continues to move. For contact measurements, a high precision control loop is provided that uses the CMM encoder 178 to close the low or high level loop outside the high speed control loop. To reduce manufacturing costs, reduce the weight of the Robot CMM Arm, and produce a smaller structure, the CMM encoder 178 can be used for position feedback, in which case the exoskeleton encoder 179 is not required. To further reduce manufacturing costs, the stepper motor can be used in an open loop fashion without any position sensing in the control loop. Depending on the application, the acceleration of the Robot CMM Arm may be small and does not require a very powerful drive system. Some applications require large accelerations and require more powerful drive systems. For applications in automobile production lines, a robust Robot CMM Arm 1 that can withstand impacts from the car body is required. Due to the presence of the internal CMM arm 5, it is not essential to reduce the backlash of the drive train elements for most applications. Low cost and low mass drive train components such as belt drives can be used. In this embodiment, one motor 176 is used to drive each joint 61-67.

Robot Dynamics It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art that it is beneficial to minimize the moment of inertia of the Robot CMM Arm as much as possible. For a given performance specification that defines the angular acceleration and maximum angular velocity of the joint, a Robot MCM Arm that has a smaller moment of inertia than another Robot CMM Arm uses less energy to perform the process. Drive units such as motors tend to be heavier due to the concentration of mass. It is beneficial to (a) place the drive unit as close as possible to the base end of the Robot CMM Arm, (b) reduce the mass of the drive unit, and (c) reduce the mass of the Robot CMM Arm segment. . When one drive unit is moved closer to the base end of the Robot CMM Arm, the drive unit between the moved drive unit and the base is less intense to move the drive unit moved closer to the base end. Since there is no need to work, it is possible to reduce the specifications of these former drive units. Each drive unit with reduced specifications is lighter, so other less performant drive units may be required elsewhere. Another benefit of moving one drive unit near the base end comes from the ability to design the exoskeleton segment to be lighter by reducing the stress on the exoskeleton segment. Thus, it can be seen that multiple benefits are obtained from moving only one drive unit closer to the base end. One of the objects of the present invention is that the Robot CMM Arm is designed to minimize the weight and energy consumption of the Robot CMM Arm with respect to the specified specifications by means including positioning the drive unit as close as possible to the base end. Is to optimize.

  Referring now to FIG. 13B, in the high inertia embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1, the joint centers 323, 525 and their motors 176 are connected to the joint centers 323, 525 and their motors 176 at the base end 2. As compared to the low inertia embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 near the base 2. The motor need not be adjacent to the joint center. In an alternative embodiment, the joint centers 3 23, 5 25 are remote from the base end 2, the motor 176 is near the base end 2, and the torque transmission means are along the exoskeleton segments 3 43, 5 45. Motor torque is transmitted from the motor 176 to the joint centers 323 and 525. The reduction normally achieved by positioning the drive near the base end is over 1 kg for the Robot CMM Arm mass and over 10% for power consumption.

In this first embodiment, the base 41 of the exoskeleton 6 is firmly attached to the base 31 of the internal CMM arm 5 so that there is no significant relative movement between the two bases 41 and 31 and force And torque is transmitted through this rigid attachment. A plurality of transmission means 72-78 are provided, which may be zero, one, or more than two for each CMM segment 32-38. The transmission means 72-78 are in physical contact with the corresponding exoskeleton segments 42-48 and the corresponding CMM segments 32-38, respectively. In operation, the centers and axes of CMM joints 51-57 and joints 61-67 are in substantially the same position. Factors that cause slight misalignment of the joint center and shaft include the following.
-Distortion of CMM segment 2 32-838 different from exoskeleton segment 2 42-848-elastic deformation of transmission means 2 72-878. In this first embodiment, all of the transmission means 2 72-878 comprise elastic means and not all are securely attached to the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. In this first embodiment, only the base end 2 is firmly attached between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. In particular, between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6 at the probe end 3 is not securely attached.
-Automatic rotation of the segment as currently described-Misalignment due to increased manufacturing and assembly tolerances.

Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the selection and design of the number, location and type of individual or successive transmission means 10 has many factors to take into account. The arrangement of the transmission means 10 is different between the 6-axis Robot CMM Arm 1 and the 7-axis Robot CMM Arm 1. The arrangement of the transmission means 10 is different between the Robot CMM Arm 1 with a short reach and the Robot CMM Arm 1 with a long reach. The arrangement of the transmission means 10 varies for different joint arrangements including different positions and sequences of joints.

Number of transmission means Any number of transmission means may be used over the entire length of the Robot CMM Arm, from one individual transmission means to successive contacts.

  One transmission means: If there is only one transmission means for positioning and orientation of the probe 90, it must be the transmission means 8 78 between the CMM segment 8 38 and the exoskeleton segment 8 48 . However, because the 6-axis or 7-axis arm has redundancy, the elbow moves freely under gravity or inertial acceleration in this case. This free movement results in a second “inadvertent” transmission means in which the CMM joint 454 collides with the exoskeleton joint 464.

  Two transmission means: As explained, the first transmission means must be the transmission means 878. The second transmission means must be placed between the joint center 2 22 end of the CMM segment 3 33 and the joint center 6 26 end of the CMM segment 6 36 to control the elbow. When the second transmission means is on the joint center 222 side, the drive of the exoskeleton 6 needs to be heavy and strong over the entire area up to the first transmission means on which most of the weight of the arm is supported. This makes it much heavier than the required Robot CMM Arm 1. When the second transmission means is away from the joint center 424, the internal CMM arm 5 requires a large bending moment to lift the elbow weight. This reduces the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm or requires significant additional weight to reinforce the CMM segment 333.

Three transmission means: Three transmission means in addition to the rigid base connection are the preferred number of transmission means of the first embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The three transmission means are the one located near this in front of the joint center 424, the one located near this in front of the joint center 626, and the transmission means 878 in front of the probe end 3. This arrangement of transmission means has the following advantages.
-The long segment CMM segments 33, 5 and 35 are simply supported near either end, thereby reducing beam deflection under gravity-minimizing motor and gearbox power and weight This minimizes the weight of the Robot CMM Arm 1-the number of transmission means is optimized and the cost, weight and complexity are not increased further.

  4 to 7 transmission means: The design complexity of the Robot CMM Arm 1 with 4 to 7 transmission means 10 increases with each additional transmission means. There is a high possibility that the transmission means act against each other and apply an undesirable moment to the internal CMM arm 5.

  Continuous transmission means: A continuous elastic medium can be provided between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. The intermediate volume between the CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6 can be filled with a certain amount of small rubber balls that adhere to each other in various spatial orientations. It is coated with an adhesive so that it does not flow down or flow around from the intervening volume. The intervening volume may be filled with a material such as a bubble wrap in which air pockets are confined in a plastic sheet. The medium may be specified to minimize the force and torque transmitted to the Internal CMM Arm 5. The media may be specified to minimize misalignment between the joints of the Internal CMM Arm 5 and the Exoskeleton 6. The media may be specified to exhibit the desired elasticity in three component directions: radial, axial, and torsional. The medium may be continuous throughout the intervening volume or it may be discontinuous to resemble individual transmission means. Continuous media may exhibit discontinuous characteristics, for example, the radial, axial, and torsional elasticity in various regions of the intermediate deposition portion may probably be substantially different.

Automatic Rotation of Non-Driven Segments Referring again to FIG. 2, the 7-axis Robot CMM Arm 1 has four cases where one or more segments can automatically rotate under gravity without using motive force from the drive elements. . If the joint can be oriented 90 ° relative to the angle required for subsequent driven rotation, this will lock the joint, which will damage the CMM arm or cause the CMM arm calibration to fail. Such automatic rotation of the CMM segment is undesirable.

  Case 1: If the orthogonal hinge joint 222 is linear, automatic rotation can occur. Automatic rotation involves CMM segments 2 32, 3 33 rotating together between CMM joints 1 51 and 3 53. This is unlikely to happen because the Robot CMM Arm is usually mounted in a vertical orientation and there is no eccentric mass accelerated by gravity.

  Case 2: If the orthogonal hinge joint 424 is straight, automatic rotation can occur. Automatic rotation involves CMM segments 4 34, 5 35 rotating together between CMM joints 3 53 and 5 55. If CMM segments 434, 535 have an off-axis center of gravity that is accelerated by gravity and this is not the case, this is likely to occur.

  Case 3: Automatic rotation can occur when the orthogonal hinge joint 626 is straight. Automatic rotation involves CMM segments 6 36, 7 37 rotating together between CMM segments 5 55 and 7 57. This is likely to occur if the CMM segments 6 36, 7 37 have an off-axis center of gravity accelerated by gravity and the orthogonal hinge joint 626 is not in a vertical orientation. Cases 1, 2, and 3 can be prevented by a rotation restraining element or individual rotation restraining means 940 incorporated in the overlapping transmission means.

  Case 4: If the CMM segment 8 has an off-axis center of gravity and is not driven by the transmission means, automatic rotation can occur. However, Case 4 can be ignored because the transmission means 878 is essential and provides a torsional drive.

Orthogonal Hinge Joint Locking Robot CMM Arm 1 where the orthogonal hinge joint locks and undesired forces, moments, or torques can be applied to the internal CMM arm 5 due to the effects of gravity, misalignment, and abuse loads. There are several examples of spatial orientation. The following are three exemplary lock cases.

  Lock Case 1: Orthogonal Hinge Joints 2 22, 4 24, 626 are straight and their axes are horizontal. If the base axis is vertical, the arm is vertical. If there is a misalignment, a bending moment can be applied to the internal CMM arm 5 by the transmission means. If there is a load due to overuse, a bending moment can be applied to the internal CMM arm 5 by the transmission means. Due to the careful design of the transmission means and the rigidity of the exoskeleton, this effect can be minimized or eliminated.

  Lock case 2: Orthogonal hinge joints 424, 626 are straight and their axes are vertical. If the segment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 after the joint 2 22 is horizontal, the CMM segment 3 33-838 is horizontal under gravity and is supported in one or more rigid “locks”. The situation is to form a "made" beam. When supported at each end, the “locked” beam deflects greatly in the middle. If it is supported at more than two locations, it is likely that a bending moment will occur and even worse deflection will be indicated. If there is a misalignment, a bending moment can be applied to the internal CMM arm 5 by the transmission means. If there is a load due to overuse, a bending moment can be applied to the internal CMM arm 5 by the transmission means. This is the worst spatial orientation possible with respect to undesirable forces and moments on the Internal CMM Arm 5. Due to the careful design of the transmission means and the rigidity of the exoskeleton, this effect can be minimized or eliminated. Alternatively, a measure may be taken that the Robot CMM Arm 1 is not moved in the spatial orientation of this Lock Case 2 during measurement. For example, if joints 3 23, 727 are rotated 90 °, the arms remain in the same spatial orientation and both orthogonal hinge joints 4 24, 626 are unlocked against gravity, eliminating unwanted moments. The arm is in a state suitable for measurement.

  Lock Case 3: Orthogonal Hinge Joint 626 is straight and its axis is vertical. This is a secondary case of Lock Case 2. The deflection is smaller. Lock case 3 can be solved in the same manner as lock case 2.

  Any lock of CMM joints 2 32, 4 34, 6 36 in the above exemplary lock case or any other lock case is: 1. Place a hard stop on the exoskeleton 6 to prevent the joint from reaching 180 °; This can be avoided by not moving the Robot CMM in the spatial orientation in which it is locked.

Preferred Arrangement of Transmission Means Next, a preferred arrangement of transmission means of the Robot CMM Arm 1 will be described with reference to FIG. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is stationary in a spatial orientation where the tip from the joint 2 is horizontal. Three transmission means 3 73, 5 75, 878 are provided. The transmission means 3 73 is positioned immediately before the joint center 323. The transmission means 575 is positioned immediately before the joint center 525. The joint means 878 is positioned after the joint center 727. A rotation suppression means 940 is provided adjacent to the joint centers 2 22, 4 24, 626.

  Next, the location of the transmission means 878 will be described with reference to FIG. The CMM segment 8 38 and the standard probe 90 firmly attached to the CMM segment 8 38 are supported by the transmission means 878 at the center of gravity CG8 so that the resulting force or torque on the CMM joint 757 is negligible. It will be about. The center of gravity CG8 is the center of gravity of the CMM segment 838 in combination with a standard probe 90 that is securely attached to the CMM segment 838. This is a desirable condition because one of the purposes of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is to maximize accuracy by reducing the force and torque on the joint of the Internal CMM Arm 5. In practice, a probe 90 including an optical probe 91 having various masses, centroid positions, and moments of inertia is attached to the probe end 2 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. In an ideal situation, when all the probes 90 are attached to the CMM segment 38, the center of gravity of the combination of the probe 90 and the CMM segment 8 38 is aligned with the axis of the CMM segment 38 at the center of the transmission means 878. Designed to be. In this way, since the additional mass is completely supported by the exoskeleton 6 via the transmission means 878, the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm does not decrease even if the high-mass probe 90 is attached around the center of gravity CG8.

  Next, the rotation suppression means 940 will be described with reference to FIG. The rotation suppressing means 940 includes a pin 941 and an embedded rubber O-ring 942. The pin 941 is firmly attached to the internal CMM arm 5 and protrudes from the axis of the CMM joint 252. The O-ring 942 is firmly embedded in the exoskeleton 6 and is aligned with the axis of the exoskeleton joint 260. The outer diameter of the pin 941 is much smaller than the inner diameter of the O-ring 942, so that when the CMM joint 252 and the exoskeleton joint 262 are aligned, there is a uniform radial direction between the pin 941 and the O-ring 942. An air gap is created. The purpose of the rotation suppression means 940 is to prevent automatic rotation R of the CMM segments 2 and 3 when the CMM joint 2 52 is linear. Even if the automatic rotation R starts, the pin 941 is immediately stopped by swinging around the axis of the joint center 222 and colliding with the O-ring 942. The air gap is maintained in the normal movement of the Robot CMM Arm and prevents undesired forces or torques from being applied to the Internal CMM Arm 5 via the O-ring 942 and the pin 941.

  Referring now to FIG. 17, the principle of the transmission means 373 is shown with a longitudinal section AA and an axial section BB. Transmission of the transmission means 373 is in the radial direction. The CMM segment 3 33 is moved by a radial force from the exoskeleton segment 3 43 via the transmission means 3 73. The transmission means 3 73 comprises three transmission blocks 201 that are firmly attached to the inside of the exoskeleton segment 343 at intervals of 120 °. The transmission block 201 is made of a lightweight material such as aluminum. Two layers, that is, an elastic material layer 203 such as neoprene, and a low friction material layer 202 such as PTFE in contact with the CMM segment 333 are bonded to the inner surfaces of the three transmission blocks 201. The transmission means 3 73 does not transmit an axial force to allow the low friction material layer 202 to slide axially between the CMM segment 3 33 and the exoskeleton segment 3 43. The elastic material layer 203 is always in a compressed state when the transmission means 373 is assembled at a predetermined position. Elastic material layer 203 is a combination of cross-sectional area, thickness, and stiffness that allows it to stiffen rapidly during normal use or remain within the design elastic range without compressing significant distances. Have The elastic material layer 203 is far wider than the misalignment under load due to overuse of the internal CMM arm 5 and exoskeleton 6 at the location, thereby protecting the internal CMM arm from receiving large forces or torques. . The stiffness of the elastic material layer 203 is low enough to compress significantly when supporting the maximum weight. Cross-sectional area, thickness, and composite specifications can be known procedures that require accurate modeling of many factors, including increased exoskeleton misalignment tolerance and deflection under heavy loads. Those skilled in the art will understand. The benefit of using the low friction material 202 is that no heat is generated by friction. This means that the required driving force is minimized and the accuracy of the internal CM arm 5 is maintained by eliminating thermal distortion due to “hot” spots due to friction. Two bump stops 209 are provided to prevent automatic rotation. A bump stop is attached to CMM segment 333. During normal operation, there is an air gap between the bump stop 209 and the transmission block 201. The bump stop 209 has a rubberized surface for reducing impact. Even if the automatic rotation starts, the bump stop 209 is immediately stopped by colliding with the transmission block 201. The transmission means 575 are likewise arranged for radial transmission.

  The transmission of the transmission means 878 is torsional and radial. The transmission means 87 comprises two adjacent units, a torsional drive and a radial drive. The radial drive is similar to that of FIG. Referring now to FIG. 18, the torsional drive of the transmission means 878 is shown with a longitudinal section AA and an axial section BB. The CMM segment 8 38 is moved by torque from the exoskeleton segment 8 48 via the transmission means 8 78. The transmission means 878 includes a collar 204 that is adhered to the CMM segment 838. The collar 204 further comprises three driven flanges 209 extending 120 degrees apart radially outward and extending longitudinally. Three slotted transmission blocks 205, 120 ° apart, drive the driven flange. Each slotted transmission block 205 includes two pads of elastic material 203 that are bonded to the two drive surfaces of the slotted transmission block 205. Slotted transmission block 205 is attached to exoskeleton segment 848 with bolts 206 using washers 207. The slotted transmission block 205, collar 204, and washer 207 are made of a lightweight material such as aluminum. The elastic material 203 has an outer low friction material layer 202 such as PTFE that contacts the driven flange 209. The transmission means 878 does not transmit an axial force to allow the low friction material layer 202 to slide axially between the CMM segment 838 and the exoskeleton segment 848. The low friction material layer 202 allows some radial sliding between the CMM segment 838 and the exoskeleton segment 848, but the driven flanges 209 are positioned 120 ° apart and react with each other to react with the CMM segment 8 Transmission means 878 partially transmits the radial force to provide a force to compensate for any radial movement between 38 and exoskeleton segment 848. The elastic material layer 203 is always compressed when the transmission means 878 is assembled in place. Elastic material layer 203 is a combination of cross-sectional area, thickness, and stiffness that allows it to stiffen rapidly during normal use or remain within the design elastic range without compressing significant distances. Have An integrated torsional and radial drive may be provided as a lighter and smaller unit than the two adjacent torsional and radial drives individually described to more clearly disclose the background principles of the present invention. This will be understood by those skilled in the art.

Overview The exoskeleton 6 can transmit force and torque to the Internal CMM Arm 5 using a wide range of transmission means 10, all of which are intended to minimize the force and torque on the Internal CMM Arm 5. It will be appreciated by those skilled in the art to achieve and thereby maximize the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The scope of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is not limited to the preferred disposition of the preferred transmission means 10, but from the exoskeleton 6 to the internal CMM so that the Robot CMM Arm 1 is automatically driven and highly accurate. It corresponds to all transmission means 10 for transmitting force and torque to the arm 5. For example, in alternative embodiments, the number of individual transmission means 10 may be two or more, continuous transmission means may be used, or a combination of individual means and continuous means may be used. The range of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is not limited to the elastic transmission means. In a further embodiment, the transmission means 10 is one of the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6 so that the forces and torques transmitted from the exoskeleton 6 to the internal CMM arm 5 do not affect the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Can be securely attached to one or more locations. One skilled in the art will further understand that additional devices that appear on the market would have a combination of an Internal CMM Arm and an Exoskeleton, and could be claimed to be a conventional robot rather than a Robot CMM Arm. Will. The scope of the present invention covers all devices that have the technical effect of reducing the force and torque on the bearings and segments of the CMM.

Comparison of Robot CMM Arm Comparison of Internal CMM Arm When a compensation device is used in the Internal CMM Arm 5, stress may increase in the joint and the stress may act through the joint to induce a bending moment. Both need to be countered with reduced accuracy or increased weight. The joint of the Internal CMM Arm 5 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is typically used in a longer cycle than the Manual CMM Arm, which means that the Robot CMM Arm is up to 24 hours a day except for maintenance periods and outages. Because it can be used all year round. If the joint has high stress and is used continuously, the compensation device will generate more heat and the temperature of that joint of the arm will be higher than if the utilization is low. As a result, the accuracy of the arm may be deteriorated. The bearing of that joint of the Internal CMM Arm 5 needs to be designed to be rigid in order to have a much longer life cycle. The looseness of the bearing is a serious cause of inaccuracy of the internal CMM arm 5 and cannot be compensated. It is one of the objects of the present invention to hold the internal CMM arm 5 so that the exoskeleton 6 becomes an external compensation device. This external compensation minimizes most of the forces and torques on the internal CMM arm 5 during movement and eliminates the disadvantages of the internal compensation device. This means that the internal CMM arm 5 does not require a compensation device, and the Robot CMM Arm 1 is lighter, simpler and less expensive to manufacture without a compensation device. The scope of the present invention is not limited to the Robot CMM Arm 1 without the compensation device in the Internal CMM Arm 5, but also includes the Robot CMM Arm 1 with the compensation device in the Internal CMM Arm 5.

Exoskeleton Compensation Device The Robot CMM Arm 1 may be attached to its base 4 in any orientation. In the base orientation, which is vertically above or below, the exoskeleton 6 preferably has a compensation device at the exoskeleton joint 260 that compensates for the weight of both the exoskeleton 6 and the internal CMM arm 5. A compensation device is a device that does not consume power directly from a power source such as voltage, air pressure, or oil pressure. This means that the drive system of the exoskeleton joint 260 can be less powerful, lighter in weight and consume less energy for the majority of the duty cycle. In the normal design of the Robot CMM Arm 1, the presence of a compensation device can reduce power consumption by 10-25% and reduce the weight of the Robot CMM Arm by 5-12%.

  Referring now to FIG. 19, the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted vertically upward and the direction of application A of the compensation device 210 causes the exoskeleton segment 343 of the exoskeleton 6 to resist gravity. This is a direction for lifting upward toward the vertical position. Compensation device 210 is located at one end of the axis of exoskeleton joint 262. When the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is mounted vertically downward, for example when hanging from the pillar of the moving bridge 3-axis CMM 129, the direction of application of the compensation device 210 is that the exoskeleton segment 343 of the exoskeleton 6 is against gravity. It is a direction for lifting upward toward the horizontal position. Preferably, one compensation device 210 acts to torque the exoskeleton joint 2 62. The compensation device 210 is preferably a machined coil spring. Compensation device 210 is set to an optimum value to minimize the maximum torque required to rotate exoskeleton joint 2 62 in any orientation of exoskeleton joint 2 62. This compensation device 210 means that a smaller and lighter drive system can be provided to drive the exoskeleton joint 262. In an ideal situation, the compensation device 210 should act directly on the center of the exoskeleton joint 2 62 so that no bending moment is applied to the exoskeleton joint 2 62. In the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention, the CMM joint 2 of the internal CMM arm 5 is arranged at the center of the exoskeleton joint 260. Accordingly, the compensation device 210 is arranged eccentrically and applies a bending moment to the exoskeleton joint 262. The structure of the components around the exoskeleton 6, particularly the exoskeleton joint 260, is sufficiently rigid to resist bending moments from the compensation device 210 and to keep the bending of the exoskeleton 6 within desired limits. . The direction of torque compensation of the exoskeleton joint 262 is opposite between when the direction of the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm is vertically upward and when it is vertically downward. The provided compensation device 210 can be reversed to apply its torque in the opposite direction when the orientation of the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 changes direction. In a further embodiment of the invention, the compensation device 210 further comprises a damper 211.

  In an alternative embodiment, a choice of two compensation devices 210 is provided for the arm, the first choice is for the case where the Robot CMM Arm 1 has a vertically upward base 4 orientation, The selection is for the case where the Robot CMM Arm 1 has the orientation of the base 4 vertically below. A suitable compensation device 210 is fitted to the orientation of the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. In a further embodiment, a compensation device 210 is provided that has manual settings for two different orientations that are set manually during installation of the Robot CMM Arm 1. In an alternative embodiment of the present invention, two compensating devices 210 are provided on both sides of the exoskeleton joint 2 62 and set to approximately the same torque so that bending moments across the exoskeleton joint 2 62 are ignored. It will be possible.

  In other base orientations, such as when the base of the Robot CMM Arm is mounted horizontally, for example when mounted on a wall, the joint 2 may not have a compensation device 210 unless the application is restricted to be useful. preferable. In an alternative embodiment, the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention can function without any compensation device 210 in the exoskeleton 6.

Joint Limit In this first embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention, the axial joint rotates indefinitely and there is a hard limit for the rotation of each orthogonal joint. The joint hard limit is a physical stop that prevents the joint from rotating in the direction of the joint hard limit. It is an object of the present invention to transmit power and signals that can be supplied to both the electronics of the internal CMM arm 5 and the drive system of the exoskeleton 6 to the internal CMM arm 5 via a slip ring. One. In the 6-axis Robot CMM Arm 1, the three axial axes rotate infinitely, and in the 7-axis Robot CMM Arm 1, the four axial axes rotate infinitely. This means that the arm is more robust because there is no need to continuously wind and wind the cable through 360 ° in the area of each axial joint.

Hard limit of internal CMM joint In this first embodiment, the internal CMM arm 5 does not have a hard joint limit. The axial joint can rotate indefinitely. All inherent orthogonal joint limits are slightly above the joint hard limit of the exoskeleton 6 so that during normal operation the exoskeleton 6 cannot press the internal CMM arm 5 against the joint hard limit. If the internal CMM arm 5 is not supported by the exoskeleton 6, a simple rubber stop is positioned to avoid damage during assembly. These rubber stops are not used during operation when the Robot CMM Arm 1 is assembled.

Exoskeleton Joint Limits In this first embodiment, each exoskeleton joint 2 62, 4 64, 666 has a first and second joint hard limit. Each joint hard limit is preferably a mechanical stop with a shock absorber element made of rubber attached to at least one impact side so as to reduce any impact. In the large size Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention, where impacts involving orthogonal joints can be taken into account, a partially pre-crumpled tube arranged to absorb the impact is compressed axially. To dissipate the impact energy force. By carrying out the wrinkling in advance, the initial high impact stress due to the impact on the rigid body can be eliminated. After impact, the tube is simply replaced. The pipe is 100 mm long, made of pure aluminum, 7 mm in diameter, 1.5 mm in thickness, and 5% pre-compressed in a jig with a diameter of 9.5 mm, so that the orthogonal joint of the Robot CMM Arm 1 It is preferable to fit in a 10 mm hole. These specifications are adjusted for various sizes of Robot CMM Arms that differ in the amount of impact energy to be absorbed. It will be appreciated that any other suitable method of absorbing impact energy in plastic deformation or other modes can be used as well, such as by shearing rather than wrinkling the material. In this first embodiment, each exoskeleton joint 2 62, 4 64, 6 66 has first and second joint soft limits. Each joint soft limit is preferably a limit switch 182.

Optimal base orientation direction
The base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is preferably marked with an optimal orientation direction. The optimum direction of orientation of the base is the direction in which the base 4 should be directed toward the center of the work area where the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention should be used. In an optimal orientation of an embodiment that does not rotate indefinitely, the exoskeleton joint 161 can rotate the same amount on both sides before hitting the hard limit.

Limit of Exoskeleton Joint 1 In this first embodiment, Exoskeleton Joint 1601 is an axial joint. For embodiments that do not rotate infinitely, a hard limit is required. Referring to FIG. 20, the total angular rotation of the exoskeleton 161 between the first physical joint limit and the second physical joint limit is 630 °. The first joint hard limit pair 222A, 222B and the second joint hard limit pair 223A, 223B of the exoskeleton joint 161 are set at an equal angle of 315 ° with respect to the optimal orientation direction 221 of the base. The joint hard limits 222A, 223A rotate with the exoskeleton segment 242. It remains stationary with joint hard limits 222B and 223B exoskeleton joint 141. The joint hard limits 222B and 223B each have a rubber shock absorber element 224 attached to the impact surface. Two joint soft limit switches 182 are positioned to contact the limit switch just before the joint reaches the hard limit. In a further embodiment, measures are taken so that joint rotation hard limits 222A and 223A are moved by the operator relative to exoskeleton segment 242 to provide an alternative total angular rotation of exoskeleton joint 161 of 390 °. It is done. In alternative embodiments, the angular rotation of the exoskeleton joint 161 may be greater or less than 630 °. There can be multiple joint limit settings up to the maximum total angle rotation. The same joint hard limit means is provided for the exoskeleton joints 3 63, 5 65 and 7 67. A similar joint soft limit switch 182 is also provided for the exoskeleton joints 2 62 to 7 67.

Limit of Exoskeleton Joint 2 In this first embodiment, Exoskeleton Joint 2 62 is an orthogonal joint. Referring to FIGS. 21A and 21B, the angular rotation of the exoskeleton joint 262 is preferably 185 °. Referring to FIG. 21B, the exoskeleton segment 343 advances 5 ° from vertically above, and the first joint hard limit pair 225A, 225B comes into contact via the rubber pad 224, so that the rotation of the exoskeleton joint 262 starts. . Referring to FIG. 21A, the exoskeleton segment 343 comes vertically downward and the second joint hard limit pair 226A, 226B comes into contact via the rubber pad 224, so that the rotation of the exoskeleton joint 262 ends. When the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm is in a vertically upward orientation, the compensation device 210 of the exoskeleton joint 2 62 causes the exoskeleton segment 343 to rotate upward toward the first joint hard limit pair 225A, 225B. Act on. When the base of the Robot CMM Arm is in a vertically downward orientation (not shown in FIGS. 21A, 22B), the compensation device 210 for exoskeleton segment 262 causes exoskeleton segment 343 to become the second joint hard limit pair 226A, It acts to rotate toward 226B. Similar joint hard limit means are provided for the exoskeleton joints 4 64 and 666. Referring to FIG. 21C, in the case of the arrangement of the Robot CMM Arm 1 having in-line orthogonal joints, the inter-axis distance SR of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is the same without the exoskeleton 790, but between the axes of the conventional manual CMM arm. It is larger than the distance SM. In the Robot CMM Arm 1, CMM segments 2 32, 3 33 are shown inside the exoskeleton segments 2 42, 343. The inter-axis distance SR between the axes of the CMM segments 2 32, 3 33 when the CMM segments 2 32, 33 are oriented parallel to each other is equivalent to that of the conventional manual CMM arm without the exoskeleton 790. It is larger than the inter-axis distance SM of the corresponding CMM segment 2 32, 3 33 because it requires space for the exoskeleton segment 2 42, 3 43 of the exoskeleton 6.

Joint Brake The Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention is not supported by an operator against gravity. If the power to the drive system is cut off, without the brake 177, the Robot CMM Arm 1 may fall due to gravity and be damaged or damage one or more people or objects. In this first embodiment, the exoskeleton joints 1 61-7 67 all have a fail-safe brake 177 that is automatically applied in the event of a power cut. In this way, the exoskeleton joints 1 61 to 7 67 are all locked when the power is turned off, and this lock can be used regardless of the orientation of the base mounting and the spatial layout of the robot arm. Function. In an alternative embodiment in which the base of the Robot CMM Arm 1 should be mounted vertically upwards or only vertically downwards, the exoskeleton joint 161 does not have a brake 177. In this case, the exoskeleton joint 160 has a certain direction, and the exoskeleton joint 161 is not accelerated by the action of gravity. In an alternative embodiment, the dynamic exoskeleton joints 565-767 are not provided with a brake because the moments and movements that are possible at the wrist under gravity are so small. This has the advantage that the wrist design is smaller and the Robot CMM Arm 1 is lighter.

Joint Bearing The bearing of the CMM joint 1 51 7 57 is an important item for providing the Robot CMM Arm 1 with high accuracy. While CMM encoder 178 can indicate the angle of each joint, CMM encoder 178 cannot measure the error introduced by the bearings of CMM joint 1 51 7 57. The bearings of CMM joint 1 51 7 57 and their arrangement should maximize rigidity while minimizing weight and joint size, and minimize bearing rumble. The CMM joint 1 51 7 57 of the internal CMM arm 5 uses low friction bearings to minimize the amount by which the internal CMM arm 5 warms, especially at high duty cycles. Since the exoskeleton compensates for most of the weight of the arm, the stress on the bearing of the internal CMM arm 5 is usually less than in the case of a manual CMM arm. Referring now to FIG. 22, a pair of prestressed ceramic tapered roller bearings 230, such as those made by Barden Corp (USA), are provided on CMM joint 353, which is an axial joint, and CMM joint 450, which is an orthogonal joint. The tapered roller bearing 230 provides high rigidity and small size. The tapered roller bearing 230 is prestressed by applying a predetermined torque to the nut 231. The bearing 230 is fitted into the housings 100 and 103 using an interference fit, which is first cooled to -45 ° C. prior to insertion to provide a strong shrink fit at room temperature, which is a thermal shrink-fit. ) Process is used. In a similar arrangement, a prestressed tapered roller bearing 230 is provided on each CMM joint 1 51-757. There are many ways to provide a bearing arrangement for the present invention. The scope of the present invention is not limited to the use of prestressed tapered roller bearings by thermal interference shrink-fit. Any type of bearing and method of fitting and adjusting the bearing that meets at least the requirements of light weight, low friction, and high rigidity can be used. The bearings of Exoskeleton Joint 1 51-7 57 are not an important item of Robot CMM Arm 1 in terms of accuracy, but have a longer life than the design life of Robot CMM Arm 1, thereby avoiding high replacement costs .

Impact Protection The Robot CMM Arm 1 is portable. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is expected to be impacted during operation, attachment, removal, and transportation. Bump pads made of plastic are attached to the projecting sides of the Robot CMM Arm 1 to absorb the impact. During operation, the axis following error is monitored to minimize damage from the impact by stopping the movement upon impact. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is first moved by the control PCB 172 to a spatial layout specially designated for transport and then powered down, during which time the brake 177 is activated. The spatial layout specially designated for transport is such that the size of the arm is as small as possible to minimize the size of the hard case. Referring again to FIG. 21C, a spatial layout that allows orthogonal joints to orient adjacent segments in a horizontal orientation is useful for minimizing the size of the hard case. During handling, the brake 177 of the motor 176 is activated, which makes the Robot CMM Arm 1 a rigid device. Thereby, since the parts of the Robot CMM Arm 1 do not rotate during handling, the Robot CMM Arm 1 becomes easy to handle.

Assembly Process It is an object of the present invention to provide a process for assembling the Robot CMM Arm 1. Since the internal CMM arm 5 is first assembled, calibrated and tested before the exoskeleton 6 is fitted, there are productivity advantages based on obtaining the highest quality with minimal steps. Since the exoskeleton 6 can be easily and quickly removed from the internal CMM arm 5, there are also maintenance advantages.

  In the first step of the “sock” process, which is preferred for assembly of the Robot CMM Arm 1, each of the Internal CMM Arm 5 and Exoskeleton 6 is assembled to a significant degree while being separated from each other. In the second step, the exoskeleton 6 is threaded over the internal CMM arm 5 from the probe end to the base end. This assembly process necessitates that the inner CMM arm 5 is designed like a cone and the exoskeleton 6 is designed as a hollow cone inside. The transmission means 10 can be positioned before or after passing the exoskeleton 6 over the internal CMM arm 5.

  In the first step of the “insertion” process of assembly of the Robot CMM Arm 1, each of the Internal CMM Arm 5 and Exoskeleton 6 is assembled to a significant degree while being separated. In the second step, the exoskeleton 6 is opened. In the third step, the internal CMM arm 5 is inserted into the open exoskeleton 6. In a fourth step, the exoskeleton 6 is closed on the internal CMM arm 5.

  In the first step of the “covering” process of assembly of the Robot CMM Arm 1, each of the Internal CMM Arm 5 and Exoskeleton 6 is assembled to a significant degree while being separated. In the second step, the exoskeleton 6 is coated around the inner CMM arm 5. Both the insertion process and the covering process require items such as exoskeleton joints to be cleaved. Such a design has several drawbacks in that it increases the number and complexity of the components.

In the first step of the “built around” process of assembling the Robot CMM Arm 1, the internal CMM Arm 5 is assembled to a significant degree. In the second step, the components or subassemblies of the exoskeleton 6 are assembled one by one around the inner CMM arm 5. In the first step of the “built over” process, to assemble the Robot CMM Arm 1, the Internal CMM Arm 5 is assembled to a significant degree. In the second step, the components or subassemblies of the exoskeleton 6 are passed over the internal CMM arm 5 one by one. These built-in processes reduce the operability of the Robot CMM Arm because the exoskeleton 6 must be disassembled to allow access to the Internal CMM Arm 5.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to the disclosed assembly process, but extends to any process for assembling or disassembling the Robot CMM Arm 1, manually or automatically. There are many other steps in the complete manufacturing and assembly schedule of the Robot CMM Arm 1, and those skilled in the art will understand that these processes occur before, during, and after the assembly process steps disclosed herein. Will be understood.

Probe and Tool Mounting The Robot CMM Arm 1 has a base end 2 and a probe end 3. The Robot CMM Arm 1 can include one or more measurement probes 90 or tools 98 that are preferably attached to its probe end 3 after the CMM joint 757. The measurement probe 90 can be removed manually or automatically. The automatic removal is preferably performed by a probe replacement system such as a rack having a location for two or more probes 90 and a high precision attachment mechanism that releasably releases and locks the probes 90. The Robot CMM Arm 1 can have one or more precision attachment mechanisms.

  Referring now to FIG. 23, in this first embodiment, a probe attachment means 240 is provided at the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention after the CMM joint 757 to provide three probe attachment means. 240, that is, two of the first probe attachment means 244, the second probe attachment means 247, and the third probe attachment means 251 are used to attach a maximum of two probes 90. The first probe attachment means 244 includes an M8 × 1.5 female screw 241 and an electrical contact means 243 from the first attachment surface 242. The second probe attachment means 247 includes an M20 male screw 245 from the second attachment surface 246. The third probe attachment means 251 includes an M30 female thread 248 and a third attachment surface 250 having three precision grooves 249 at 120 ° intervals, and a recessed probe connector 255 is provided on the third attachment surface 250. Be placed. A further buried probe connector 258 is placed on the CMM segment 838 to connect the probe 90 when the buried probe connector 255 cannot be used. Connectors 255 and 258 are mechanically and electrically identical.

  Next, referring to FIG. 24, the Renishaw TP20 probe body 93 is screwed into the screw 241 using the first probe mounting means 244 until it contacts the first mounting surface 242. Attached to segment 838. An electrical contact is formed between the Renishaw TP20 probe body 93 and the electrical contact means 243. The Renishaw TP20 probe module 94 is attached to the Renishaw TP20 probe body 93 using a magnetic kinematic mount.

  Referring now to FIG. 25, the solid contact probe 95 is threaded onto the screw 245 until the solid contact probe 95 contacts the second mounting surface 246 using the second probe mounting means 247. Attached to segment 838. In order to attach the solid contact probe 95, it is not necessary to remove the Renishaw TP20 probe body 93, but first, the Renishaw TP20 probe module 94 in the magnetic kinematic mount needs to be lifted and removed. This means that it is not necessary to recalibrate the Robot CMM Arm 1 with the Renishaw TP20 probe body 93 each time the solid contact probe 95 is removed. The optical probe 91 attached to the bracket 253 in which the three cylinders 252 are positioned at 120 ° intervals is passed over the solid contact probe 95 and then attached to the third probe attaching means 251. Since the inner diameter of the bracket 253 is larger than the outer diameter of the solid contact probe 95, there is a gap between the solid contact probe 95 and the bracket 253. This means that the optical probe 91 can be removed without first removing the solid contact probe 95, and there is no need to recalibrate the Robot CMM Arm 1 with the solid contact probe 95 each time the optical probe 91 is removed. Have advantages. Similarly, the solid contact probe 95 or the Renishaw TP20 probe body 93 can be removed without realigning the optical probe 91. The optical probe 91 has a center of gravity 96 that is offset from the CMM segment 838 by a distance “d”. An example of the optical probe 91 is a ModelMaker X70 manufactured by 3D Scanners (UK). Next, referring to FIG. 26, the bracket 253 has a bracket connector 256, and the cable 257 connects the bracket connector 256 and the optical probe 91. The three cylinders 252 of the bracket 253 are accommodated in the precision groove 249 and are held in place by nuts 254 that are screwed into the screws 248. When the three cylinders 252 of the bracket 253 are accommodated in the precision groove 249 and held in place by the nut 254, the bracket connector 256 is accommodated in the embedded probe connector 255. The location of the bracket 253, and hence the location of the optical probe 91, is reproducible with respect to the CMM segment 838 to an accuracy of the order of 0.025 to 0.05 mm (+/− 2 sigma). The brackets can be positioned in three different orientations at 120 ° intervals, but only one preferred position can form an automatic connection with the embedded probe connector 255. In a further embodiment, two or more sets of three precision grooves 249 are provided in the surface 250. This means that with two sets of precision grooves 249, the bracket 253 can be oriented in six different orientations at 60 ° intervals.

  In this first embodiment, the center of gravity of each probe 90 is approximately on the axis of the CMM segment 838, thereby minimizing the force to rotate the CMM joint 757 and minimizing the bending moment on the CMM joint 757. However, the center of gravity 96 of the probe is connected to the CMM joint 7 so that this first embodiment is fully operable up to the maximum allowable torque caused by the shifted probe being in the worst position relative to the center of gravity. It can also be shifted from 57 axes.

  In alternative embodiments, the probe 90 may be attached to any segment of the Robot CMM Arm 1 including a base end segment, a probe end segment, and any segment in between. One or more additional joints are provided between the mount of the Robot CMM Arm segment and the probe.

  In a further embodiment, an actuated kinematic mount such as Renishaw's Autojoint is provided for automatic probe replacement. In a further embodiment, a side attachment means is provided for attaching a further probe offset to the side of the probe end axis. One skilled in the art will appreciate that any design of probe attachment means and any combination of probe attachment means at any feasible location can be provided in alternative embodiments.

Use of Multiple Probes In measurement applications, it is often useful to attach two probes 90 for simultaneous use or dual use for one use at a time to the Robot CMM Arm 1. The present invention is not limited to having one or two probes attached to a Robot CMM Arm, but can include multiple probes.

  An example of the two-use probe is a case where the contact probe 95 and the optical probe 91 are attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 in order to perform 3D scanning of the tool of the automobile part in the vehicle body coordinate system. The contact probe 95 is useful for referencing the object to be measured using reference artifacts such as tooling balls or tooling cones at a known position / orientation with respect to the vehicle body coordinate system. The optical probe 91 collects data on the surface of the object 9.

  In this first embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention, multiple probes are attached to the probe end of the Robot CMM Arm and serve selectively by using them without the need for probe attachment or removal. Measures can be taken for the use of the multipurpose probe of the Robot CMM Arm. This means that the time of the automatic measurement cycle is saved and the cost of the probe exchange system and the expected disadvantages and manual intervention are not required. In further embodiments, multiple attached probes 90 may be used simultaneously to perform their functions. In further embodiments, a combination of at least two of the attached probes may be used simultaneously to perform their functions.

Probe types There are many types of dimensional measurement contact measurement probes that can be attached to the Robot CMM Arm,
A solid touch contact probe 95,
A touch trigger contact probe having at least one switch that emits an electrical signal when contacted with an object, such as Renishaw TP6 and Renishaw TP20;
A force sensing probe having at least one strain gauge, such as Renishaw TP200,
An electrical contact probe in which a circuit is formed when the probe contacts a conductive object, and the object and the Robot CMM Arm are connected by a cable;
The solid, touch, electrical contact, and force contact measurement probes described above have tips with various shapes such as a spherical shape, a sharp shape, a flat shape, or a custom shape. An example of a custom type is a contact measurement probe with a V-groove used for measuring curved tubes. A further example of a custom form is a contact measuring probe with two orthogonal curved surfaces for measuring the edge of a sheet metal.
-Thickness measuring probe such as ultrasonic wave,
-Include but are not limited to contact measurement probes for measuring other dimensional quantities such as coating thickness.

There are many types of non-contact measuring probes for dimension measurement that can be attached to the Robot CMM Arm,
-Point trigger probe-Point distance measurement probe-All types of stripe probes-All types of area probes-Send signals through an air, gas or liquid layer between the probe end of the Robot CMM Arm and the surface of the tube Including, but not limited to, wall thickness probes such as ultrasound.

  The non-contact optical probe can use monochromatic light or white light. In the case of monochromatic light from a laser, the laser power is preferably low so that it is safe for the eye and does not require the operator to wear laser protective glasses, or a safety guard is required in the work area of the robot.

There are many types of non-dimensional measurement contact and non-contact measurement probes that can be attached to the Robot CMM Arm,
-Temperature,
-Surface roughness,
-Color,
-Vibration,
-Hardness,
-Pressure,
-Density,
-Includes but is not limited to detection of welds, bonded flaws and inclusions.

Tools There are many tools 98 that can be attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1,
-Ruled with a marking device such as a pen or bubble jet printer head. The location of the mark placed on the object being marked is determined in the preparation process using 3D software such as a CAD system. The location is determined using the object's model, which is either the object's CAD design model, the actual object's reverse engineering model, or another similar object's reverse engineering model, from which the object was created. Is done. The 3D software operator uses a 3D software tool to digitally define the required mark locations. Alternatively, the required mark location can be measured from another similar object in an interactive data acquisition process. In the assembly process of mating parts, such as the mating part assembly process in the aerospace industry, the location of the required marks, such as the center of the drill hole, may be measured from the male part and then marked on the female part. Alternatively, the male part may be marked after measuring from the female part. The 3D software generates a route program for the Robot CMM Arm 1 to which the scribing device is attached. When the path program is automatically executed for the Robot CMM Arm 1, the scoring device marks the desired location on the object. The Robot CMM Arm 1 can perform markings more accurately than industrial robots, and is more flexible than conventional CMMs, and therefore has high utility for marking. Further, by using the Robot CMM Arm for scoring, no scoring fixture is required.
-Painting with paint applicator devices such as airbrush, bubble jet printer head assemblies including color bubble jet printer head assemblies-cutting, grinding, drilling, forging, gluing, welding, milling-including sticker application, It is not limited to these. The tool 98 may be stationary or may be a power tool that has translational or rotational elements and is powered along the arm.

Probe mass The normal weight of a contact probe is 50-200 g. The normal weight of the optical probe is 100 to 2000 g. The weight of the probe combination can exceed 3 kg.

Probe Architecture and Identity The complexity and power of the probe 90 varies greatly from probe to probe. The architecture of the optical probe 91 provided so as to be attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the present invention will be described. Next, referring to FIG. 27A, the optical probe 91 has a probe connector 260 for the probe cable 259 or the bracket cable 257. The probe PCB 270 is provided with a probe static memory 261, a probe processor 266, a probe bus controller 267, a probe wireless unit 268, and a probe detection device 269. A probe program 272 and a probe identity 271 are resident in the probe static memory 261. The probe identity 271 includes a probe identity number 262, probe calibration data 263, probe alignment data 264, and probe information 265. The probe calibration data 263 is data related to calibration of the probe 91 for performing measurement regardless of the probe 91 attached. The probe alignment data 264 is data relating to the alignment of the probe 91 with the Robot CMM Arm 1. Probe information 265 may include, but is not limited to, probe type, probe weight, probe center of gravity position and moment of inertia relative to the mounting reference point, last calibration date, date of manufacture, manufacturer, accuracy, and serial number. In this first embodiment, any probe 90 has a probe identity 271 stored therein. The probe identity 271 can be read after the probe 90 is attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1. The probe identity 271 may be read along a wired connection or may be read via a wireless connection. This is because every time the probe 90 is calibrated, the probe calibration data 263 accompanies the probe 90, so the probe calibration data 263 can be lost or mistakenly replaced with old probe configuration data 263 in the organization's IT system. It means that sex decreases. The probe program 272 can be updated automatically from the laptop computer 151 and even remotely over the internet or intranet via the laptop computer 151 or the probe radio unit 268. This first embodiment can also use a simple probe 90 in which no digital identity is stored. The digital identity of the probe is not limited to being stored in the probe static memory 261. The digital identity of the probe can be stored in any form of digital memory that has a life longer than the design life of the probe 90 without power. The raw data from the probe sensor 269 is processed by the probe processor 266 and further processed by the laptop computer 151. Depending on the probe architecture, the probe processor 266 performs most or all of the processing. There are also probe architectures where most or all of the processing is performed by the laptop computer 151.

Probe Connections and Probe Cables Most probes available on the market, especially the optical probe 91, have dedicated connections, but custom optical probes 91 are often developed to interface with localizers. The first probe attachment means 244 provides a Renishaw M8 × 1.5 mm threaded hole with automatic electrical contacts with a wide range of Renishaw probes. The second probe attachment means 247 provides standard screws but no electrical contacts. The third probe attachment means 251 provides a dedicated mechanical attachment / automatic electrical arrangement via the embedded probe connector 255, which is an intelligent part of the design of the third probe attachment means 251. Can only be used if permitted by the voters. Manual connection of the probe can be made by plugging a short probe cable 259 into an additional embedded probe connector 258 located in the CMM segment 838. In a non-preferred embodiment, the probe cable 259 can be pulled out of the Robot CMM Arm 1 and connected to the interface port 194 of the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that wiring is always a problem for articulated arm robots and it is not desirable to pull the cable from the probe end of the Robot CMM Arm without proper routing around the joint. Let's go. The interface port 194 connectors and connections are preferably the same as those of the embedded probe connector 255 and the additional embedded probe connector 258. Probe electrical connection means 234, 255, 258, and 194 provide one or more of the following: power, ground, trigger, and data. Referring now to FIG. 27B, in a further embodiment, three probe connectors 260 are provided on the probe 90. Three probe cables 259 connect the probe 90 to the Robot CMM Arm 1, to the laptop computer 151, and to the probe control box 295 via probe electrical connection means 258. The probe control box 295 is required when the size and weight of the probe 90 needs to be minimized and it is practical to move items from the probe 90 to the probe control box 295. Referring now to FIG. 27C, in a further embodiment, the probe cable 259 connects to the probe connector 260 of the probe 90 and is pulled along the outside of the Robot CMM Arm to the probe control box 295. A probe box / laptop computer cable 297 connects the probe control box 295 to the laptop computer 151. A probe box-arm cable 296 connects the probe control box 295 to the interface connector 194 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Referring now to FIG. 27D, a preferred embodiment for interfacing the probe control box 295 to the Robot CMM Arm 1 is shown. A probe cable 259 connects to the probe connector 260 of the probe 90 and the embedded probe connector 258 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. A probe box-arm cable 296 connects the probe control box 295 to the interface connector 194 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The scope of the present invention is not limited to the disclosed probe electrical connections and cables, but includes all types of probe wired and wireless connections. For example, the probe 90 can send data directly to the laptop computer 151 over a wireless connection such as IEEE 802.11b (WiFi).

Probe specifications and performance Depending on the specifications and performance of the probe 90, the way in which the Robot CMM Arm 1 carries the probe 90 in the measurement operation varies greatly. As previously disclosed, there are many common types of probes 90 that can be used in the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention, and there are a wide variety of designs for each general type. A preferred optical probe 91 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 is a stripe probe 97. Next, referring to FIG. 28, the stripe probe 97 includes a laser light source 298 and a plane generation optical system (optic) 299, and the plane generation optical system 299 projects a laser beam 280 spreading on both sides in the direction + Z. 280 is generally represented by a triangular portion of the plane. Measurements are made within a polygon portion 281 that is composed of a minimum stripe length 284 near the stripe probe 97 and a maximum stripe length 285 far from the stripe probe 97. The distance between the minimum stripe length 284 and the maximum stripe length 285 is the depth of field 282. The separation distance 283 is a distance from the stripe probe 97 to the center of the polygon portion 281. A sensing device 269 in the stripe probe 97 collects laser light 280 through the lens 300 at a triangulation angle 286 field 302 at a scanning speed 294 expressed in captured stripes / second. Referring now to FIG. 29, the stripe probe 97 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 scans the object 9 by moving in the direction X relative to the object 9 at a surface velocity 293 expressed in mm / second. . A stripe 287 is formed on the surface of the object 9 by the projected laser beam 280. If the stripe 287 is within the polygon portion 281, the measurement is taken along the stripe 287. Referring now to FIG. 30, the stripe 287 on the object 9 is divided into a series of N small regions 288 in the Y direction that correspond to the individual 3D measurement output by the probe. A point-to-point distance 289 between adjacent small regions 288 along the stripe 287 is a distance DY. Referring now to FIG. 31, a series of X-direction stripes 287 on the object 9 are captured. The average stripe distance 290 is the distance DX. A series of stripes 287 form a scanning patch 291. Referring now to FIG. 32, the object 9 is scanned with a series of overlapping scan patches 291 having a nominal overlap distance 292. Referring now to FIG. 33A, a two-view stripe probe 301 includes two sensing devices 269 and lenses 300 having two opposing fields 302, 303. Referring now to FIG. 33B, the two field stripe probe 301 sees the object 9 having a step 304. The first field of view 302 has a clear path to the stripe 287 where the laser stripe 280 irradiates the object 9. The path of the second field of view 303 to the stripe 287 is blocked by the stage 304 of the object 9, and the image of the stripe 287 cannot be seen at this location. Referring now to FIG. 34A, a two-stripe probe 308 projects a lens 300 having a central sensing device 269 and a field of view 302 and a first laser light plane 305 and a second laser light plane 306 that intersect at line 307. Two laser light sources 298 and a plane generation optical system 299 are provided. Referring now to FIG. 34B, the two stripe probe 308 sees the object 9 having step 304. The first laser beam plane 305 irradiates the surface of step 9 of the object 9 to form a stripe 287, and the field of view 302 has a path to the stripe 287.

  The following parameters of the probe affect at least the programmed movement of the Robot CMM Arm 1 and are disclosed in more detail.

Stripe length: The stripe probe 97 is usually specified by a maximum stripe length 285. Actually, the actual stripe length varies depending on the distance from the stripe probe 97 to the object 9. If a flat object 9 of length 500 mm has a maximum stripe length of 75 mm from the probe 97 and a maximum overlap of 25 mm, the object should be scanned with 10 patches with a spacing of 50 mm between each patch. Can do. The longer the stripe length, the fewer patches are needed. The stripe length usually varies from 10 mm to 200 mm, but may be longer or shorter. The overlap of the stripe length usually varies from 5% to 50% of the stripe length mainly depending on the shape of the object 9, but may be larger or smaller.

-Average point-to-point distance: The stripe is actually the output as a discrete series of 3D points. The normal number of points in stripe N is currently about 750, but this is expected to increase in the future. When the stripe length is 75 mm, the average point-to-point distance along the stripe is 0.1 mm. The object 9 with fine features may need to be scanned with a smaller average point distance of 0.01 to 0.05 mm or less. Large objects 9 with few features may require scanning with a larger average point distance of 0.25 to 1 mm or more.

-Scanning speed (stripe / second): The current normal scanning speed 294 is 25-60 stripes / second, but the scanning speed is expected to increase in the future. There are various possible scanning speeds.
Constant scanning speed: The time between any two stripes is always the same. This is common with sensing devices 269 that are video sensors.
Two alternative constant scanning speeds: This is common for sensing devices 269 that are interlaced video sensors. CCIR rates of 25 or 50 stripes / second are common. NTSC rates of 30 or 60 stripes / second are common. The higher the scanning speed, the lower the resolution data is generated. The operator can select the scanning speed to be used once.
Arbitrary constant scanning speed up to the maximum scanning speed: the operator sets the desired speed.
Trigger variable speed: The time between stripes can vary. Another event can trigger the stripe probe 97.
Processing variable speed: the time between stripes can vary. The processing time for each stripe can vary. The next stripe is not captured until the previous stripe has been processed.

-Surface speed: There are various possible surface speeds.
Constant surface velocity: The stripe probe 97 moves over the object 9 at a constant surface velocity 293. The stripe probe 97 may have a fixed orientation or a change in orientation. The stripe probe 97 moves relative to the object while the measurement is being performed.
Variable surface speed: The surface speed 293 changes during scanning. There can be many ways to change the surface velocity. For example, if some parts of the surface have features and others are flat, it is often desirable to scan the featured part slower.
Stepwise: The stripe probe 97 is moved in position by the Robot CMM Arm 1. At each position, the stripe probe 97 is stationary while the measurement is being performed. Gradual scanning is used to make the most accurate measurements. In the case of a moving object 9, the stripe probe 97 is at a fixed position with respect to the object 9 during the measurement.

-Average stripe distance: If the Robot CMM Arm is moving in a direction orthogonal to the stripe at a surface speed of 293 at 30 mm / sec, the average stripe distance 290 is 0.5 mm at a scan speed of 60 stripes / sec. It becomes. An object 9 with fine features may require scanning with a smaller average stripe spacing of 0.05 mm or less. In this case, the speed of the Robot CMM Arm must be reduced to 3 mm / sec. Large objects 9 with few features may require scanning with a larger average interstrip distance of 1 mm or more.

-Uniformity of the distance between stripes: The Robot CMM Arm can scan at a constant surface speed. Manual CMM Arm operators cannot scan at an accurate and constant surface speed. This means that the Robot CMM Arm can provide a more uniform interstrip distance than the Manual CMM Arm.

-Uniform CMM point density: This is desirable in some applications. The Robot CMM Arm can obtain a uniform 3D point density by setting the surface velocity so that the average distance between stripes is equal to the average distance between points. A uniform 3D point density can also be obtained by sampling the points along the stripe and increasing the average point-to-point distance.

Depth of field: The 3D point can be measured over a depth of field 282 which is typically 50-200 mm deep. In general, the greater the depth of field, the worse the root mean square (RMS) Z noise of 3D points from the stripe probe 97. Current stripe probes have an RMS of about 1 / 10,000 of the depth of field. For example, a stripe probe 97 having a maximum stripe length of 70 mm and a depth of field of 100 mm has an RMS of 10 microns in the Z direction.

-Access: For some objects 9 such as gearbox casings, the access for the probe 90 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 to scan features inside the object is limited. Access can be made by penetrating the probe 90 into the housing. In this case, the probe 90 must be as small as possible and can be attached to an extension such as a tube from the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. Further, the probe 90 may be oriented at an angle such as 45 ° or 90 ° from the direction of the extension. The ability to configure the probe 90 in an angled orientation provides the ability to scan a greater amount of the surface of the object 9.

-Separation: The separation distance 283 is usually 70 to 300 mm. Ideally the separation should be increased to (a) reduce the risk of collision between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the object 9 and (b) maximize penetration into deep areas such as slots. It is. As the separation increases, the virtual reach 81 of the Robot CMM Arm also increases. As the virtual reach 81 of the Robot CMM Arm increases, both the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm and the accuracy of the probe 91 decrease. In some applications where the maximum distance of the sensor from the surface forced by the design of the object 9 is small and access is poor, a small separation may be desirable. In other applications where the minimum distance of the sensor from the surface that is forced by the design of the object 9 is large and access is poor, a large separation may be desirable. The choice of separation is therefore a compromise between accuracy and application.

Blocking: The two-field stripe probe 301 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 captures more data from the stripe 287 on the object 9 having a stage or similar feature that causes blocking than the single-field stripe probe 97. Have advantages. There are more cases in the stripe probe 97 than in the two-field stripe probe 301 to rescan a certain area in a different direction so as to reach the surface area of the object 9 that was blocked in the captured first patch. . This means that the total measurement time is reduced with the two-field stripe probe. However, the two-field stripe probe 301 is bulkier and heavier than the stripe probe 97. The preferred two-field stripe laser probe 308 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 has the advantage over the stripe probe 97 or the two-field probe 301 in that it can capture data in the vertical step wall 304. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that a stripe probe using three or more stripes oriented at angles not orthogonal to the scan direction can capture data across the entire inner wall of the cylindrical hole in a single linear scan pass. I will. Such a stripe probe has two or more cameras to increase the viewpoint. A stripe probe using multiple stripes and a camera has the advantage of being able to collect more comprehensive data on the vertical wall in a single scan pass, but a stripe probe with only one stripe and camera is a robot It may be necessary for the CMM to scan the same feature more than once to complete the scan.

-Automation: The Robot CMM Arm is automated and can scan continuously for over 24 hours. Compared to that, the operator of the manual CMM arm gets tired. This means that the Robot CMM Arm can scan more and higher quality data from the object 9 than the Manual CMM Arm used by the operator.

Laser light source 298 is a 30 mW power laser diode with a wavelength of about 660 nm, which can be purchased from various suppliers including Toshiba, Japan. The optical system 300 is Light Pen manufactured by Rodenstock (Germany). Sensor 269 is a CCD NTSC video sensor chip that can be purchased from a variety of suppliers, including Sony, either as a chip or a board camera. The scope of the present invention is in no way limited to optical probes of this design, and any suitable design of optical probe can be incorporated. The projection light source may include any type of light, such as white light, visible, infrared, ultraviolet, partially visible, or fully visible laser light. Multiple projection light sources can be used having various specific wavelengths and various wavelength bands that can be subsequently differentiated by bandpass filters and multiple sensors 269. The projection optical system 299 and the imaging optical system 300 may be static or dynamic. Dynamic optics include in particular galvanometer mirrors and rotating polygon multi-mirrors. The power of the projection light source may be constant or may vary. The light projection may be steady light or strobe light. Sensing device 269 includes in particular devices made of CCD and CMOS technology. The detection device 269 may be an analog device such as a 1D apparatus, a 2D apparatus, and a PSD apparatus. The sensing device 269 may be a digital device having pixels such as a 1D pixel line or a 2D pixel array. The sensing device 269 can have various fill factors and can use microlenses. The shutter speed of the detection device 269 may be fixed or variable. Strobe lighting can turn on the light during all or part of the shutter opening time.

Power Supply The power consumption of the Robot CMM Arm disclosed in this first embodiment is typically less than 1 kW and in most cases less than 2 kW. This means that a commercial power source for home / office of 80 to 240V can be used, and a three-phase power source operating at a high voltage is not necessary. A standard IEC socket 195 is provided for commercial power connection via cable 155. In field applications such as scanning corroded gas pipes, for example, 24 V DC supplied by one or more 24 V DC batteries of the type used in vehicles will accommodate Robot CMM Arm operation. A 24V DC socket 195 and a 20V long 24V cable 155 are provided. The rechargeable battery 170 is provided as a backup power supply, so that it is possible to perform backup activities such as saving the encoder position in the event of a sudden power failure, so that the commercial power supply is fully restored without having to perform initialization procedures. As a result, the operation of the Robot CMM Arm can be resumed immediately. The battery 170 is removable. A built-in charger for battery 170 is provided.

Robot CMM Arm Cable and PCB Location Internal cables 165, 166, 167, 169, 174, and 196 extend along the Robot CMM Arm 1 from the control box 159 to the probe end 3 to connect the joint PCB 173 and the motor 176. To do. Internal cables 165, 166, 167, 169, 174, and 196 extend between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. This means that all cables are protected within the outer surface of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The joint PCB 173 is disposed between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. Most of the devices 177-184 local to the fitting PCB 173 are attached to the internal CMM arm 5 or exoskeleton 6. Each joint PCB 173 is connected to at least one of the local devices 177-184 by a line, ribbon cable, or circular cross-section cable extending between the Internal CMM Arm 5 and Exoskeleton 6. The internal cables 165, 166, 167, 174, and 196, and the wires that connect the devices 177-184 to the joint PCB are of the standard and robust form commonly used in the art. Cable gauges are minimized to reduce weight. The serial cable 169 is an IEEE-1394 fire wire cable. Probe box-arm cable 296 is a custom cable provided to meet the specific requirements of the probe box or other interface device for work provided by Robot CMM Arm 1 via interface connector 194. The laptop cable 152 is a fire wire IEEE-1394 cable from the fire wire connector 197. The network connector 199 is a 100 Mbps Ethernet connector and is connected to the Ethernet network 200 with standard CAT5 wiring. The pendant communication cable 154 is a fire wire IEEE-1394 cable from the fire wire connector 198.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to the disclosed internal wiring or the disclosed PCB configuration. The optical probe has an increased bandwidth of output data to be transferred to the processing unit. High bandwidth serial cables such as those specified by IEEE-1394b Firewire B are available, which has a bandwidth of up to 3.2 GB / sec when using optical signal cables, but electrical signal cables Has a smaller bandwidth. Optical probe cables are hardly affected by electrical noise and can carry signals over long distances without degradation. This makes the optical signal probe suitable for use with robots featuring both long distances and cables routed near noisy electric motors. Alternatively, all networks may be 100BaseT Ethernet and a hub or switch is provided for device interconnection. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the number and function of the PCBs of the Robot CMM Arm can be varied without affecting the technical effects of the present invention. For example, instead of seven joint PCBs 173, there are three joint PCBs 173 located on the shoulder, elbow, and wrist of the Robot CMM Arm to provide devices such as encoders, thermocouples, and drives associated with two or more joints, You may connect to one joint PCB173.

User interface Laptop PC
Referring now to FIG. 35, a laptop PC 151 is preferably provided as the main user interface. An adjustable platform 310 is provided for the laptop PC 151 at a location away from the base 4 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. In order to operate without a commercial power connection, a laptop computer battery 164 is provided. A space for the mouse 311 is provided in the platform. The present invention is not limited to laptop user interfaces. A complete individual PC cabinet may be provided. A separate LCD screen may be connected to it. A tablet PC may be provided. A computer may be incorporated in one Robot CMM Arm unit and an external display attached thereto. The display may have a touch sense function. When two or more Robot CMM Arms function in one cell, it is preferable to control all Robot CMM Arms in the cell using one laptop PC. A small printer 312 connected to the laptop computer 151 is preferably provided. The small printer 312 is used to print at least a measurement record. The printer location is provided on the platform 310 under the laptop computer 151.

Pendant Referring now to FIG. 36, a handheld pendant 153 is provided for local control of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The handheld pendant 153 is provided with both a wired connection 164 and a wireless connection 324 to the Robot CMM Arm 1. In order to operate without a commercial power connection, a battery 163 of the pendant 153 is provided. A charging point 158 is provided on the Robot CMM Arm 1 where the pendant 153 can be typically left overnight for charging. Charging point 158 is characterized in that the pendant is simply placed in the correct position and orientation of the cradle so that the connection is made automatically and the pendant electrical contact 327 contacts the electrical contact 328 of the charging point. . Pendant 153 preferably has an 8-inch LCD display 322, but LCD display 322 may be larger or smaller. Alternatively, the pendant need not be provided with a display. The pendant is provided with a microprocessor 323, a Microsoft Windows CE operating system 326 in the memory 325, a pendant software 330 in the memory 325, and a 3D graphics chip 329. The pendant display 322 shows all the results from the use of the Robot CMM Arm 1, including a real-time rendering 3D color graphical display of the scanned data. Such real-time rendering is useful for teaching programming. The pendant has a plurality of buttons 320 for controlling the two moving directions of each axis. The button is manufactured by a film formation technique. A three axis joystick 321 is provided, but this axis may be more or less than three axes and there may be more than one joystick or trackball. The pendant 153 is in two alternative modes: a terminal mode in which the pendant 153 serves as a terminal for the laptop PC 151, or an active in which the pendant 153 runs application software using its own microprocessor 323. Has a mode. In alternative embodiments, the pendant 153 is not provided or is optional. Laptop computer software is provided to perform the user interface functions of the pendant. A green LED 157 is provided on the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the pendant 153 to indicate that the power is on. All further operational information is shown on the display screen of the laptop computer 151 or pendant 153.

Head Mount Control Referring now to FIG. 37, a headset 340 is provided for the worker 11 who makes wired or wireless contact with the laptop computer 151. The headset 340 includes a monocular display 341 having a resolution of at least 800 × 600 pixels arranged so that the operator 11 can see with one eye. The worker 11 can still look around the surrounding environment with both eyes, but the eye that can see the monocular display 341 is somewhat obstructed. Higher resolution monocular displays 341 are becoming available and can be incorporated into the headset 340. The headset 340 also includes a headphone 343 and a microphone 342. The operator 11 controls the Robot CMM Arm 1 by speaking toward the microphone 342 using a small command dictionary. Each worker 11 preferably teaches the Robot CMM Arm 1 so that the speech recognition software of the laptop computer 151 exhibits a higher recognition rate. The speech synthesis software of the laptop computer 151 provides a closed-loop voice-driven user interface by returning speech to the worker 11 via the headphones 343.

Buttons Referring now to FIG. 38A, multiple sets of buttons 183 operating in parallel are secured to the Robot CMM Arm. This set is preferably a pair of buttons 183 for control. A pair of buttons 183 are disposed at the probe end 3 of the segment 8 of the Robot CMM Arm. The buttons are called A and B, and A is closer to the probe end. A is painted red and B is painted green. The button 183 has a center-to-center distance of about 25 mm and a diameter of 11 mm. Button 183 is recessed to reduce the occurrence of accidental actuation. Button 183 has a large diameter to fit the thumb or fingerprint size. The button 183 is used to control measurement of the Robot CMM Arm 1 and select software options. The other side of the exoskeleton segment 848 opposite the first pair of probe ends 3, on the control box 159, and between the elbow and wrist of the exoskeleton segment 545, operates in parallel with the probe end pair. A pair of buttons 183 is provided. Referring now to FIG. 38B, a wireless foot switch 350 is provided. Referring now to FIG. 38C, a wireless remote control 351 having a button is provided. The wireless remote controller 351 is mounted at a location selected by the Robot CMM Arm operator 11, preferably by a strap 352. Alternatively, the operator 11 may hold the remote controller 351. The present invention is not limited to the disclosed number of buttons 183 and their placement. The Robot CMM Arm may be operated using other means such as a pendant 153 or laptop computer 151 without any buttons attached. Control may be performed with one button 183 or more than two buttons in each set. One button or a plurality of buttons may be provided. Factors affecting the number of sets and their location include the reach of Robot CMM Arm 1 and the application in which Robot CMM Arm is used.

Environmental Operation The portable Robot CMM Arm 1 of the first embodiment can operate in a temperature range of −10 ° C. to + 50 ° C. Measurement applications such as Alaska gas pipelines and Egyptian tombs, where the Robot CMM Arm 1 is operating outdoors in various states from freezing to direct sunlight, are envisioned. The Robot CMM Arm is weatherproof and the environmental seal level is IP62. Alternative embodiments of the Robot CMM Arm can be protected to IP64 level, and are also specifically protected in harsh environment professional applications such as radioactive areas. The portable Robot CMM Arm 1 can also normally operate at a maximum humidity of 90%.

Robot CMM Arm Coordinate System Referring now to FIG. 39, the Robot CMM Arm System 150 has a number of coordinate systems 360. They are,
-Object coordinate system 361
Object feature coordinate system 362
-Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363
-Probe (or tool) coordinate system 364
-Exoskeleton coordinate system 366
Including, but not limited to. If there are no datum features that can be used to provide the object coordinate system 361 to the object 9, such as a tooling ball 368 on the object 9 or any reference plate on which the object 9 is placed, the object coordinate system 361 I can't know. The most commonly provided in the automobile industry is an object coordinate system 361 of the automobile line. An object feature coordinate system 362 is provided for features 365. In many cases, the object is manufactured with a reference mark for the object feature coordinate system 365 that can be used to determine the object feature coordinate system 365. In this first embodiment, since the internal CMM arm base 31 and the exoskeleton base 41 are firmly connected, the Robot CMM arm coordinate system 363 and the exoskeleton coordinate system 366, also known as the internal CMM arm coordinate system, Are the same. A reference ball 367 having a diameter of 25 mm is provided on a reproducible magnetic mount 369 on the base 4. The center of the reference ball 367 is regarded as zero of the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 and the exoskeleton coordinate system 366. When the exoskeleton has an exoskeleton base 41 that is different from the internal CMM arm base 31, particularly when there is a relative movement between the exoskeleton base 41 and the internal CMM arm base 31, the exoskeleton coordinate system 366 has the Robot CMM arm coordinates. Different from the system 363. In this case, a second reference ball 367 is provided. As is generally known in the field of robotic optics, a different coordinate system is provided for the probe 90 or tool 98 that is attached to the probe end 3 of the Robot CMM Arm 1. This is called the Robot CMM Arm Probe Coordinate System 364.

  Next, referring to FIG. 40, the control PCB 172 controls the Robot CMM Arm 1. External connectors 156, 157, 194, 195, 197 to 199 are provided on the control PCB 172 and attached directly to the control box 159. The interface to the arm is performed by an amplifier analog output circuit 383, a trigger circuit 384, a fire wire bus controller 385, an Ethernet bus controller 386, and a WiFi wireless unit 387. The DSP processor 380 executes control software 382 in the memory 381. The control software can access kinematics software 391 and position averaging software 392 in memory 381. A text format program 389 is interpreted by the interpreter 390. Robot CMM Arm Internet Protocol (IP) address 388 is stored in memory 381. A probe alignment file 264 is stored in the memory 381. The memory 381 is composed of sufficient static memory and dynamic memory.

Fitting PCB
Referring now to FIG. 41A and again to FIG.
The ability to interconnect all of the plurality of local devices 177-184, 90, buses 169, 174, 161, 162, and power lines 165, 166, 160 via connector 400,
-Function to respond to trigger signal on trigger bus 174 by latching encoder 178-Receive data from multiple sensors 178-184, preprocess data, hold data status such as encoder count, serial bus A function of sending preprocessed data to the control PCB 172 by 169-a function of responding to a status request from the control PCB 172. The fitting PCB 173 includes a DSP processor 401, a memory 402, a fitting software 405 resident in the memory 402, a trigger circuit 384, a fire wire bus controller 385, and an encoder interface circuit 403 connected to the output of the Renishaw interpolator 187. The interpolation signal count 404 from the Renishaw interpolator is stored in the memory 402. In a simple mode of operation to determine the position of the Robot CMM Arm 1, when the encoder 178 is latched, one angular position count 402 is sent from each joint PCB 173 to the control PCB 172, which count 402 is known to those skilled in the art. The technique is used by the kinematics software 391 to calculate the position of the Robot CMM Arm 1.

Position Averaging Referring now to FIG. 41B, in a preferred mode of operation for determining the position of the Robot CMM Arm 1, an encoder clock 406 is provided on the joint PCB 173. Encoder clock 406 is used to time stamp each encoder count 404 as it arrives at joint PCB 173. Preferably, 20 encoder counts 404 are maintained in memory 402 on a first-in first-out (FIFO) basis, but more than 20 FIFO counts may be stored, or less than 20 FIFO counts may be stored. Also good. When the trigger pulse TR arrives at the joint PCB 173 through the trigger bus 174, it is time stamped using the encoder clock 406. Referring now to FIG. 41C, the count 404 is shown over time t in the figure. Each count Cn-9 to Cn + 10 is recorded and 20 time-stamped counts enter memory. Immediately after Cn, a trigger pulse TR requesting the position of the encoder was received by the joint PCB 173. The trigger pulse was time stamped by the encoder clock 406 on arrival. The joint PCB 173 sends the 20 time-stamped counts Cnx and the time of receiving the trigger pulse TR to the control PCB 172 along the serial bus 169. Reference is now made to the position averaging process of FIG. 41D.
In the first step 440, the position averaging software 392 of the control PCB 172 receives a set of 20 time-stamped counts from the encoder 178 as an input derived from the trigger pulse TR from each joint PCB 173, and the trigger pulse The time when the TR was received at that encoder.
-In the second step 441, the position averaging software 392 fits one spline in the time domain through 20 counts of each encoder, resulting in 7 splines for 7 CMM encoders 178.
In a third step 442, the position averaging software 392 interpolates one count at the time TR of each CMM encoder 178.
-In the fourth step 443, the seven interpolated counts are sent to the kinematics software 391 from which the position of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is determined.
This position averaging process is an example of one way to increase the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm by averaging and interpolating from around the exact position at the time of the trigger pulse TR. The present invention is not limited to this position averaging process, and by acquiring and processing more raw position data before and after the time of the trigger pulse TR, the position of the Robot CMM Arm can be obtained with higher accuracy. Includes all possible processes. The location of processing is not critical and can be performed at one or more processing locations including, for example, encoder 178, coupling PCB 173, control PCB 172, and laptop computer 151. Use of the position averaging means that the position of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is determined with higher accuracy than the use of a simple encoder operation.

Thermal Compensation One of the objects of the present invention is to provide a Robot CMM Arm that is thermally compensated and does not require recalibration as the temperature changes. The thermocouple 180 is bonded to each aluminum of the housings 100, 101, 103 of the internal CMM arm 5. CMM segments 1 31-8 38 are designed to expand / contract linearly with temperature and not twist using finite element software. Similarly, CMM segments 1 31-8 38 are manufactured using known processes and materials that do not create stresses that can cause distortion with changes in temperature. Aluminum expands at a known rate with temperature. The thermocouple 180 is read every 10 seconds by the joint PCB 173 and the temperature is sent along the serial bus 169 to the control PCB 172. Next, some of the parameters of the 45-parameter kinematic model of the Internal CMM Arm are adjusted in proportion to the temperature change measured by each housing thermocouple 180 in a manner predicted by finite element thermal modeling. . In the face of extreme temperatures, such as in Alaska or the desert, it is recommended to align the contact or non-contact probe before using the Robot CMM Arm.

Force and torque monitoring During the measurement, the internal CMM arm 5 receives force and torque. Referring now to FIG. 41E, strain gauges 181 attached to CMM segments 1 31-8 38 continuously detect strain on the internal CMM arm 5. Three strain gauges 181 are attached orthogonally to each CMM segment 1 31-838. The strain gauge 181 is connected to the joint PCB 173. The joint PCB 173 sends the value read from the strain gauge 181 to the control PCB 172 five times per second. The strain value may be sent more or less than 5 times per second. During post-manufacture setup of each Robot CMM Arm, a series of strain gauge test programs are executed and the values output from each strain gauge are monitored during program execution. Some test programs are designed to overstrain the Internal CMM Arm 5. One method used is to attach a heavy dummy probe 90 to the CMM segment 838 and move the arm at high speed. In this way, the strain gauge 181 is calibrated at the maximum allowable compressive strain and tensile strain. During normal use, strain from all strain gauges 181 is monitored five times per second and action is taken if the maximum allowable strain is exceeded. Measures generate error messages to the operator, automatically repeat some measurements at a slower rate to reduce distortion levels, unacceptable distortions and the conditions under which they occur. including. In an alternative embodiment, the strain gauge 181 is placed in the bearing of the CMM joint 1 51-757 that is positioned to measure a specific bending strain. These bearing strain gauges 181 can be used in addition to or instead of the strain gauges 181 of CMM segments 1 31-838. In order to increase the reliability of the strain measurement, a plurality of strain gauges are provided for each direction, and the results are processed using comparison methods and / or averaging methods. The scope of the present invention is not limited to a specific number of strain gauges located at a specific location. The present invention provides any strain measuring means, pressure measuring means, torque measuring means, or any other measuring means that can provide feedback to the control PCB 172 regarding forces and moments in the Robot CMM Arm 1 at any location. Including that.

Timing measurements can be made on-the-fly or while the Robot CMM Arm is stationary. In order to maintain high accuracy when measurements are performed on the fly, it is important to accurately time between the control PCB 172 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the optical probe 91. The two methods for ensuring accurate timing between the control PCB 172 and the optical probe 91 are preferably synchronization and time stamping. The scope of the present invention is not limited to these two methods, but includes any method that ensures accurate timing between the control PCB 172 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the optical probe 91.

Synchronization The synchronization method features a synchronous measurement pair, the first measurement is the probe measurement and the second measurement is the position of the internal CMM arm 5. 42, when synchronizing data from the control PCB 172 and the optical probe 91 in the first synchronization mode, the optical probe 91 is preferably a master and the control PCB 172 is a slave. In the first step, step 410, the optical probe 91 sends a synchronization signal to the seven joint PCBs 173 via the trigger bus 174. The synchronization signal travels fast on the trigger bus 174 with a delay of less than 1 microsecond. In step 411, probe measurements and position data are sent to the laptop computer 151. The joint PCB 173 sends the encoder data to the control PCB 172. The control PCB 172 collects the seven encoder positions, calculates the position of the probe end 3 of the internal CMM arm 5 and sends the position to the laptop computer 151. The probe 91 sends the probe measurement value to the laptop computer 151. In step 412, the laptop computer 151 combines the probe measurement and the position of the internal CMM arm 5 to provide a measurement. If the synchronization method and the synchronization device have the technical effect that they can take the probe measurement and encoder position and combine them to produce an accurate measurement, the synchronization signal from the optical probe 91 to the joint PCB 173 This method is effective when there is a delay longer than 1 microsecond to proceed. Next, referring to FIGS. 43A to 43C, the optical probe 91 is a master, and the control PCB 172 is a slave. Referring now to FIG. 43A, the dynamic optical probe 91 must satisfy two conditions in order to make a measurement. Light must be projected and the sensor shutter must be opened for light collection. In the mode of FIG. 43A, measurements are taken when the laser is on. The synchronization signal is transmitted from the optical probe 91 to the control PCB 172 at time T, which is the midpoint of the measurement period P. In this first embodiment, when the Robot CMM Arm 1 receives the synchronization signal at time T, it can latch the encoder for a reproducible time of less than 1 microsecond. Next, referring to FIG. 43B, the measurement period P is from opening of the shutter to switching off of the laser. Next, referring to FIG. 43C, the measurement period P is a shutter opening period.

  Synchronization can be performed in a second synchronization mode in which the control PCB 172 is a master and the optical probe 91 is a slave. An example of such synchronization is when the scan mode is measured with regular arm increments and the control PCB 172 is the master. Next, referring to FIG. 44, the synchronization signal arrives at the optical probe 91 from the control PCB 172 at time T. During the short period after T, it is preferred that the laser is turned on and the shutter is opened. In the case of FIG. 44, the shutter determines the measurement period P and has a center delayed by t microseconds after time T. In other cases, the laser determines the measurement period P, or the combination of the shutter and the laser determines the measurement period P. In order to maximize the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1 during the execution of the scan, it is important that the delay t is known and is reproducible for all measurements in this second synchronous mode. Some optical probes 91 change the delay t for each measurement by the optical probe 91. In this case, the optical probe 91 transmits a change in the value of the delay t on the serial bus 169 before receiving the next synchronization signal. Referring now to the process of FIG. 45, in a first step 413, the optical probe 91 sends a change in the value of delay t to the control PCB 172. This step 413 is executed only when the delay t changes. In step 414, the control PCB 172 sends a probe synchronization signal to the optical probe 91 at time T. In step 415, the control PCB 172 sends an encoder synchronization signal to the seven joint PCBs 173 at time T + t. The control PCB uses means such as an internal clock to determine the appropriate moment to send the encoder synchronization signal after the probe synchronization signal. If the probe 90 is a multi-stripe probe, such as a two-stripe probe 308 using two stripes 305, 306, all stripes are irradiated simultaneously and simultaneously, or one stripe at a time individually or once A plurality of groups of stripes can be irradiated to measure from the stripes. Whenever the stripes are illuminated at different times, when the probe 90 is moving on the Robot CMM Arm, synchronization is performed on each stripe individually. One of the objects of the present invention is that in the first use synchronization mode, the control PCB 172 is a master and the probe 90 is a slave, and in the second use synchronization mode, the probe 90 is a master and the control PCB 172. Is a slave.

Time stamping and interpolation In some cases, it is not possible to accurately synchronize the optical probe 91 and the control PCB 172 to generate a pair of measurements. For example, if no means for sending or receiving a synchronization signal is provided, synchronization is not possible. In a time stamping scenario, there are two cases: (i) if the optical probe 91 and the control PCB 172 have the same measurement speed, (ii) the optical probe 91 and the control PCB 172 have different and / or variable measurement speeds. There is a case.

  In the case of (i), the measurement is performed in pairs. It is important that the measurement speed of the optical probe 91 and the measurement speed of the control PCB 172 are accurate and do not vary over time. The two clocks of the optical probe 91 and the control PCB 172 operate accurately to indicate the same time at the start and end of the scan. The measurements of the optical probe 91 and the control probe 172 are made at the same speed so that there is always the same time interval I between two adjacent optical measurements and between two adjacent position measurements. The normal speed varies from 25 measurements / second to 1,000 measurements / second, but may be more than 1,000 times or less than 25 times. In case (ii), measurements are taken from the optical probe 91 at regular or irregular intervals and from the control PCB 172 at the same or different regular or irregular intervals.

Next, referring to the process of FIG. 46, the same process is used in the cases (i) and (ii).
In the first step 416, the two clocks of the optical probe 91 and the control PCB 172 are synchronized as closely as possible just before the scan starts.
In step 417, the measurement is started by the control PCB 172 requesting the optical probe 91 to start scanning.
-In step 418, position data is captured by the control PCB 172; Each position is time stamped using the control PCB 172 clock. The measured value is taken into the optical probe 91. Each position is time stamped using the clock of the optical probe 91.
-In step 419, the Robot CMM Arm scanning program stops and requests the optical probe 91 to stop scanning.
-In step 420, the two clocks of the optical probe 91 and the control probe 172 are checked against each other.
In step 421, the control PCB 172 outputs the file at the time stamped position. The optical probe 91 outputs a time-stamped measurement value file.
-In step 422, the combined measurement file is calculated by interpolating the position of the control PCB 172 to provide the best estimate of where the internal CMM arm 5 is for each optical probe measurement. The position of each internal CMM arm 5 includes the X, Y, Z position of the probe end 3 and the I, J, K orientation vectors. Interpolation of the position of the internal CMM arm 5 is performed by fitting the polyline over the position of the internal CMM arm 5 and interpolating along the 3D polyline in proportion to the timing difference of the time stamps.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to the time stamping and interpolation process in FIG. 46, but includes any process with time stamping and interpolation that achieves the same technical effect. For example, if it is not possible to accurately synchronize the two clocks of the optical probe 91 and the control probe PCB 172, a method is used that involves scanning a known artifact first. Referring now to FIG. 47, a ridge artifact 370 having two planes that meet at 90 ° is positioned with the ridge substantially parallel to the laser stripe 287. The optical probe 91 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 performs two scanning passes over the ridge artifact 370. The first path 371 is in the + X direction, and the second path 372 is in the −X direction. Probe measurements and arm positions in the two timestamped files are combined using an estimate of the synchronization between the two clocks. Next, referring to FIG. 48, when the two paths 371 and 372 are compared, an error E as a distance in the X direction is calculated. Using the error E, the difference in synchronization between the two clocks is accurately determined. This difference is then used as a correction factor for the synchronization estimate between the two clocks so that when the object 9 is next measured, the two clocks are accurately synchronized.

Synchronous Pulse Labeling The synchronization of the Robot CMM Arm System 150 is ambiguous, but this can be solved by a new process called real-time synchronous pulse labeling. In some cases, disruption of system operation results in the loss of one or more measurements from one or more devices, thereby creating an ambiguity in the process of accurately grouping synchronous measurements from multiple sources. However, it may be undesirable to lose additional data or provide incorrectly synchronized data. In other cases, there may be ambiguity regarding the synchronization signal source. It is one of the objects of the present invention to add a synchronization label to each synchronization pulse from the synchronization signal generating device. The synchronization label is (i) an integer incremented with each successive synchronization signal from the synchronization signal generating device, optionally (ii) a unique device identification code of the synchronization signal generating device, optionally (iii) Includes a time stamp. Incrementing integers are required on all systems. The usual minimum for an incrementing integer is 0 and the usual maximum is 255. When the maximum integer is reached, the next increment integer becomes the minimum integer. After activation of the Robot CMM Arm System 150, the first integer output is zero. The format of the sync pulse and sync label can be defined by those skilled in the art. For example, the sync pulse is a rising pulse having a pulse width of 10 microseconds, the total label length of the sync label is 15 binary bits, and each bit is represented by the presence or absence of a 10 microsecond pulse. The synchronization label is encoded with checksum bits. A unique device identification code for each synchronization signal generating device is only needed if there may be ambiguity between synchronization signals from multiple synchronization signal generating devices. The time stamp is an option that can be used by system developers to synchronize clock times between devices via the trigger bus (174) and may be used for other purposes. There are several sync signal generating devices that are connected to the trigger bus (174) and can generate sync signals with sync labels,
Optical probe (91)
Quantity measuring probe (90)
Touch trigger probe (92)
Force probe in scanning mode (99)
Manually operated button (183)
Remote controller (351)
Control PCB (172)
Including but not limited to one or more of each of the external control devices. There is also one or more synchronization signal receiving devices connected to the trigger bus (174) and capable of receiving a synchronization signal having a synchronization label;
Optical probe (91)
Quantity measuring probe (90)
Fitting PCB (173)
Control PCB (172)
Including but not limited to one or more of each of the external control devices. There is at least one verification device that can also be a combined device that collates and combines measurement data from two or more devices. The verification device may be an independent device or may be part of a synchronization signal generating device or a synchronization signal receiving device.

  A novel sync pulse labeling method for labeling sync pulses is disclosed. In a first step, the synchronization signal generating device generates a synchronization pulse followed by a synchronization label on the trigger bus, the synchronization label being an integer incremented by (i) the synchronization signal generating device, optionally (ii) A synchronization signal generating device identification code, and optionally (iii) a synchronization signal generating device time stamp. In the second step, the synchronization signal receiving device receives a trigger pulse on the trigger bus followed by a synchronization label. In a third step, the synchronization signal generation device generates a synchronization signal generation device data packet on the communication bus directly or indirectly to the verification device, and this data is at least (i) generated a synchronization pulse (Ii) data generated within the synchronization signal generating device, a copy of the synchronization label generated from the synchronization signal generating device, the synchronization label being (iii) an incrementing integer of the synchronization signal generating device, (Iv) a sync signal generating device identification code, and optionally (vi) a sync signal generating device time stamp. In a fourth step, the synchronization signal receiving device generates a synchronization signal receiving device data packet on the communication bus directly or indirectly to the verification device, and this data is received at least (i) a synchronization pulse. (Ii) a copy of the sync label received, (iii) data generated in the sync signal receiving device in response to the trigger pulse, (iv) an increment integer of the sync signal receiving device, (v A sync signal receiving device identification code, and optionally (vi) a sync signal receiving device time stamp. In the fifth step, the verification device receives the synchronization signal generating device data packet and the synchronization signal receiving device data packet in any order. In the sixth step, the verification device determines that the synchronization signal generating device data packet and the synchronization signal receiving device are equal when the increment integer of the synchronization signal generating device is the same in both the synchronization signal generating device data packet and the synchronization signal receiving device data packet. Combine data packet data.

  This new synchronization label and method is not limited to the disclosed embodiment, but includes any method that uses systematically changing labels to eliminate synchronization ambiguities. For example, in alternative embodiments, the integer range may be less than or greater than 256. In further embodiments, the labels can be changed in any systematic way. In the synchronous pulse labeling method, step 3 may be performed simultaneously with step 2 or before step 2, or may be performed simultaneously with step 4 or before step 4.

Measurement programming In general, programming robots requires skilled workers, and this is one of the challenges of making Robot CMM Arm 1 successful in the marketplace, so rapid and easy programming of Robot CMM Arm 1 is important. is there. The Robot CMM Arm program 389 is interpreted in real time by the interpreter 390, and the control software 382 executes the commands of the program 389. The program 389 can be generated in a number of different ways. A text editor is provided to the operator 11, thereby generating and editing the Robot CMM Arm program 389 in the laptop computer 151. The program 389 can be generated by an offline programming system such as EMWorkplace made by Tecnomatix. The program 389 can be taught by the operator 11 to remotely start the Robot CMM Arm 1 using the pendant 153 or the laptop computer 151. This means that when access is difficult, teaching can be performed remotely without having to provide a gantry for the operator to access and manually move the Robot CMM Arm.

Activation Check The Robot CMM Arm 1 is turned on by connecting it to the power cable 155 and turning it on using the switch 156. The control software 382 of the control PCB 172 is automatically activated when the power is turned on. The first task of the control software 382 is to perform a series of startup checks. The control software 382 ensures that all aspects of the Robot CMM Arm hardware and software that can be checked are operating correctly. The joint software 405 of the joint PCB 173 automatically starts when the power is turned on. The first task of the joint software 405 is to perform a series of activation checks. The joint software 405 verifies that all aspects of the hardware and software connected to the joint PCB 173 that can be checked are operating correctly. The pendant software 330 of the pendant 153 is automatically activated when the power is turned on under the control of the pendant operating system 326. The first task of the pendant software 330 is to perform a series of activation checks. The pendant software 330 verifies that all hardware and software aspects of the pendant 153 that can be checked are operating correctly. After checking the directly connected hardware of the control PCB 172, the control software 382 checks the seven remote coupling PCBs 173 by requesting status reports via the serial bus 169 from each. Next, the control software 382 requests a status report via the serial bus 169 from any probe 90 that can be attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1. When the internal activation check is completed, the control software 382 attempts to communicate with devices including the foot switch 350, the remote controller 351, the pendant 153, and the laptop computer 151 via the external bus. When the full activation check is completed, the control software 382 of the control PCB 172 waits for an instruction. The activation check can be done in many different orders and may take a short time or a long time, but it may not be desirable for the operator 11 to wait more than a few seconds during the activation check process, Those skilled in the art will appreciate.

Reference It is desirable that the Robot CMM Arm always knows its joint angle. This can be done by using an absolute encoder and interrogating the absolute encoder via joint PCB 173 at start-up. When using an incremental encoder, it is desirable to maintain power by the battery 170. However, if the control PCB 172 does not know the joint angle, a reference process is necessary. The operator 11 first checks that it is safe to do this and then starts the automatic reference process. During the reference process, each joint is rotated until the reference position is reached.

Calibration Auto-calibration methods and artifacts There are many methods for calibrating robots and calibrating manual CMM arms known to those skilled in the art and referred to in the context of the present invention. 49 and 50, in this first embodiment, a calibration technique that automatically measures a known calibration artifact 373 is used. The 7-axis Robot CMM Arm 1 employs a 45 parameter kinematic calibration model. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is firmly attached to the surface 7 and measures a calibration artifact 373 that is also firmly attached to the surface 7. The calibration artifact 373 consists of a block with four 90 ° cones 375 with a maximum diameter of 6 mm. One of the four cones 375 is at a higher position than the other three cones 375 that are substantially coplanar. The calibration artifact 373 is certified and the distance and orientation between the four cones 375 are known accurately. Calibration artifact 373 is made of invar which is rigid and has a low coefficient of thermal expansion. Artifact 373 is securely attached to surface 7 by bolts 376 threaded into surface 7 through holes 374. In another embodiment, the artifact 373 is securely attached to the surface 7 by clamping. A touch trigger probe 92 which is a Renishaw touch trigger probe is attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1. A calibration program is started by the operator 11 and executed by the control PCB 172. The calibration program consists of performing 90 touch probe measurements for each of the four spheres 375. The joint is moved as much as possible during 360 touch probe measurements. This means that measurements are made with a wide range of joint angles. None of the 360 touch probe measurements have the same joint orientation. Seven encoder positions are recorded for each measurement. Using the least squares method known to those skilled in the art, the 45 parameters of the kinematic model are optimized using 360 sets of encoder positions. This calibration technique can be used to reduce the number of measurements, preferably to speed up, to align the probe coordinate system 364 of any contact probe 95 with the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363. During this contact probe alignment process, the Robot CMM Arm is preferably not recalibrated, but may be recalibrated. Referring now to FIG. 51A, in a further embodiment, artifact 373 is placed at eight locations near the eight corners of the cube within the measurement volume of Robot CMM Arm 1. At each location, the artifact 373 is securely attached to the surface 7 and thus to the Robot CMM Arm 1. At each location, 360 measurements are taken automatically. Using the same least squares method, 45 parameters of the kinematic model are optimized using an 8 × 360 set of encoders. These calibration processes calibrate the arm and contact probe simultaneously.

Calibration Axis One or more individual movement axes can be provided that move the coordinate system of the Robot CMM Arm and the calibration artifact relative to each other. These axes may be manually controlled or automatically actuated. These are linear axes or rotational axes. For example, referring now to FIG. 51B, the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be attached to a servo controlled rotation axis 377, preferably coincident with the axis of the joint center 121, and the Robot CMM Arm can be rotated to any number of angles. , Allowing further measurements of artifact 373 to be made at each angular position. The servo-controlled rotating shaft 377 must be rigid so as not to cause an error due to the Robot CMM Arm 1 swinging on the servo-controlled rotating shaft 377. By providing a servo-controlled rotating shaft 377, the entire calibration process can be automated. This has the advantage that the instrument is miniaturized and there is no need to construct a rigid structure for mounting the artifact 373 at various locations in the measurement volume. A manual rotation axis may be provided instead of the servo-controlled rotation axis 377. In that case, a periodic manual repositioning of the Robot CMM Arm 1 toward the base provides a simpler and more portable semi-automatic system. There are advantages.

Calibration in the measurement volume The internal CMM arm 5 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 is not completely rigid. Under gravity, a long CMM segment in a horizontal spatial orientation deflects by a certain amount. Since this deflection cannot be measured by the angle encoder of the internal CMM arm 5, it causes an error. These errors can be measured by the calibration process and the calibration data used to correct reproducible errors such as deflection under gravity in the next motion of the Robot CMM Arm. Another source of error is joint bearing deflection. In a good calibration process, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is measured at a number of points in the measurement volume, which is later used in the measurement volume. The Robot CMM Arm 1 has redundancy in the majority of the measurement volume. In other words, there are infinite spatial orientations that the Robot CMM Arm 1 can take to measure one place. In a good calibration process, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is oriented in multiple spatial directions for each point of the measurement volume. Within a reasonable range, the more points that are measured and the greater the spatial orientation of the Robot CMM Arm 1 measured at each point, the better the calibration process. By providing an automatic calibration axis that moves the coordinate system of the Robot CMM Arm and the calibration artifact relative to each other, an automatic process for measuring multiple points is possible. This means that a better calibration process makes the Robot CMM Arm 1 more accurate.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to the disclosed automatic calibration method. For example, the scope of the present invention includes any automatic, partially automatic, or manual configuration method. Any contact or non-contact probe 90 may be used. This method may not be portable and may be performed at the manufacturing site or service center of the Robot CMM Arm. Alternatively, the method may be portable and may allow the Robot CMM Arm to be recalibrated in the field. Any number, type, location, or degree of automation of the movement axis can provide relative movement between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the calibration artifact 373. There can be any number of calibration artifacts 373. The calibration artifact 373 can be attached to a fixed height or adjustable height, orientation, and position column so that the calibration artifact 373 is not stiff when contacted by the probe 90. . Each of the one or more calibration artifacts 373 may be contacted by the contact probe 90 or may be measured without contact by the non-contact probe 90. Methods that do not require artifacts may be used. The scope of the present invention includes any method that obtains the technical effect of high accuracy and automatic calibration of the Robot CMM Arm 1.

Optical Probe Alignment There are many ways to align the coordinate system of the manual CMM arm and the probe coordinate system 364 of the optical probe 91 that are known to those skilled in the art and referred to in the background of the present invention. A preferred method for aligning the coordinate system 363 of the Robot CMM Arm 1 with the optical probe coordinate system 364 of the optical probe 91 is to use the optical probe 91 attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 to move the sphere from many different probe directions and orientations. To scan. The spheres are preferably 25 mm in diameter, guaranteed and surface-finished. Such spheres are supplied by Renishaw. In the case of the stripe probe 97, five stripe probe positions, that is, + X, −X, + Y, −Y, and −Z of the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 are used. In each direction, the sphere is measured in eight directions from each direction by changing the direction of the stripe plane 280 by 45 ° by the stripe probe 97. For each of the 40 direction / orientation combinations, if + X and -X are in the probe coordinate system 364, a forward + X scan pass and a reverse -X scan pass are performed. The resulting 80 sets of optical probe measurements and arm positions are processed using a least squares algorithm known to those skilled in the art to generate an alignment transformation matrix between the Robot CMM Arm Coordinate System 363 and the Optical Probe Coordinate System 364. Is done. The scope of the present invention is not limited to the disclosed automatic alignment method, and an automatic, partially automatic, or manual position that obtains the technical effect of high-precision alignment between the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the optical probe 91 is provided. Includes matching methods.

Object datuming
The object 9 is often datumed before measurement. In the datuming process, a transformation matrix between the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 and the object coordinate system 361 is measured. In many cases, datum features such as cones, tooling balls, and reference surfaces are provided at the exact location of the object 9. When the object 9 is datumed with respect to the Robot CMM Arm 1, the operator first adopts the datuming method to be used and the method for the Robot CMM Arm user interface software of the laptop computer 151 or the pendant 154. Specifies the Robot CMM Arm. A typical datuming method includes three orthogonal planes, two cones and one plane, and three tooling balls. The operator then manually guides the Robot CMM Arm through the series of locations necessary to perform the datuming method, and once the location is reached, the control PCB 172 applies automatic techniques to each measurement.

Feature and surface inspection The Robot CMM Arm is a measuring machine. Many, but not all, measurements are performed for inspection. The Robot CMM Arm is particularly suitable for inspecting non-prism object features and surfaces. Objects that are typically inspected include objects made of sheet metal, plastic, or glass fiber, and tools for making these items. Objects are manufactured, for example, in the automotive industry, aerospace industry, instrument industry, and toy industry. Objects are typically made by stamping processes, cutting processes, bending processes, and punching processes. Examples of object features that can be inspected include an outer angle, a square hole, a rectangular hole, an elliptical hole, a circular hole, an edge profile, and an inner angle. In many cases, CAD files of objects can be used. The CAD file specifies the exact 3D location, orientation, and shape of the object's surface and features. Both the object and the tool used to create it can be measured and compared to a CAD file. Measurements may be stored for quality assurance purposes. The object can be measured with a contact or non-contact probe 90. Non-contact probes have the advantage of not touching objects. If the CAD file is missing or lost, the master object or master tool can be reverse engineered to provide a master CAD file for use in subsequent inspections.

Control Software The control software 382 includes various manual, semi-automatic, and automatic usage methods, such as functions and modes. Some of these methods are disclosed below. Many methods that can be used to use the Robot CMM Arm are provided by the control software 382, and the methods disclosed herein are illustrative of all methods that can be used to use the Robot CMM Arm. Those skilled in the art will understand. With respect to the control software 382, the following exemplary methods may be mentioned.
Continuous Scan: The kinematics module 391 of the control software 382 controls movement of the exoskeleton along the path required by the program 389 using control algorithms known to those skilled in the art of robot control. This is most often used.
Gradual scan: The kinematics module 391 of the control software 382 controls the gradual movement of the exoskeleton along the path required by the program 389, stopping at a point specified in the program 389.
Transitioning: A transition is a movement that takes place while no measurement is taking place. The kinematics module 391 of the control software 382 controls the continuous movement of the exoskeleton along the transition path required by the program 389 without monitoring strain gauges.
Teaching: The kinematics module 391 of the control software 382 operates on movement commands specified by the operator 11 that are received via the pendant 153, headset 340, or laptop computer 151.
Thermal monitoring: Control software 382 monitors thermocouples 180 and adapts kinematic parameters to their temperatures. This has the advantage of keeping the temperature of the Robot CMM Arm within the limits of various environmental conditions and minimizing the effect on duty cycle time.
Strain monitoring: Control software 382 monitors strain gauge 181 to check for excessive strain values in continuous scan mode.
Collision monitoring: The control software 382 monitors the follow-up error and, if the follow-up error becomes excessive, applies an emergency stop and issues an error message. The error message may include an audible alert emitted by the loudspeaker of the laptop 151 or through the headset 340.
Zero coordinate system: The control software 382 preferably measures the reference ball 367 with the touch trigger probe 92 to find its center and uses the center of the reference ball 367 as the zero point of the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363, The Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 is set to zero.
Object datum reference: The control software 382 uses the object coordinate system 361 as a reference for the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 according to the datum. This function is automatic if the control software 382 knows roughly where the datum on the object 9 should be picked up. This function is semi-automatic if the operator 11 must first tell the Robot CMM Arm where the datum is on the object 9.
Feature location: The control software 382 measures the location of one or more features of the object 9 relative to the object coordinate system 361.
Dimension measurement: The control software 382 measures the dimensions of one or more features of the object 9. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, a range of functions is provided for measuring various types of dimensions.
Surface measurement: The control software 382 measures all or part of the surface of the object 9.
Software reference: The control software 382 uses the CAD model of the object 9 as a basis for the measured surface data of the object by a process of least square fitting.
Error generation: The control software 382 compares the measured data of the object surface with the CAD model of the object 9 and generates individual errors and an error map.
Report generation: The control software 382 automatically generates reports and / or pass / fail data on the measurement data variation of the surface of the object 9 from the CAD model of the object.
Statistical trend: The control software 382 measures the location of one or more features of the object 9 relative to the object coordinate system 361, the dimensions of one or more features of the object, and the measurement data of the surface of the object from the CAD model of the object. Compile statistical trend information for variations of.

Method of Robot CMM Arm Measurement Referring now to FIG. 52, in a first step 431, the control PCB 172 outputs a signal to at least one amplifier 175, and the at least one amplifier 175 outputs torque to at least one motor 176. Let In step 432, torque is applied to at least one exoskeleton segment 42-48 by driving the motor. In step 433, at least one transmission means 72-78 receives forces from exoskeleton segments 42-48. In step 434, the at least one transmission means 72-78 applies a force to a location near the center of gravity of the at least one CMM segment 32-38. In step 435, probe 90 measures the data. In step 436, the control PCB 172 receives encoder data from the joint PCB 173. In step 437, the control PCB 172 receives measurement data from the probe 90. In the method of Robot CMM Arm measurement by synchronization, in a further step, the probe 90 sends a synchronization signal. In the Robot CMM Arm measurement by time stamp, the probe measurement value and position are time stamped.

Advantages of the Robot CMM Arm It is one object of the present invention that the Robot CMM Arm disclosed herein may have a longer reach and is more accurate than an equivalent Manual CMM Arm. First, the Robot CMM Arm can have a reach greater than 2 meters because it is supported by the exoskeleton rather than an inoperable operator. Second, the exoskeleton supports the internal CMM arm in an optimal position so that the force on the internal CMM arm is minimal. Third, the Internal CMM Arm uses a higher resolution, higher accuracy, larger diameter encoder that may be difficult for the operator to operate. The combination of these three factors results in a Robot CMM Arm that has a longer reach than the Manual CMM Arm and is highly accurate. This means that the Robot CMM Arm is more useful to the owner than the Manual CMM Arm with the long-term trend that customers demand higher accuracy.

  A feature of the present invention is that it is lighter than existing robots. The normal weight varies from 5 kg to 35 kg depending on the reach of the arm. This means that the small and medium versions of the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention are light enough to carry. The portable Robot CMM Arm of the first embodiment includes one small unit and can be transported by one person in one case with wheels. A stand can be used, which means that the Robot CMM Arm does not need to be bolted to the floor like a robot. This means that the Robot CMM Arm can move quickly.

Applicability The Robot CMM Arm combines the high accuracy benefits of the CMM Arm with robot flexibility and automation. This is the preferred way for the Robot CMM Arm to address many of the medium precision measurement tasks where one or more of accuracy, flexibility, and automation is inferior to existing solutions. Means that. The Robot CMM Arm of the present invention is automatic and highly accurate. The Robot CMM Arm of the present invention is suitable for many measurement requirements in the automotive industry. The Robot CMM Arm of the present invention is lightweight and relatively inexpensive to manufacture. Automatic measurement by the Robot CMM Arm is more reliable than manual operation of the Manual CMM Arm because there is no operator to apply forces and torques that make the measurement inaccurate. On the production line, the Robot CMM Arm is less expensive to operate than a manual operator operating the Manual CMM Arm, especially when working in a 2 shift pattern or a 3 shift pattern. The present invention is expected to be used as a general purpose measurement tool for many uses similar to the general purpose utility of conventional CNC CMMs.

  There are two broad measurement applications: reverse engineering and inspection. Although the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention can be applied to both of these, reverse engineering is a relatively rare event compared to periodic inspection, and is therefore more frequently used in inspection applications. The following uses are mentioned as an example of the utility of this invention. Applications of the present invention are not limited to the applications listed below.

Inspection Applications-Car Door Gap and Burr Measurement-Dimension Tolerance Check-Riverbed Analysis-VR Simulation-Tooling Inspection-Prototype Design-Foam Development-Body Inspection on Production Line-Seat Inspection on Seat Production Line-Original Car interior in position-Removed and original engine parts-Turbine blades-Housing and cowling-Gas tank inspection-Glass quality analysis-Interior trim-Car prototype assembly. Check whether panel is manually placed in the correct position-Press mold-Scan bridge support-Sheet metal components: Features-Sheet metal components: Surface shape-Pipe external corrosion measurement and pipe thickness measurement reverse Engineering-Spare military parts in case of lost drawings-Clay styling model for automotive design-Industrial design model-Surface reconstruction-Movie / broadcast / computer game animation character or prop model-Archive, search, reconstruction, and Precious artefacts such as large sculptures, plastics, and artifacts for preservation-Fast prototyping-Dense object medicine that is time consuming and difficult to measure manually-Breast reconstruction-Neurosurgery-Radiation therapy- Robotic surgery and others-Tactile toys-Search-Teaching

  Some Robot CMM Arm cells are a better facility than the existing rigid structure of static optical probes in the automotive line. The Robot CMM Arm is highly flexible due to the dynamic programming of various car models traveling along the line. For optical scanning of single-product objects, the Robot CMM Arm eliminates significant manual labor by the operator and maximizes dimensional accuracy by minimizing the force on the Internal CMM Arm. For applications involving inaccessible objects, a gantry is usually provided to allow the operator to measure the object with a manual CMM arm, but in many cases the operator is unsafe and has a painful posture that can hurt his back become. Applying the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention means that the measurement can be manually controlled using a handheld control panel. This means that it is not necessary to have a gantry and the operator does not have to be in a difficult, dangerous and unhealthy posture for the measurement.

[Second Embodiment]
Industrial Robot CMM Arm In this second embodiment, an Industrial Robot CMM Arm for moving a robot with high accuracy is disclosed. In this second embodiment, a 7-axis industrial robot CMM arm having a common base segment 1 and a common probe segment 8 is provided. The common probe segment can carry a heavy probe or tool and can provide high precision position information while receiving significant force. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm not only has better reproducibility than existing industrial robots, but is about 10 times more accurate. Referring now to FIG. 53, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has a common base 4 with CMM segment 1 31, transmission means 1 71, and robot exoskeleton segment 1 41. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 also has a common probe segment 8 451 comprising a CMM segment 8 38, a transmission means 8 78, and an exoskeleton segment 8 48. In practice, this provides a rigid transmission means 878. The CMM segments 2 32-7 37 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 are connected to the exoskeleton segments 2 42-7 47 by means of transmission means 2 72-772. The transmission means 2 72-777 are preferably not rigid as disclosed in the first embodiment. The main difference between the portable robot CMM arm 1 of the first embodiment and the industrial robot CMM arm 450 of the second embodiment is that the transmission means 878 of the portable robot CMM arm 1 is not rigid and is an industrial robot. The transmission means 878 of the CMM arm 450 is hard. Referring now to FIG. 54, in a further embodiment of this second embodiment, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has two probes 90 and 91. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is provided in a hybrid 6-axis / 7-axis format in which the probe 90 is positioned using 6 rotational axes and the probe 91 is positioned using 7 rotational axes. CMM segment 7 37/8 38 is a rigid unit with no joints inside. The probe 90 is an axisymmetric probe, such as a solid probe or a touch trigger probe, in which the measurement operation is mainly performed regardless of the radial direction of the operation. This means that in order for the probe 90 to be operable, the immediately preceding joint need not be an axial rotary joint. The probe 90 has six CMM joints 1 51 to 6 56 between the base end 2 of the industrial Robot CMM arm 450. Optical probe 91 is securely attached to exoskeleton segment 848 behind exoskeleton joint 767. The optical probe 91 is preferably a stripe probe 97. The measurement operation of the probe 91 depends on both its orientation relative to the arm and the radial direction of movement. This means that in order for the probe 91 to be easily operable, the joint immediately before it needs to be an axial rotation joint. The optical probe 91 has seven exoskeleton joints 1 61 to 7 67 between the base end. An exoskeleton bearing 452 between the CMM segment 7/8 and the exoskeleton segment 848 allows axial rotation. Probe 91 attached to exoskeleton segment 848 rotates on the seventh axis about the centerline 453 of one CMM segment 7 37/8 38 driven by motor 176. The exoskeleton bearing 452 serves as a rigid transmission means 78 that transmits force in the axial direction along the center line 453, transmits radial force perpendicular to the center line 453, and is optional over the bearing. Torque is transmitted in the non-rotating direction.

  As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, this second embodiment of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is different from those described in this second embodiment, all having the same technical effects of the present invention. Further embodiments may be provided and the scope of the invention is not limited to the embodiments disclosed above. For example, this second embodiment may be provided in a six-axis format with a common probe segment 8 similar to that of FIG. 1A. In the case of the embodiment of FIG. 54, this second embodiment may be provided in a hybrid 5-axis / 6-axis format similar to that of FIG. 1A but with an exoskeleton joint 452.

Robustness and materials The exoskeleton 6 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is rigid, strong and robust. The exoskeleton 6 is configured to increase the acceleration and to be positioned with high reproducibility. In a complex environment such as a car production line, an industrial robot may accidentally collide with a vehicle body. Industrial robots are configured to withstand such collisions, but the vehicle body is damaged. The exoskeleton 6 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 does not need to be replaced or undergoes major repairs, and can withstand a collision with the vehicle body in an automobile production line. The material used for the exoskeleton 6 of the industrial robot CMM arm 450 is the same as that used for the industrial robot in the automobile production line. Aluminum casting is used for most segments. Compared to the portable Robot CMM Arm 1, the drive system of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is much more powerful to drive the larger mass exoskeleton 6 and perform the greater acceleration required for its application. is there. The internal CMM arm 5 of the industrial robot CMM arm 450 is configured in the same manner as the internal CMM arm 5 of the portable robot CMM arm 1.

Thermal environment One of the purposes of this second embodiment is that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can be operated with high accuracy under a wide range of static and dynamic thermal conditions from the moment it is switched on. . Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is placed in a production environment. The temperature of such a production environment is not accurately controlled even if the temperature is controlled. Temperature changes can be both large changes above 15 ° C as well as steep temperature gradients above 5 ° C per hour. In addition, the drive system of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 generates significant heat. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 requires about 1 hour of operation to be warmed up to obtain thermal stability. Referring back to FIG. 13, the flow rate of the air 192 is much higher than that of the portable Robot CMM Arm 1. The filter 191 is larger to accommodate more air 192 flow and can better clean up dirty air 192 from the production environment. In another embodiment, air 192 can be recirculated internally and a combination of heat exchanger and cooling unit is provided in the base to cool the base. This prevents the space between the exoskeleton 6 and the internal CMM arm 5 from getting dirty. The circulation of the air 192 eliminates hot spots generated in the internal CMM arm 5 during the warm-up cycle and during continuous operation. Thereby, the internal CMM arm 5 of the industrial Robot CMM arm 450 can maintain its accuracy in this thermal environment. This is because all the static and dynamic temperatures found in the normal production environment, from the moment the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is switched on, during the warm-up cycle, both at low and high duty cycles. This means maintaining high accuracy.

Applications As explained in the background of the present invention, industrial robots are reproducible but not highly accurate. This means that industrial robots have a number of potential applications that require high accuracy that are not currently implemented due to insufficient accuracy of industrial robots. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has sufficient accuracy, sufficient reproducibility, and sufficient robustness to meet many requirements of these applications. It is a further object of this second embodiment that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can have both a probe 90 and a tool 98 attached to a common probe segment 8451. This means that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is provided with a two-use cycle in which work is performed using the tool 98 and measurements are performed using the probe 90 during one cycle. It is a further object of the first embodiment that the portable Robot CMM Arm 1 can have a tool 98 attached to the exoskeleton 6 and a probe 90 attached to the internal CMM arm 5. This means that the portable Robot CMM Arm 1 is provided with a two-use cycle in which work is performed using the tool 98 and measurements are performed using the probe 90 during one cycle. This means that at the workstation, the Robot CMM Arm can perform the task and measure the result of this task, or it can perform the task at one location and measure at another location. To do. This also means that the accuracy of the robot performing the work with the tool 98 is increased by one digit than before. The exoskeleton 6 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is powerful enough to operate the tools necessary for its application. The exoskeleton 6 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is rigid and has high reproducibility. The exoskeleton 6 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has a powerful drive system that gives large accelerations. The Exoskeleton 6 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has the same design specifications as the current range of industrial robots, but according to the present invention, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has about 10-100 times higher accuracy than the industrial robot. The internal CMM arm 5 of the industrial robot CMM arm 450 is the same as the internal CMM arm 5 of the first embodiment, but a large acceleration acting via the transmission means 10 between the exoskeleton 6 and the internal CMM arm 7. Can be maintained.

Global Coordinate System When two or more industrial Robot CMM Arms 450 work together on a common object 9, it is useful to provide a global coordinate system 461 that serves as a reference for the Robot CMM Arm Coordinate System 363. One means of providing such a global coordinate system is to provide global coordinate system artifacts. Referring now to FIG. 55, four industrial Robot CMM arms 450 are placed in the cell 454 of the production line 455. A global coordinate system artifact 456 is provided comprising two sets of three measurement spheres 459 on an artifact rigid structure 460 having a global coordinate system reference point 458 for the global coordinate system 461. The reach 457 and location of each Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is such that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 460 can measure at least one set of three measurement spheres 459, so that the global coordinate system 461 is the reference for that Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363. And can be. The scope of the present invention is not limited to providing a global coordinate system 461 by providing a global coordinate system artifact 456. As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the global coordinate system 461 can be provided by a number of means and methods. For example, a laser tracker can be used. The present invention includes any means for providing a global coordinate system.

Method The portable Robot CMM Arm 1 of the first embodiment is best suited for measurement, while the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 of this second embodiment is carried by the robot in both industrial environments and measurements. Suitable for high-precision robot operation with tools. The method includes one or more steps. Control software 382 executes the method. A general method is disclosed that can use this second embodiment. The exemplary methods already described with respect to the Robot CMM Arm 1 can be used for the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. The following further exemplary methods are provided to the control software 382 for using the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450.
Feature datum reference: The control software 382 uses the feature of the object feature coordinate system 362 as the standard of the industrial robot CMM arm coordinate system 363.
Global reference: The global coordinate system 461 is used as the standard of the industrial robot CMM arm coordinate system 363.
Probe reference: The control software 382 uses the measurement probe coordinate system 364 of the probe 90 as a reference for the industrial robot CMM arm coordinate system 363.
Automatic Tool Change: The control software 382 arranges for automatic tool change of the tool 98 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. This is used when the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is provided in an automatic tool change system.
Tool reference: The control software 382 uses the tool coordinate system 364 of the tool 98 as a reference for the industrial robot CMM arm coordinate system 363. This is used, for example, after changing the tool.
Machining: The control software 382 performs machining of the object 9 using the tool 98.
Tool offset adjustment: The control software 382 adjusts the tool coordinate system 364 of the tool 98.
Handling: Transporting objects to and from the location of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm. There are many means for handling objects, including but not limited to transport on production lines, transport on conveyors while on pallets, and manual loading by workers.
Mounting: The object can be placed before undergoing other industrial Robot CMM Arm movements. The placement may be reproducible or non-reproducible. The mounting may be firmly attached so that the object can withstand the operating force without moving, or it may only be stationary during the optical scanning. In general, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm is highly mobile and objects need only be mounted in one place to provide access for the rest of the motion. Including non-reproducible placement of objects on the surface, locking of objects to the pallet and locking of the pallet at that location, objects placed on the production line, objects placed on fixtures There are many means for placing an object on the place without limitation.

Feature Inspection Method Referring now to FIG. 56, in a first step 470, the object 9 arrives at a location and is mounted within the reach of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. In step 471, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 is based on the object coordinate system 361. This step is not necessary if the object 9 is placed on a precision fixture in a known location and orientation relative to the Industrial Robot CMM Arm. In step 472, the probe 90 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 measures one or more features 365 of the object 9 according to the measurement program 389. In step 473, the location and / or size of each feature 365 is calculated from the measurement data collected during step 472. In step 474, the location and dimensions of each feature 365 are compared with the design location and dimensions of each feature 365, typically in the form of a CAD model and inspection program, and their tolerances. If the reference process of step 471 involves measuring the characteristics of the object 9, step 471 can be terminated simultaneously as part of this step. In step 475, the measurement result is output. In step 476, the object 9 leaves the location.

Surface Inspection Method Referring now to FIG. 57, in a first step 480, the object 9 arrives at a location and is placed within the reach of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. In step 481, the industrial robot CMM arm coordinate system 363 is based on the object coordinate system 361. In step 482, the probe 90 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 measures the surface of the object 9 according to the measurement program 389. In step 483, the surface measurement data collected during step 482 is preprocessed. In step 484, the pre-processed surface measurement data of the object 9 is compared with the design surface. In step 485, the measurement result is output. In step 486, object 9 leaves the location. An example of the applicability of this method is in a crankshaft inspection cell. The raw crankshaft is inspected against the CAD design to see if the crankshaft produced by the molding process is within tolerance range.

Tool Operating Method Referring now to FIG. 58, in a first step 490, the object 9 arrives at a location and is placed within the reach of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. In step 491, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 is based on the object coordinate system 361. In step 492, the tool 98 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 performs an operation on the object 9 according to the robot program 389. Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 performs operations using known transformations between Tool Coordinate System 364 and Industrial Robot CMM Arm Coordinate System 363. In step 493, the object 9 leaves the location.

Motion Inspection and Tool Adjustment Method This method requires that at least one tool 98 and one probe 90 be attached to the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. Referring now to FIG. 59A, in a first step 500, the object 9 arrives at a location and is placed within the reach of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450. In step 501, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 is based on the object coordinate system 361. In step 502, the tool 98 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 performs an operation on the object 9 according to the robot program 389. In step 503, the probe 90 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 measures one or more processed features 365 of the object 9, or the surface of the object 9, according to a measurement program 389. In step 504, the location and / or dimensions of each processed feature 365 are calculated and / or surface pre-processing is performed from the measurement data collected during step 503. In step 505, the location and dimensions of each machined feature 365 and / or surface are compared to the design location and dimensions of each machined feature 365 and their tolerances. In step 506, a tool adjustment value (adjustment) is calculated from the result of step 505, and the tool coordinate system 364 is adjusted using the adjustment value. The adjustment of the tool coordinate system 364 can be performed on a statistical trend basis, based on a statistically significant number of identical operations to identify and quantify error variations, if any. In step 507, the measurement result is output. In step 508, the object 9 leaves the location. This method can be used in three exemplary modes, but is not limited to these three modes.
-Inspection only (skip step 506)
-Tool adjustment only (skip step 507)
-Inspection with tool adjustment (according to steps 500-508)

  There are many other methods that can be used to perform measurements and perform operations with the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 with much higher accuracy than is currently achievable and are disclosed herein. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that the methods are examples of all methods that can be used to perform measurements and perform operations with much higher accuracy than before using the Industrial Robot CMM Arm. Will.

Production Line The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 may be installed as a single unit at any suitable location on the production line, or multiple Industrial Robot CMM Arms 450 may be installed in one cell or multiple for performing measurement operations. May be installed together in the cell. An example is an automobile production line. In general, cars on the production line move at a known stable speed, but the accuracy is reduced when moving objects are measured. Therefore, it is preferable to constitute a cell in which the car is stationary during the measurement cycle. Such cells can alternatively be placed adjacent to the production line to sample a percentage of the objects being made. Typical production line measurement applications include body-in-white, motor parts, rear parts, underbody, and panel fixing. Typical features to be inspected include edge and surface locations, hole locations, slot locations, gaps and burrs measurements. The surface shape is also inspected. A production line typically has a production line control system that initiates a cycle of operation in a cell on the production line. One or more industrial Robot CMM Arms 450 in the cell can interface with the production line control system by any of the methods known to those skilled in the art. The control PCB 172 of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can receive signals and information and return signals and information. Signals and information from the production line control system to the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 are typically, for example, start of cycle, emergency stop of cycle, use of program number XXX, program XXX itself, return measurement YYY, parameter control, status Includes a request. Signals and information from the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 to the production line control system typically include, for example, status reports, measurements, measurement reports, feedback control parameters. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is typically wired to a production line emergency stop circuit. Measurements and feedback control parameters from the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can be used to feed forward data to control or adaptively control other processes downstream on the production line. Due to the demand for measurements on flexible production lines, an Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 with a reach of more than 2 m and possibly more than 3 m is always required. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 preferably has a minimum of six axes to provide flexible access to the location being measured. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is preferably capable of being quickly accelerated in order to move between locations in the shortest possible time. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 has flexibility, agility, and a relatively small floor space. Accordingly, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can be placed alongside and / or between production elements in a work cell on the production line. Care must be taken that no collisions occur between the Robot CMM Arm and other items. This means that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can be inserted almost anywhere along the production line and does not use up valuable space as a dedicated measurement cell on the production line. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 performs measurement with high accuracy and can be positioned side by side with an operational element such as a welding robot or just upstream of the operational element. One or more maneuverable elements can receive feedback data from one or more industrial Robot CMM Arms 450, thereby adapting to the actual measured position of an object such as a sheet metal item. High-precision operation can be performed. This means that more efficient processes can be used in the production line that are faster, more powerful, or less expensive but require higher accuracy.

Component Adjustment Method The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is particularly suitable for a prototype production process where typically 200 to 250 prototypes are produced per new car model. The availability of comprehensive high accuracy measurements by the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 in the production cell makes it possible to change the method for prototype tooling and / or improve the accuracy of existing methods. For example, by feeding back sheet metal component positioning errors prior to welding or bonding, the sheet metal component can be adjusted manually or automatically until it is in the correct position. This means that the Robot CMM Arm of the present invention can thus save a large investment in precision prototype production tooling by allowing simpler tooling to be used. A novel component adjustment method is disclosed. Referring now to FIG. 59B, in a first step 510, the movable first component is manually positioned by the operator relative to the second component. In step 511, Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 captures measurement data regarding the position and orientation of the first component and the second component. In step 512, measurement data from the second component is registered in the CAD model of the second component. In step 513, the measurement data from the first component is compared with the CAD model of the first component. The CAD model of the first component is in the same coordinate system as the CAD model of the second component, and the CAD model of the first component is in an ideal design position with respect to the CAD model of the second component. Positioned. In step 514, an error in the actual position and orientation of the first component from the ideal CAD position and orientation of the first component is calculated, providing useful information that the operator can act on. Is displayed. In step 515, the manual operator uses the displayed error to further manually adjust the position and / or orientation of the first component and move to the first step, or Determine whether to stop because there is no problem in positioning. In step 516, the manual operator manually adjusts the position and / or orientation of the first component using the displayed error. This seventh step is followed by the second step of the present invention. Using the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450, manual and automatic methods that can be used to help position the first component relative to the second component with much higher accuracy than is currently achievable are: There are many others, and the method disclosed herein uses the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 to assist in positioning the first component relative to the second component with much higher accuracy than before. One skilled in the art will appreciate that all methods that can be used are illustrative. In an alternative embodiment, steps 510, 515, and 516 can be automated so that the entire component adjustment process is automated.

Body Repair Method The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is suitable for the body repair process after an accident that distorts the body. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is first used in the diagnostic operation to quantify how the vehicle body is distorted and to determine which components need to be replaced and correspond to Steps 511 to 514. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is used to measure the remaining error from the ideal shape after each correction process such as stretching, bending, etc. This corresponds to steps 511-516. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is used to assist in the correct alignment of the new panel during each replacement process that replaces a new component such as a body panel with a damaged one. This corresponds to all of the steps 510 to 516 of the component adjustment method. The diagnostic operation, the correction process, and the replacement process are specific examples of application of the component adjustment method. The scope of the present invention is not limited to the repair of a vehicle body, but can be applied to repair of an arbitrary object having a complicated shape. The present invention is applicable to repairing an object composed of only one component or an object composed of a plurality of components.

Processing Machine Referring again to FIG. 7J, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can be attached to or adjacent to one or more processing machines 137. When two or more processing machines 137 form a production line, it is possible to reduce the wastage value% of the production line by measuring the object 9 and performing pass / fail inspection between expensive operations. Furthermore, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can provide two functions: measurement and material handling. Depending on the application, the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can provide three operations: a measurement operation, a material processing operation with a tool, and a material handling operation. One example of an application for the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is in a turbine blade production line. The speed and precision of the optical measurement by the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 makes this application cost effective compared to manual inspection.

Advantages of Disposing Robot CMM Arm of the Present Invention on Production Line The following advantages are provided as examples, and the advantages of disposing Robot CMM Arm of the present invention are not limited to these advantages.
1. The Robot CMM Arm can be installed at any acceptable location along the existing cell line, not just a dedicated cell that uses up the production line space.
2. The Robot CMM Arm can inspect the surface and feed forward the data to subsequent processes.
3. The Robot CMM Arm can inspect the surface and feed back data after or during the process.
4). The Robot CMM Arm can increase the accuracy of processes such as bonding.
5. The Robot CMM Arm helps reduce switching time between products.
6). The Robot CMM Arm can be a common tool in production lines worldwide with all the advantages of speeding up production of process and tool standardization.
7). The Robot CMM Arm can allow items to be set with higher accuracy prior to the bonding process, allowing a higher accuracy bonding process to be used.
8). The Robot CMM Arm can provide a more accurate method for assembling various tools and components in many industries including, for example, automotive and aerospace.
9. The Robot CMM Arm can provide a real-time feedback loop for a manual operator that adjusts the location of components before another process.
10. The Robot CMM Arm can provide a real-time feedback loop for the movable member that automatically adjusts the location of the components prior to joining or another assembly process.
11. The Robot CMM Arm can automatically datum to the production line reference.
12 The Robot CMM Arm can automatically datum into an object reference datum, such as a body line coordinate system in a cell.
13. Robot CMM Arms can datum each other in a common coordinate system.
14 The Robot CMM Arm can be integrated with the production line control system.
15. The Robot CMM Arm can allow the use of different tooling techniques that offer benefits such as reduced tooling investment, increased process speed, improved product quality, and improved process accuracy.
16. The Robot CMM Arm can improve the main production line process and the prototype production process.
17. The Robot CMM Arm can eliminate the need to check vehicle panel fixtures.
18. The Robot CMM Arm can eliminate human error.
19. The Robot CMM Arm is slightly more expensive to manufacture than an industrial robot, but provides added value beyond its additional cost.
20. The Robot CMM Arm increases the accuracy of the process and allows for a more efficient process with less precision tooling compared to having two stations, saving space on the production line.
21. One Robot CMM Arm can perform one or more of the following operations: measurement, material processing, material handling. This provides further utility beyond robots that cannot be measured with high accuracy.

Milling Machine It is one of the objectives of this embodiment to provide an Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 that can mill complex shapes. Using a standard CNC control system, a path with small tracking error is secured. The machining path is generated from a standard 7-axis CAD software package. As is known to those skilled in the art, accurate position feedback from CMM encoder 178 is used to calculate the exact 6DOF position and orientation and the loop is closed at the desired 6DOF position and orientation. This means that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can mill complex shapes with higher accuracy than standard industrial robots. The main advantage is that the machining error of the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is usually an order of magnitude smaller than the machining error of the industrial robot. Another advantage of using the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 for milling is that if the roughness of the step, etc. due to an inaccurate pass is manually smoothed, no further hand finishing operations are required. A further advantage is that the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 can mill complex shapes such as large spherical shapes that cannot be milled by a machining center or horizontal arm CMM. The Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 is expected to be applicable to machining complex shapes with high accuracy in a wide range of industries.

[Third Embodiment]
In this third embodiment, an active support Robot CMM Arm is disclosed that significantly reduces the forces and moments acting on the joints and segments of the Internal CMM Arm 5 in all spatial layouts that can be moved.

Forces and moments on the Robot CMM Arm of the first embodiment In some spatial layouts of the Robot CMM Arm 1 there is a significant load on the Internal CMM Arm 5, so that there are 7 of the exoskeleton 6 as described above. The arrangement of the seven motors 176 acting on the exoskeleton joints 1 61-7 67 does not provide sufficient control output to reduce these loads. In some spatial layouts, the joint is subjected to the total weight of the segments of the Internal CMM Arm 5 prior to the joint. For example, when the internal CMM arm 5 is in a vertical spatial layout, the combined weight of the CMM segments 2 32-838 is directly on the CMM joint 1 51. Similarly, the combined weight of CMM segments 2 32-8 38 is applied directly to CMM joint 2 52, and so is CMM joint 3 53 to CMM joint 7 57 up the arm. The seven drive systems of the exoskeleton cannot compensate for this load on the bearings of the CMM joint. In the case of axially arranged CMM joints 1 51, 3 53, 5 55, and 7 57, when the internal CMM arms 5 are in a vertical spatial layout, the load on these CMM joints is the axis of the axial CMM joint. Pass through. In the case of CMM joints 2 52, 4 54, and 6 56 arranged in true intersection, when the internal CMM arms 5 are in a vertical spatial layout, the loads on these CMM joints are orthogonal to the axes of the orthogonal CMM joints. Regardless of whether the Robot CMM Arm 1 is fixed or moving at any spatial location of the Robot CMM Arm 1, a network of non-zero forces and non-zero moments is transferred from the exoskeleton 6 to the internal CMM Arm. Acts on 5. These forces and moments reduce the accuracy of measurement of the Robot CMM Arm 1 by distorting the joints and segments of the Internal CMM Arm 5.

Active Support Robot CMM Arm The active support Robot CMM Arm according to the third embodiment uses a strain gauge that detects the force and moment with respect to the internal CMM arm 5 and the force and moment with respect to the internal CMM arm 5 using active support control software. And an active transmission means to oppose. This means that the accuracy of the active support Robot CMM Arm is higher than the accuracy of the Robot CMM Arm 1 or the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 having the same reach as the Active Support Robot CMM Arm. Furthermore, the reach that the active support Robot CMM Arm can operate to some specified accuracy is compared to both the Robot CMM Arm 1 of the first embodiment and the Industrial Robot CMM Arm 450 of the second embodiment. Long.

  Next, referring to FIG. 60, the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 includes active transmission means 2 562 to 8 568 installed between the exoskeleton 6 and the internal CMM arm 5. The strain gauge 181 is disclosed above and attached to the internal CMM arm 5 shown in FIG. 41E.

Active Transmission Means Each active transmission means 2 562-8 568 actively manages one drive direction through each of the transmission means 2 72-8 78 previously disclosed in the first embodiment and the weight of the internal CMM arm 5. Providing one or more active support directions for support. The transmission means 562-568 are located at or near the center of gravity of each CMM segment 2 32-838. This reduces the support task of each CMM segment in two active force components, namely radial and axial. Each active transmission means 562-568 is positioned at or near the center of gravity of the respective CMM segment 2 32-8 38, so there is no need to actively apply a moment.

  The active transmission means 2 562 is a first transmission means and has a certain orientation with respect to gravity. Transmission means 2 72 within active transmission means 2 562 is torsional and does not provide active support in either radial or axial directions. In the normal case where the base orientation of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 is vertical, the only active support required in the active transmission means 2 562 is in the axial direction. If the base orientation of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 is horizontal, the only active support required in the active transmission means 2 562 is in the radial direction. For any other base orientation, both axial and radial active support is required within the active transmission means 2 562.

  The active transmission means 3 563 may be in any orientation. The drive through the transmission means 3 73 in the active transmission means 3 563 is radial. This means that radial active support is not required in the active transmission means 3 563. However, active support in the axial direction is required within the active transmission means 3 563. The situation of the active transmission means 3 563 is the same as that of the active transmission means 5 565 and 7 567.

  The active transmission means 4 564 may be in any orientation. The drive through the transmission means 4 74 in the active transmission means 4 564 is torsional. This means that both radial and axial active support is required within the active transmission means 4 564. The situation of the active transmission means 4 564 is the same for the active transmission means 6 566 and 8 568.

Axial active supports Active transmission means 3 563, 5 565, 7 567 provide radial drive and axial active support. Referring now to FIG. 61, the active transmission means, such as active transmission means 3 563, has two parts: the passive radial drive transmission means 3 73 disclosed above and shown in FIG. 17 and the active axial support. Part 3 583. The active axial support 3 583 supports the CMM segment attached to the CMM segment 333 of the internal CMM arm 5 via the support ball race 575 via the support gear box 572 means and the support ball screw 574 means. Two support motors 571 for applying axial thrust to the part flange 570 are provided. The two support motors 571 are arranged at 180 ° relative to each other so as to provide uniform axial thrust to the CMM segment support flange 570. The support motor 571 is bolted to the support gear box 572, and the support gear box 572 is bolted to the support bracket 573. The support part ball screw 574 extends from the support part gear box 572 and is supported by the support part bracket 573 at the far end. The support portion ball race 575 is disposed between the support portion gear box 572 and the support portion bracket 573 at the far end. The support bracket 573 is attached to the exoskeleton segment 343 via the elastic material 203. A support unit encoder 579 is attached to each support unit motor 571. The support motor 571 can apply an axial force in either relative direction between the exoskeleton segment 343 and the CMM segment 333 as determined by the active support control software. For example, if the CMM segment 3 33 is in a vertical upward spatial orientation, the axial force is upward relative to the CMM segment 3 33 and effectively counters downward gravity relative to the CMM segment 3 33.

  In this arrangement, the passive radial drive transmission means 3 73 is positioned on one side along the axis of the CMM segment 3 33 from the active axial support 3 583. In another embodiment of the invention, the passive radial drive transmission means 3 73 is arranged on the opposite side of the active axial support 3 583. In a further embodiment of the present invention, the passive radial drive transmission means 3 73 and the active axial support 3 583 comprise a radial drive center and active shaft through the passive radial drive transmission means 3 73. You may integrate so that the action center of the direction support part 3 583 may exist in the same place.

Axial / radial active support Active transmission means 4 564, 6 566, 8 568 provide torsional drive, active axial support, and active radial support. Referring now to FIG. 62, the active transmission means 4 564 comprises three components: a torsional transmission means 4 74, an active axial support 4 584, and an active radial support 4 594. In this arrangement, these three components of the active transmission means 4 564 are provided in a row between the CMM segment 4 34 and the exoskeleton segment 4 44 of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550. The scope of the present invention is not limited to this arrangement. For example, in another embodiment of the invention, the three components may be provided in any other order. In a further embodiment of the invention, these three components comprise a torsional drive center of action through the passive torsional transmission means 474 and an active center of the active axial support 4 584 and active radial support 4 594. You may integrate so that it may exist in the same place. In another embodiment of the invention, two of these three components may be integrated.

  Referring now to FIG. 63, the active radial support 4 594 includes three units 594A, 594B, and 594C. The active radial support 4 unit 594A is shown in cross section AA and BB. Active radial support 4 units 594B and 594C are shown in cross section BB. In each active radial support 4594 unit, the support motor 571 is radiused via the support ball race 575 via the support gear box 572, the support 90 ° drive box 577, and the support ball screw 574. A radial thrust is applied to the directional support bracket 578 and to the CMM segment 434 of the internal CMM arm 5 via the elastic material 203 and the low friction material 202. The three active axial supports 4 units 594A, 594B, and 594C are arranged at 120 ° relative to each other to provide directional control of radial thrust for the CMM segment 434. The support motor 571 is bolted to the support gearbox 572 and the support gearbox 572 is bolted to the radial support motor bracket 576. The support portion gear box 572 drives the support portion 90 ° drive box 577. The support part ball screw 574 extends from the support part 90 ° drive box 577. The support ball race 575 receives thrust from the support ball screw 574, and this thrust passes through the elastic material 203 and the low friction material 202 via the radial support bracket 578 and passes through the CMM segment 434 of the internal CMM arm 5. Is transmitted to. A support unit encoder 579 is attached to the support unit motor 571. The three units 594A, 594B, and 594C of the active radial support 4 594 are radiused in any relative direction between the exoskeleton segment 444 and the CMM segment 434 as determined by the active support control software. Directional force can be supplied. For example, when the CMM segment 4 34 is in a horizontal spatial orientation, the radial force is upward against gravity for the CMM segment 4 34 and effectively counters downward gravity for the CMM segment 4 34.

Number of Active Transmission Means In a preferred embodiment of the 7-axis active support Robot CMM Arm 550 with a base in any orientation, there are 11 active support means, namely active axial supports 2 582-8 588 and active radial support. Parts 2 592, 4 594, 6 596, 8 598. If the base is always vertical, 10 active support means are sufficient and no active radial support 2 592 is required. In the embodiment of the 6-axis active support Robot CMM Arm 550 with an arbitrarily oriented base, there are 9 active support means since there is no active transmission means 4 564. If the base is always vertical, 8 active support means are sufficient, and no active radial support 2592 is required.

  Some active support means have a greater impact on the overall accuracy of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 than others. For example, active support means near the probe end will not affect overall accuracy than active support means for heavier segments. Even if only one active support means is provided, the accuracy of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 is higher than that of a similar Robot CMM Arm 1 having no active support means. It is an object of the present invention that the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 has one or more active support means.

  In general, the forces and moments in the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 can be reduced by increasing the number of active transmission means 560, which makes the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 more accurate. For example, two or more active transmission means 560 can be provided to support each CMM segment. In practice, the benefits gained with each increase in the number of active transmission means are limited. In a further embodiment of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550, the long CMM segments 3 33, 5 35 are provided with two active transmission means to enhance support. The scope of the present invention includes any active support Robot CMM Arm 550 having one or more active transmission means.

Constituent Materials The inner CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6 of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 are preferably made of the same material to minimize thermal expansion differences. The axes of the CMM joints 51 to 57 and the exoskeleton joints 61 to 67 are also aligned. Thus, both the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6 change length by the same amount in response to a change in temperature.

Active Support Control Software Referring now to FIG. 64, active support control software 552 is provided in the memory 381 of the control PCB 172. The active support control software 552 optimizes the active support of the internal CMM arm 5 by the exoskeleton 6 in each spatial layout. The support motor 571 is driven by the amplifier 176 from the output of the amplifier analog output circuit 383 of the control PCB 172 determined by the control software 382. Each support encoder 579 is connected to the joint PCB 173, and the joint PCB 173 is connected to the control PCB 172.

  Referring now to FIG. 65, active support control software 552 has inputs from strain gauge 181, kinematic software 391, and control software 382. The strain gauge 181 shows the force and moment against the internal CMM arm 5. The kinematic software 391 provides the spatial layout position, velocity, and acceleration of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550. Control software 382 provides the position, velocity, and acceleration of active transmission means 2 562-8568. The active support control software 552 has a desired control request for the support motor 571 to the control software 382 as an output. The control software 382 receives the positions of the exoskeleton encoder 179, the CMM encoder 178, and the support encoder 579 as inputs. The control software 382 outputs a drive signal to the amplifier 175 to drive the motor 176 and the support motor 571. The control software 382 provides a single control loop for the motor 176 and the support motor 571, thereby avoiding the generally undesirable situation where there are two competing control loops that are difficult to harmonize. An input from the strain gauge 181 that measures forces and moments in the internal CMM arm 5 to the active support control software 552, and forces and moments from the exoskeleton 6 to the internal CMM arm 5 from the active support control software 552 can be applied. An active support robot CMM arm 550 is provided that minimizes forces and moments on the internal CMM arm 5 by the active support control software 552 using the active transmission means 2 562-8 568 and outputs for controlling This is one of the objects of the present invention. Thus, the internal CMM arm 5 is fully supported by the attachment of its base CMM segment 1 31 and active transmission means 2 562-8568. There are many ways to provide active support control software to active support Robot CMM Arm 550 and to integrate active support control software with main control software 382 to minimize forces and moments on Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550. Those skilled in the art will understand. The active support control software can automatically compensate for the heavy probe 91 attached at or near the probe end 3 of the internal CMM arm 5 and provides at least two active transmission means to provide CMM segment 8 38. It will be further appreciated by those skilled in the art that a probe 91 that supports and is not attached near the center of gravity of CMM segment 838 can be compensated.

Air bearing of transmission means An air bearing can be used to eliminate contact between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. Referring again to FIG. 17, in the radial transmission means 373, an air bearing is used instead of the low friction material 202. Referring again to FIG. 18, in the torsional direction transmission means 474, an air bearing is used in addition to the elastic material 203. Referring again to FIGS. 61 and 63, in the active axial support 563 and the active radial support 594, air bearings are used in place of the low friction material 202. Air in the air bearing can be supplied by a compressor and guided to the location of the air bearing by a flexible tube extending between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. The air exiting the air bearing can have the secondary function of cooling the active support Robot CMM Arm 550. Primary air exhaust is provided at the probe end and secondary exhaust is provided at an appropriate distance from each segment air bearing. The main advantage of the air bearing is that there is no friction between the internal CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton 6. Thus, the force applied in one direction does not have an undesired component in another direction resulting from friction, resulting in a more accurate active support Robot CMM Arm 550.

Elastic Material, Pressure Sensor, and Active Support Control Referring again to FIGS. 17, 18, 61, and 63, there is contact between the active CMM arm 5 and the exoskeleton of the active transmission means 2 562-8568. Within each part that occurs, an elastic material 203 is provided. The elastic material 203 protects the internal CMM arm 5 by absorbing the sudden increase in force from the exoskeleton 6. The force applied to the elastic material 203 is at least gravity, changes in its spatial location due to movement of the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550, inertial acceleration of the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550, interference fit of the assembly, thermal expansion / contraction, and It is generated by the support motor 571. The thickness, cross-sectional area, and material elastic modulus of the elastic material 203 at each location are carefully calculated and the force limits calculated for the spatial and inertial capabilities of the active support Robot CMM Arm 550. Is used to optimize the relative expansion / contraction of the elastic material 203.

  In an alternative embodiment, instead of a strain gauge 181 attached to the internal CMM arm 5, a pressure sensor is placed in the elastic material 203. The actual total force applied to the elastic material 203 can be measured at each active transmission means regardless of whether it is compressive force, tension or shear force. Calculations based on the design of the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 are used to determine the ideal total force to be applied to each elastic material in the current spatial location and inertia situation of the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550. The support motor 571 is actuated by a new active support control software algorithm to increase or decrease the actual total force applied to each elastic material 203.

Environmental Factors and Operational Performance To obtain the highest accuracy, the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 should be used in a thermally controlled environment without external vibrations. The best results are obtained when measurements are made at relatively low speeds when the force generated by acceleration is relatively small. However, the user desires to obtain high productivity from his / her equipment, and the speed and acceleration that the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 can achieve are important factors. The internal CMM arm 5 is supported by a plurality of active transmission means, and the design characteristics of the internal CMM arm 5 supported by the plurality of active transmission means is the design of the manual CMM arm 5 that can receive a large force and moment applied by the operator. It can be different from the characteristics. This can reduce the mass / inertia of the Internal CMM Arm 5 of the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 and the corresponding acceleration that the Internal CMM Arm 5 of the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 can receive while maintaining high accuracy. Therefore, this means that the active support Robot CMM Arm 550 becomes a high-accuracy measuring device having high productivity.

Effectiveness of the invention The forces and moments on the Internal CMM Arm 5 resulting from the action of gravity and inertial forces are countered by active transmission means. Since this active support Robot CMM Arm 550 can be so effective that it can support the Internal CMM Arm 5, the forces and moments at its attachment to the base CMM segment 1 31 correspond to the case where no active transmission means are provided. One or several orders of magnitude less than force and moment. Furthermore, since this active support Robot CMM Arm 550 can be so effective that it can support the Internal CMM Arm 5, the force and moment at each joint is one less than the corresponding force and moment when no active transmission means is provided. Digit or several digits smaller.

More accurate than a manual CMM arm This third embodiment allows the forces and moments on the internal CMM arm 5 to be reduced to about an order of magnitude over the forces and moments on the corresponding size manual CMM arm. This means that the Active Support Robot CMM Arm 550 can be much more accurate than a Manual CMM Arm with a similar reach that cannot reduce forces and moments to negligible amounts. Below forces and moments, the internal CMM arm 5 can be designed to be much much lighter. This further has the double beneficial effect that the exoskeleton 6 can be made lighter and the drive system can be made lighter because the drive system is not very powerful.

Alternative Active Support Methods There are other ways to achieve active support, and the scope of this embodiment is not limited to the means described above. For example, in a further embodiment of axial support, one motor 571 can be used to drive two support ball screws 574 via drive transmission means such as a belt. In alternative embodiments of axial support or radial support, a controllable linear actuator, such as a voice coil actuator, can provide the desired linear force without having to know the position of the active transmission means. A simpler control loop is provided than for a motor with an encoder.

[Fourth Embodiment]
Quantity Measurement In this fourth embodiment, a method and apparatus is disclosed for further purposes of the present invention, namely quantity measurement, construction of the quantity model, and analysis of the model. Examples of quantities that can be measured with a suitable contact or non-contact quantity measurement probe 90 include temperature, surface roughness, color, vibration, hardness, pressure, density, welds, adhesion flaw detection / inclusion detection. Is included, but is not limited thereto. The object 9 or the part to be measured of the object is positioned in the reach of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The object 9 may approach the Robot CMM Arm 1 or the Robot CMM Arm may approach the object. The quantity is measured relative to the coordinate system 363 of the Robot CMM Arm. Alternatively, the object coordinate system 361 may be set as previously disclosed, and the quantity is measured relative to the object coordinate system 361. The quantity measuring probe 90 is attached to the probe end 3 of the internal CMM arm 5, but may be attached to the probe end of the exoskeleton 6. When the probe end of the internal CMM arm 5 and the probe end of the exoskeleton 6 are common, the quantity measurement probe is attached to the common probe end.

Measurement Process, Timing, and Plural Probes The measurement process is performed by the Robot CMM Arm 1 moving the quantity measurement probe 90 relative to the object 9 and the quantity measurement probe 90 performing the measurement. As previously disclosed, the position / orientation of the probe end in the X coordinate, Y coordinate, Z coordinate, I coordinate, J coordinate, and K coordinate from the Robot CMM Arm and the measurement value from the quantity measuring probe 90 are synchronized. These can be time stamped or adjusted directly or by interpolation on a time basis. Measurement is performed along the path of movement of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The measurement is preferably performed during continuous scanning movement, in which case the quantity measuring probe 90 performs the measurement on the fly. This on-the-fly measurement method is suitable for a quantity measuring probe 90 where the measurement is performed in a relatively short time, typically less than 100 milliseconds, and often less than a few milliseconds. Alternatively, the measurements may be made in stages, with the quantity measuring probe 90 taking measurements when the Robot CMM Arm 1 is virtually stationary. This stepwise measurement method is suitable for a quantity measuring probe 90 where the measurement is relatively long, typically over 100 milliseconds, and often in seconds. The quantity measurement probe 90 can be attached to the Robot CMM Arm 1 along with one or more other probes 90 so that any combination of quantity and / or dimension measurements can be made. An example is scanning a pipe using a non-contact optical probe 90 for measuring dimensions and a non-contact temperature measuring probe for measuring temperature. It will also be appreciated that two or more different quantities can be measured with a single probe 90. Unless a special measure is taken in the design of the contact probe 95, only one contact probe 95 is in contact with the object 9 under the preferable operation of the Robot CMM Arm. It will also be appreciated that not preferred. Measurements from the attached probe 90 are preferably made along one measurement path during one measurement process so that the trajectory is not repeated. This is most efficient with respect to minimizing the time of the measurement process. Measurements from all probes 90 can be synchronized during the measurement process so that all probes 90 take measurements at the same speed at virtually the same time. Alternatively, one or more of the attached probes 90 may take measurements at different speeds. As previously disclosed, the measurement from each probe 90 can be correlated with arm position / orientation, preferably directly using synchronization or by interpolation. Data from one or more probes including the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the quantity measurement probe 90 is stored.

Measurement Location of Quantity Measuring Probe The quantity measuring probe 90 has several different embodiments. The quantity measuring probe 90 may be a contact probe or a non-contact probe. The quantity measurement probe 90 can perform one or more measurements at each Robot CMM Arm position / orientation. The quantity measuring probe 90 can measure one or more different quantities, such as temperature and pressure. One or more measurement locations from the quantity measurement probe may be known or may be known within a constrained relationship with the Robot CMM Arm position / orientation. Examples of measurement locations include:
(A) One quantity measurement location may be at the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
(B) One quantity measurement location may be at an unknown distance and a known orientation from the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
(C) One quantity measurement location may be at a known fixed distance and known orientation from the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
(D) One quantity measurement location may be at a fixed distance and a known orientation measured from the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
(E) Multiple quantity measurements can be made simultaneously along the projection plane, each quantity measurement being at a known location relative to the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
(F) Multiple quantity measurements can be made simultaneously in the projection region, each quantity measurement being at a known location relative to the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
(G) Multiple quantity measurements can be made simultaneously in the projection region, each quantity measurement being at a known orientation and unknown distance relative to the tip of the quantity measurement probe.
The plurality of attached probes 90 preferably have different measurement locations relative to the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363 so that the measurement processes do not interfere with each other. The various measurement locations are preferably close so as to minimize extra measurement movement. The plurality of attached probes 90 preferably have the same orientation relative to the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system 363, making the path planning simpler. If there are more than two probes 90 attached, these probes are preferably arranged so that all measurements are made on the same plane. If multiple probes of a single point type but measuring different quantities are installed, the path and orientation of the Robot CMM Arm must be determined so that all measurement locations are along the same path, not side by side Is preferred. If multiple probes that measure the same amount in a single point type are installed, the path and orientation of the Robot CMM Arm is preferably determined so that all measurement locations are in a path alongside one another, By simultaneously performing measurements along substantially parallel paths, the production capacity of the Robot CMM Arm can be further increased.

Calibration and Alignment of Quantity Measuring Probe The quantity measuring probe 90 is aligned with the coordinate system of the Robot CMM Arm, mainly by a method determined by the design of the quantity measuring probe. Measure probe pre-calibrates in some way to a clear and sufficiently accurate probe datum arrangement that allows the quantity probe provider to simply fit into the Robot CMM Arm with a known offset / orientation relative to the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system It is preferable to do. This offset / orientation is supplied as a quantitative probe calibration file. The use of the calibration file aligns the quantity measuring probe with the coordinate system of the Robot CMM Arm. If the quantity probe supplier does not make such pre-correction, a special calibration fixture suitable for the quantity being measured can be configured to calibrate the probe to the probe datum during the calibration process. Will be understood. If the metering probe supplier does not provide such pre-compensation, the artifact measurement may alternatively be provided with a metering probe attached to the Robot CMM Arm, providing an artifact appropriate to the quantity being measured. It will be appreciated that the probe coordinate system is aligned with the coordinate system of the Robot CMM Arm by an alignment process known to those skilled in the art involving a sufficient number of times.

Reference is now made to the quantity measurement process of FIG.
In a first step 601, position the object and the Robot CMM Arm relative to each other so that the object is within the reach of the Robot CMM Arm for measurement.
-At step 602, attach a quantity measuring probe to the probe end of the Robot CMM Arm.
In step 603, align the quantity measurement probe coordinate system with the Robot CMM Arm coordinate system.
-In step 604, move the Robot CMM Arm along the path and perform a measurement with a quantity measuring probe.
In step 605, store the measured value from the quantity measuring probe and the position / orientation from the Robot CMM Arm.

  The scope of the present invention is not limited to this quantitative measurement process, which is provided as an example.

Modeling A method for taking quantity measurement data and Robot CMM Arm position / location data and combining them to create a model of an object quantity is disclosed. In this method, one or more quantities are combined into a model or kept as separate models. As already disclosed, it will be understood that there are various deterministic or uncertain locations for quantity measurements on the Robot CMM Arm. A further method is disclosed for taking a CAD model of an object and combining it with quantity measurement data and Robot CMM Arm position / location data to create a model of the quantity of the object. In this further method, the CAD model of the object is based on quantity measurement data and Robot CMM Arm position / location data. This further method is suitable for determining previously indeterminate locations by matching with a CAD model of the object. For example, if the CAD model of the object provides a surface definition and the measured quantity is a surface quantity with an indeterminate location, projecting in a known orientation until the quantity matches the CAD surface of the object, You can ask for a place. In general, the amount may be a surface related amount such as color, or may be an internal amount such as the presence of weld inclusions or adhesive flaws.

Reference is now made to the modeling process of FIG.
-In a first step 611, using a time and space interpolation means, prepare a set of located quantity measurement data from pre-stored quantity measurements and Robot CMM Arm location / orientation .
In step 612, the specific position quantity measurement data set is arranged in an appropriate data structure model using modeling means.
-In step 613, combine the CAD model of the object and the specific position quantity measurement data structure model using a combination means to provide an integrated CAD / quantity measurement model.
The scope of the present invention is not limited to this modeling process, which is provided as an example. For example, for simple objects such as flat sheet metal, step 613 may not be required. In a further example, the external shape of the model may be provided instead of the CAD model.

Analysis and visualization Analysis can be performed to determine the analyzed data from the integrated CAD and quantitative model. For example,
(A) Maximum and / or minimum values of quantities and their locations can be derived.
(B) A color can be assigned to a quantity according to a range of values, and a color representation of the quantity can be rendered on the surface projection of the object.
(C) A pass or fail criterion can be set for an object or a plurality of regions of the object, the pass or fail being determined by analysis of a quantity measurement according to the criterion.
(D) Measured quantity statistical data is derived and individual data of the measured quantity is separated and these are fed into the production control system for feedback to the production process for trend monitoring and production process adjustment. Provided.

  The analytical data and / or the integrated CAD / quantitative model is preferably visualized on a color computer display. In many cases, quantity measurements and / or analytical data are displayed on the surface of a CAD model or in a 3D voxel model. Quantity measurements and / or analytical data can be visualized using immersive 3D visualization techniques. The visualization technique chosen will depend on whether the quantity to be visualized is a surface quantity or an internal quantity. The visualization technique chosen will depend on whether a CAD model of the object or a 3D scanning surface model is available. The model can be visualized using any technique or device known to those skilled in the art, including all types of rendering and all types of 3D displays.

Reference is now made to the analysis, visualization, and feedback process of FIG.
-In step 621, the integrated CAD / quantity model is analyzed using analysis means.
-In step 622, output analysis data.
-In step 623, the output analysis data is displayed for visualization.
-In step 624, provide analytical data as feedback to the production process.

  The scope of the invention is not limited to this analysis, visualization, and feedback process, which is provided as an example. For example, in an unattended automatic line, step 623 may not normally be included if a display terminal is not available for occasional visual observation of the process.

[Fifth Embodiment]
Mobile Robot CMM Arm In this fifth embodiment, an embodiment of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm is disclosed. Currently, large objects such as vehicles are movable in two common ways: using a larger CMM than the vehicle, such as a moving bridge CMM or an opposed horizontal arm CMM, or with a smaller measurement reach to move around the vehicle. Measured by the instrument. Large CMMs require large capital investments, especially if they are automatic. Mobile devices require skilled manual work and are prone to human error.

  It is this fifth implementation to provide a Mobile Robot CMM Arm that measures large objects, such as vehicles, that is automatic, highly accurate, flexible, small in size and inexpensive compared to large CMMs. One of the purposes of the form.

  Referring now to FIG. 69, Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is shown in side, end, and bottom views. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 consists of a vehicle 701 to which Robot CMM Arm 1 is attached. The Robot CMM Arm 1 is securely attached to a tripod base 704 from which three spiked feet 706 are lowered by foot lowering actuators 707. When the spiked foot 706 is in the lowered position, the total weight of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is supported by the spiked foot 706 and can be measured with high accuracy. The vehicle further includes four wheels 702, a battery 705, automatic charging / communication contacts 710, a motor / gearbox unit 703 that drives the wheels, and a pendant 153 for manual setting and control of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700. Are connected to a control unit 709 and a tape tracking / target identification sensor 708. Referring now to FIG. 70, there is shown a typical floor layout for a vehicle measurement area where the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is used. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 follows a track around vehicle 9 laid out by tape 712. At intervals along the tape 712, there is a target 714 that indicates where the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 should stop and measure the vehicle. Each target 714 is preferably unique and can identify a measurement program 389 to be used at that location. A series of reference cones 713 are provided on the floor 718 of the vehicle measurement area from which the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 can accurately reference its position. A charging / communication station 711 is provided to automatically charge the battery 705 from the power source 719 and to communicate with the computer network 720 via the automatic charging / communication contact 710 of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700. Referring now to FIG. 71, the buried reference cone 715 can be permanently positioned on the floor 718. A removable reference cone 716 can be temporarily bonded to the floor 718. A raised reference cone 717 is provided where the reference accuracy needs to be increased. Referring now to FIG. 72, the 3D location of the reference cone 713 is stored in the reference cone position array 721. The 3D location of target 714 is stored in target location sequence 722. The 3D polyline of the tape is stored in a tape polyline array 723.

Preparation Process The exact location of each reference cone 713 in the reference cone array 721 is measured using a high precision 3D measurement device such as an optical tracker made by Leica or Faro Technologies. The path of tape 712 as tape polyline array 723 and the location of target 714 as target position array 722 are also measured. The reference cone array 721 provides a global coordinate system 461. These measurements need only be performed every year or whenever there is a layout change. An array of reference cones 721, an array of tape paths 723, and an array of target locations 722 are provided for an off-line programming system that can also provide a simulation of the process. An operator using an off-line programming system generates a measurement program 389. Battery 705 of Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is charged at charging / communication station 711. The measurement program 389 and the arrays 721, 722, 723 are downloaded to the control unit 709 of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700. The object 9, which can be a vehicle, is generally moved to the program position used to generate the measurement program 389. The object 9 is usually provided with a datum reference for the object coordinate system 361. The position of the object 9 is adjusted within a slight error of the program position.

Reference is now made to the preparation process of FIG.
In a first step 731, measure the reference cone 713, the target 714, and the tape 712 and provide the arrays 721, 722, 723 to the offline programming system.
In step 732, the measurement program 389 is generated using an offline programming system.
-In step 733, the battery 705 is charged.
In Step 734, download the measurement program 389 to the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700.
-In step 735, move the object 9 to the approximate position and adjust.

  This process is an example of a preparation process and is intended to describe one possible preparation process, but this embodiment is not limited to this preparation process. For example, the charging of the battery in step 733 may occur at any point in the process.

Measurement Process Worker 11 starts a measurement operation. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 executes measurement program 389. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 follows tape 712 and proceeds to first programmed target 714. When the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 stops, it lowers its spiked leg 706 using the leg lowering actuator 707. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 uses Global Coordinate System 461 as a reference for Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 by measuring all reference cones 713 within the reach of the arm. The reproducibility of the position and orientation of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 relative to the target appears to be better than 5 mm. The program for measuring the position of the reference cone 713 includes a search routine within a range of more than 5 mm to first locate before measuring the reference cone. Using the position of the local reference cone 713, the coordinate system 363 of the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is referenced to the global coordinate system 461. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 executes measurement program 389 for that location. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 then raises its spiked foot 706 and proceeds to the next location. This process is repeated until the measurement program 389 ends and the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 returns to the charging / communication station 711. The measured values are uploaded from the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 to a specific computer via the communication network 720. At the location of at least one target 714, the datum reference of the object 9 relative to the object coordinate system 361 is measured. This provides a reference between the object coordinate system 361 and the global coordinate system 461.

Reference is now made to the measurement process of FIG.
-In a first step 714, the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is moved to the first target.
-In step 742, Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is stopped on the target and spiked foot 706 is lowered.
In step 743, the local reference cone 713 is taken as the reference for the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 by measuring the local reference cone 713.
In step 744, Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 measures object 9 according to measurement program 389.
-In step 745, the spiked foot 706 is raised.
-In step 746, check if the program is finished. If completed, go to step 747. If not completed, the process proceeds to step 748.
-In step 747, move Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 to the next target. Proceed to step 742.
In step 748, return Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 to charging / communication station 711.
-In step 749, upload the measurements.

  This process is an example of a measurement process and is intended to describe one possible measurement process, but this embodiment is not limited to this preparation process. For example, an additional step of charging the battery during the measurement process may be required.

  As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art of automated guided vehicles, the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 provides all the functions necessary for this application. For example, automatic operation of the wheel angle for steering the vehicle 701 is provided. Tape following and target recognition algorithms are provided. A map of the location of the reference cone is provided. A safety sensor is provided to detect the possibility of collision. A visual and audible warning system is provided.

  The scope of this fifth embodiment is not limited to the disclosed method and apparatus, but includes all methods that provide the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 with automatic, accurate and flexible measurement of large objects. . For example, Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 can have three, five, or more wheels. The tripod base 704 may have four or more spiked legs, and the leg lowering actuator 707 can apply a constant force to each of these legs. Each wheel 702 may be steered independently. Instead of tape 712 and target 714, a wireless positioning system or dead reckoning system may be used. Instead of the reference cone 713, a tooling sphere, an optical target, or any other contact or non-contact reference artifact may be used. A plurality of reverse batteries 705 may be provided. Processing of the measurement values can be performed by the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 or a computer on the network. The vehicle 701 may be combined with the Robot CMM Arm 1 and the tripod base 706 into one freestanding unit, or after the vehicle pulls the Robot CMM Arm 1 on the tripod base 706 from one position to another. It may be pulled down during the measurement process. The vehicle 701 is driven and operated from one or more of a variety of power sources, including batteries, electrical equipment that runs around permanently attached cables, electricity from rails, fuel cells, and combustible materials such as gasoline. Can do. In a further embodiment of this fifth embodiment, the kinematic mount is secured to the floor 718. Robot CMM Arm 1 can be moved up and down by Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700. Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 follows tape 712 and stops at the kinematic mount. Robot CMM Arm 1 is lowered onto a kinematic mount. The automatic locking mechanism positions and locks the Robot CMM Arm 1 at a reproducible position and orientation. The reproducibility of the position of these kinematic mounts is better than 10 microns. This is accomplished using kinematic mounting methods known to those skilled in the art, such as three cylinders oriented at 120 °. Prior to use of Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700, the position and orientation of each Robot CMM Arm 1 of the kinematic mount fixed to the floor is mapped using a high precision 3D measurement device such as a Leica optical tracker. Thus, the Robot CMM Arm 1 is in a known global coordinate system 461 without having to reference the reference cone 713 at each location each time the Mobile Robot CMM Arm 700 is used.

[Sixth Embodiment]
Robot CMM Arm with Displaceable Exoskeleton In this sixth embodiment, a Robot CMM Arm with a displaceable exoskeleton is disclosed. It has already been disclosed that the Robot CMM Arm robot program may be generated off-line or by interactively teaching a series of robot movements. Any of the Robot CMM Arm programming methods are much slower for many objects than manual measurement of objects with a Manual CMM Arm.

  A Robot CMM Arm with a displaceable exoskeleton is provided so that the exoskeleton is removed and the first object is measured manually and all further similar objects are automatically measured back to the exoskeleton This is one of the objects of the sixth embodiment.

  Referring now to FIG. 75, a Robot CMM Arm 750 with a displaceable exoskeleton is shown with the exoskeleton 6 removed or retracted and the internal CMM arm 5 manually operable. Referring now to FIG. 76, the exoskeleton segment 343 is provided as a tube with milled slots so that the CMM segment 333 can be removed from the exoskeleton segment 3 43 when the exoskeleton 6 is displaced. It is done. CMM segment 535 can similarly be removed from exoskeleton segment 545, and CMM segment 838 can similarly be removed from exoskeleton segment 848. The slotted tube has a wall thickness sufficient to provide the necessary strength. Referring now to FIG. 77, the transmission means 3 73 attached to the exoskeleton segment 343 is provided as a split bearing assembly comprising an upper bearing 751, a lower bearing 752, a hinge 753, and a fastener 754, and a fastener 754. Is removed, the CMM segment 333 can be taken out. The transmission means 575 and the transmission means 777 are likewise provided as split bearing assemblies.

Reference is now made to the measurement process using a Robot CMM Arm 750 having a displaceable exoskeleton in FIG.
-In step 760, the exoskeleton 6 is displaced from the internal CMM arm 5. The Robot CMM Arm 750 having a displaceable exoskeleton can (a) easily disengage the Internal CMM Arm 5 from the Exoskeleton 6 and (b) Further manual use of the Internal CMM Arm 5 by the Exoskeleton 6 It is automatically moved to a suitable space layout that does not get in the way. Remove the transmission means manually. The internal CMM arm 5 is removed from the exoskeleton 6. Optionally, the exoskeleton 6 may be retracted away from the internal CMM arm 5, for example by hinge means. Optionally, the exoskeleton 6 may be removed, for example by mechanically unplugging and electrically unplugging.
In step 761, manually measure the object 9 using the internal CMM arm 5.
-In step 762, if the exoskeleton 6 is retracted or removed, return the exoskeleton 6 and place the internal CMM arm 5 in the exoskeleton 6 and fasten the transmission means.
In step 763, one or more similar objects 9 are automatically measured using a Robot CMM Arm 750 having a displaceable exoskeleton.

  The scope of this sixth embodiment is not limited to the disclosed method and apparatus, but includes all methods of providing a Robot CMM Arm 750 having a displaceable exoskeleton. Exoskeleton displacement is not limited to the disclosed means of unobtrusive positioning, removal, and retraction, and includes any means for displacing the exoskeleton so that the internal CMM arm can be used manually. . As will be appreciated by those skilled in the art, the Robot CMM Arm 750 with a displaceable exoskeleton is provided with all the functions necessary to be able to operate both manually and automatically. Many users have a variety of objects to be measured, some of which are best suited for measurement using a manual CMM arm, while others are best suited for measurement using a Robot CMM Arm. With one purchase, a Robot CMM Arm 750 with a displaceable exoskeleton provides the user with both a Manual CMM Arm and a Robot CMM Arm. The Robot CMM Arm 750 having a displaceable exoskeleton has additional advantages due to ease of assembly, testing, and repair.

[Seventh Embodiment]
Combined Robot CMM Arm In this seventh embodiment, a Robot CMM Arm comprising a Combined CMM Arm and a Robot Exoskeleton is disclosed. A CMM arm with sufficient joints shows spatial redundancy, and at most given positions and orientations of the probe end, there are a series of different sets of positions that the intermediate joints of the arm can have. In order to manipulate the probe end of the CMM arm while preventing the intermediate joint from accelerating under gravity or inertia, the CMM arm is supported by the robot exoskeleton in at least two positions: near the probe end and in the intermediate position It must be. Next, specific embodiments of the combined Robot CMM Arm are disclosed. Referring now to FIG. 79, the CMM arm 5 and the robot exoskeleton 6 are mounted on the surface 7 adjacent to each other to form a combined Robot CMM Arm 780. The base-to-base distance between the CMM arm 5 and the robot exoskeleton 6 is optimized to some extent according to the reach of the CMM arm and the robot exoskeleton and the application requirements. The CMM arm carries a probe 90 in its final segment 38. The CMM arm 5 and the robot exoskeleton 6 are connected at two locations by a drive beam 771 and a drive linear axis 779. The drive beam 771 is firmly attached to the robot gripper 770, and when the robot gripper 770 rotates about the robot exoskeleton joint 767, the drive beam 771 draws a circular path. The drive beam 771 is attached to the CMM segment 737 by a rotating collar 772 and a partially constrained universal joint 778 so that the robot exoskeleton 6 can control the position and orientation of the CMM segment 737. The drive linear axis 779 is mounted between the robot exoskeleton segment 545 and the CMM segment 5 35. Drive linear shaft 779 is attached to CMM segment 535 by rotating collar 774 and universal joint 776. The drive linear shaft 779 is attached to the robot exoskeleton segment 535 by a rotating collar 775 and a universal joint 777. The drive linear shaft 779 constitutes an eighth drive shaft in addition to the seven drive shafts of the robot exoskeleton 6. The drive linear axis 779 can be increased or decreased in length under program control using means known to those skilled in the art. By increasing or decreasing the length of the drive linear shaft 779, the position redundancy of the elbow of the CMM arm 5 in the CMM joint 454 and the segment related thereto can be suppressed. A drive rotation shaft 773, which is the ninth drive shaft, drives the CMM joint 757, allowing the probe 90 to rotate about the axis of the CMM segment 838.

  There are many embodiments in which the robotic exoskeleton 6 can be coupled with the CMM arm 5 to provide a coupled Robot CMM arm 780. The scope of this seventh embodiment is not limited to the combined Robot CMM Arm 780 disclosed above in this seventh embodiment, but all of the Robot Exoskeleton 6 and CMM Arm 5 by the transmission means and other means. Including any type of bond. For example, in a further embodiment, the CMM arm 5 and the robot exoskeleton 6 can be connected at more than two locations. In another embodiment having a CMM arm 5 that exhibits spatial redundancy and where the spatial orientation of the intermediate joint is not important, the CMM arm 5 and the robot exoskeleton 6 can be connected only at the probe end. In another embodiment having a CMM arm 5 that does not exhibit spatial redundancy, the CMM arm 5 and the robot exoskeleton 6 can be connected only at the probe end.

[Eighth Embodiment]
Manual CMM Arm with Exoskeleton Normal Manual CMM Arm in normal use mode is subjected to the following forces / moments.
-From the base 2 firmly attached to the support structure-From the contact probe 95 in contact with an object firmly attached to the support structure-From the left hand of the human worker-From the right hand of the human worker-The entire manual CMM arm Against gravity-counterbalance spring (counterbalance spring) attachment

There are many sources of measurement error in manual CMM arms that reduce the robustness for measurements, including forces / moments that act on manual CMM arms and cause slight geometric distortions that lead to measurement errors. Some of the most serious causes of manual CMM arm measurement errors are:
-Cause 1: Damage caused by accidental dropping of a manual CMM arm or hitting a hard object. In the first damage mode, in case of severe damage, the manual CMM arm needs to be sent back to the manufacturer for repair and recalibration. In the second damage mode, the accumulation of hits over time tends to loosen the manual CMM arm joints and reduce accuracy.
Cause 2: Forces and moments applied to the Manual CMM Arm from the left and right hands of a human worker. These forces and moments can distort the bearings and segments of the manual CMM arm. These forces and moments can be large when the contact probe 95 is in contact with an object or support structure. A severe example of bearing and segment distortion is that CMM segments 3 33-535 are in a row and the operator's hand applies a bending moment across CMM segments 3 33-535 and CMM joints 3 53 and 4 54, An error of about 0.5 mm can occur.
-Cause 3: When the compensation device 210 such as an internal machining spring is incorporated in the CMM joint 222, the counterbalance moment applied to the CMM joint 2 22 between the CMM segment 2 32 and the CMM segment 3 33 is The vertical direction is variable in a normal range from about 0 Nm to about 10 Nm in the horizontal direction of segment 3. This variable moment causes a measurement error due to two causes, namely, the moment with respect to the CMM joint 333 and the inaccuracy due to the moment being applied to the bearing of the CMM joint 2 52.
Cause 4: Local asymmetric heat transfer from the operator's hand.
Cause 5: The impact on the manual CMM arm is caused by the finite rotation axis of the manual CMM arm colliding with the bump stop.
Cause 6: The bending moment of the finite rotational axis of the manual CMM arm hits the bump stop, causing a very large bending moment for the manual CMM arm (it is not uncommon for axis 2 to receive torques exceeding 10 Nm) ).
Cause 7: When the manual CMM arm moves and performs measurement by scanning using the stripe probe 97, the mass and inertia of the manual CMM arm cause a dynamic measurement error. The majority of the manual CMM Arm's typically 10 kg mass is due to the need to form a robust manual CMM Arm that can withstand misoperation without having to recalibrate.
Cause 8: Force applied to the arm by the contact of the tip of the contact probe 95. Thus, a significant amount of manual CMM arm weight acts on the contact probe 95. When the operator 11 leans on the manual CMM arm, part of the operator's weight can also act on the contact probe 95.
Cause 9: Force and moment applied to the optical probe 91 when held by an operator Cause 10: Impact and vibration applied during transportation. In many cases, the design of the transport case adds undesirable forces and moments to the arm.
There are thousands of manual CMM arms on the market, and their accuracy is increasing over time. The main user problem with the new, more accurate arms is the tradeoff between accuracy and robustness. Manual CMM Arms are less robust as accuracy increases. Arms that are highly accurate at the manufacturer's calibration facility may lose accuracy during transport to the customer or after the customer has used it for a short period of time.

  This eighth embodiment has the advantage that the cause of these measurement errors is dramatically reduced and the CMM is more accurate and robust than an equivalent manual CMM arm held directly by the operator. A manual CMM arm with an exoskeleton is disclosed that includes a lightweight internal CMM arm and exoskeleton, the exoskeleton being held by an operator.

  Referring now to FIG. 80A, a manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton is provided that includes a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton connected to a laptop computer 151 by a cable 152. A manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton has a base end 2 and a probe end 3. A manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is attached to the surface 7. A probe 90 is attached to the probe end 3 of a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. An optical probe 91 is also attached near the probe end 3 of a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. An operator button 183 is attached adjacent to the probe end 3. A manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton includes a base 4, an internal CMM arm 5, an exoskeleton 801, a compensation device 210 of an exoskeleton joint 262, and a transmission means 10. The object 9 being measured is placed on the surface 7.

  The exoskeleton 801 is lightweight, and the transmission means 10 supports the internal CMM arm 5 so that the stress on the internal CMM arm 5 is minimized. The exoskeleton 801 protects the internal CMM arm 5. The exoskeleton 801 accommodates a segment deflection of typically 0.1-5 mm in both long segments xxx, xxx, but the segment deflection may be greater than 5 mm or less than 0.1 mm. . Even if the exoskeleton 801 is bent, the bending is received by compliance by the transmission means 10 that supports the rigid internal CMM arm 5. In other embodiments, the exoskeleton 801 may be rigid. The exoskeleton 801 is made of a strong and light material such as carbon fiber or rigid plastic, but may be made of any functional material. The exoskeleton 801 completely surrounds the internal CMM arm 5 to completely protect the internal CMM arm 5, but in other embodiments, the exoskeleton 801 may only partially surround the internal CMM arm 5. The exoskeleton 801 is ergonomically designed to be held by the operator. The internal CMM arm 5 is lightweight. Because it is protected by the exoskeleton 801, the internal CMM arm 5 does not need to be designed to be strong enough to withstand the loads of abuse during use. The Internal CMM Arm 5 does not include extra weight associated with the functions handled by the Exoskeleton 801, such as protection for normal and abusive usage, environmental seals, ergonomics, electronics, and decoration . For these reasons, the weight per unit length of the internal CMM arm 5 is further reduced.

  The manual CMM arm 800 having the exoskeleton of the eighth embodiment of the CMM arm having the exoskeleton of the present invention is used together with the optical probe 91 attached to the internal CMM arm 5. The exoskeleton 801 is held by the worker 11. The design of the optical probe 91 is such that it is protected by the exoskeleton 801 so as not to be held by the operator 11. Thus, the operator cannot apply stress directly to the internal CMM arm 5 or the optical probe 91 and the manual CMM arm system 802 with exoskeleton is more than the equivalent manual CMM arm 790 without exoskeleton. High accuracy.

  In an alternative embodiment, a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton of the present invention is used with an optical contact probe 90 attached to the internal CMM arm 5. The exoskeleton 801 is held by the worker 11. Thus, the operator cannot apply stress directly to the internal CMM arm 5 or the optical contact probe 90, and the manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton is better than an equivalent manual CMM arm 790 having no exoskeleton. Is also highly accurate.

Wireless button unit Until now, the buttons for controlling the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton have been wired from above the arm into the arm. This limits the button to one or more fixed locations or, at best, to a rotating location on the seventh axis or on a rotating button with a slip ring. One novel embodiment for controlling a Manual CMM Arm 800 with an exoskeleton is to provide an integrated wireless button unit 814 wherever a user finds convenient to place the control button 183. The wireless button unit 814 includes one or a plurality of buttons 183 and a transmitter 815 and is supplied with power by a built-in battery 816. The wireless button unit 184 includes a carrier 843 provided with a seat for the wireless button unit, and one or more velcro straps (844) for fastening the carrier at almost all locations along the exoskeleton 6. Provided. A wireless receiver 847 is provided that is incorporated into the manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton and is assembled to the base 4. There may or may not be an antenna 848 for the wireless receiver 847. Antenna 848 may or may not be external and / or removable. In a further embodiment, a sliding and rotating carrier 845 is provided in each of the long cylindrical sections of the exoskeleton 6. The wireless button unit 814 is simply and fitly press-fitted into the carrier 843 or the sliding and rotating carrier 845 so that it can be quickly positioned on or removed from any suitable carrier. The sliding and rotating carrier 845 is not normally removed from its corresponding exoskeleton section. The sliding / rotating carrier has a simple brake / release control 846. In the brake position, the sliding / rotating carrier cannot slide or rotate. In the release position, the operator can slide or rotate the sliding / rotating carrier to a desired position. The brake / release control unit 846 can be operated with one hand. Button 183 can control any function of Manual CMM Arm System 802 with Exoskeleton by appropriate system hardware and software, Manual CMM Arm 800 with Exoskeleton serves as a pointer, and If button 183 serves as a selection button, this function includes a user interface point and a selection function.

Bump Stop Referring now to FIG. 80B, a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is provided with a bump stop 818 that has a joint center 424 when the base end 2 is oriented vertically upward. Is the highest joint center and the arm stays in a stationary position where the probe end 3 hangs down toward the base 4 so that the segment of the arm behind the joint center 222 does not fall under the action of gravity. Is to do. The bump stop 818 at the exoskeleton joint 2 62 provides a rest where the exoskeleton joint 2 62 exceeds the vertical orientation by a rest angle R slightly exceeding the exoskeleton joint 1 61. The center of gravity of the portion of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton located behind the joint center 222 is positioned above the joint center 222 and on the bump stop side of the vertical axis. The normal value of R is 5 °, but it may be larger or smaller. When the exoskeleton 802 is stationary with respect to the bump stop 818, the CMM joint 2 52 is free to rotate a significant amount until the hard limit is reached. The advantage of the bump stop 818 acting within the exoskeleton 802 is that the inner CMM arm 5 is not impacted when the exoskeleton 802 is strongly pressed against the bump stop 818 causing the bump stop 818 to contact or bend. That is. This means that the design of the internal CMM arm 5 can be made lighter and the overall robustness of the CMM arm 800 with an exoskeleton is increased. In addition, a magnet 817 disposed adjacent to the bump stop 818 or in an alternative position of leverage is provided between the exoskeleton segment 242 and the exoskeleton segment 343. A large initial force may be required to interrupt the magnetic attractive force and begin to rotate the joint center 222. This means that it is much more difficult to hit the arm accidentally beyond the vertical so that the arm falls under gravity and is damaged. In an alternative embodiment, the magnet 817 can serve two purposes: a bump stop and a constraining magnet.

Measurement Error Features and Reduction Manual CMM Arm 800 with an exoskeleton is provided in several embodiments, including the benefits of the means previously disclosed in the present invention, which include one, two, or Any type of contact probe, including further read head 186, CMM temperature sensor 180, CMM strain gauge 181, stand 110, and other mounting means, prestressed bearings, any type of optical probe, force probe 99, any A manual CMM Arm System 802 with any number of probes, synchronization, active transmission means, battery and battery charging means for any or all of the equipment including the arm and the probe attached thereto, and an exoskeleton This includes, but is not limited to, any design system architecture that enables Not determined.

The manual CMM arm 800 with the exoskeleton of this eighth embodiment reduces the cause of measurement errors in a number of ways, including:
Reduction of Cause 1: Manual CMM Arm 810 with exoskeleton is designed to withstand hitting and dropping to a reasonable abuse level. The exoskeleton 801 absorbs most of the impact, the internal CMM arm 5 is protected by the exoskeleton 801, and the entire impact is transmitted only through the transmission means 10. If dropped, the most likely impact point is the probe 90, and further means for reducing this cause of measurement error are disclosed below in this disclosure.
Reduction of cause 2: The transmission means 10 ensures that only the optimum supporting force against gravity is applied to the internal CMM arm 5 of the manual CMM arm system 812 having an exoskeleton. Thus, torque applied by a human operator is mainly absorbed by the exoskeleton 801 without being applied to the internal CMM arm 5. This is because the CMM segments 3 33, 4 34 are in a row and the operator's hand applies a bending moment across the exoskeleton segments 3 43- 545 and the exoskeleton joints 3 63- 464, which are subsequently distorted. In this case, a large bending moment is not applied across the CMM segments 3 33 to 535 and the CMM joints 3 53 and 4 54 via the transmission means 3 73 to 5 75. This is because these transmission means have low rigidity and absorb strain without transmitting a large moment.
Reduction of cause 3: Counterbalance torque from the compensation device 210 is applied to the exoskeleton 801 without being applied to the internal CMM arm 5. This means that there is no moment from the compensation device 210 of the CMM segment 333 that is simply supported. The deflection of CMM segment 3 33 is approximately 1/30 of the deflection of the corresponding manual CMM arm that applies a counterbalance torque to CMM segment 3 33. In such a manual CMM arm where counterbalance torque is applied to CMM segment 3 33, a stiffer and heavier CMM segment 3 33 is required. Therefore, the manual CMM arm 810 having an exoskeleton is higher performance and lighter than the manual CMM arm in which the counter balance torque is applied to the CMM segment 333.
Reduction of Cause 4: The operator's hand holds the exoskeleton but not the internal CMM arm. The exoskeleton is thermally isolated from the internal CMM arm, thereby significantly reducing local heat transfer through the operator's hand.
Reduction of cause 5: There is a bump stop on the exoskeleton so that no bump stop is required on the internal CMM arm. When an operator moves a manual CMM arm 810 having an exoskeleton, and this collides with a bump stop and the exoskeleton 801 suddenly decelerates, the transmission means 10 absorbs the shock to some extent, whereby the deceleration level of the internal CMM arm 5 is increased. Reduce.
Reduction of cause 6: There is a bump stop on the exoskeleton so that no bump stop is required on the internal CMM arm. When the operator bends the manual CMM arm 810 having the exoskeleton and hits the bump stop, the exoskeleton 801 is bent to absorb the total bending moment, so that the internal CMM arm 5 does not receive the bending moment.
Reduction of cause 7: The internal CMM arm 5 of the manual CMM arm 810 with exoskeleton can be much lighter than the manual CMM arm. Thereby, the measurement error of the dynamic scanning performance is reduced.

Probe and Optical Probe Cover Referring now to FIG. 81, a probe cover 803 is attached to the probe end of the exoskeleton 801. The probe cover 803 has three modes of use: lowering, displaceable, and retracting. Using the probe cover lever 805, the probe cover 803 is moved between the three use modes. In the descending mode, the probe cover 803 protects the probe 90 in case of accidental hitting. The descending mode is a normal mode when transporting, assembling in a new place, and using the optical probe 91. In the displaceable mode, the probe cover 803 is displaceable to allow the probe 90 to perform contact measurements. Since the probe cover 803 is displaced upward in the axial direction against the probe cover spring 806, the probe cover 803 is usually located at a position that covers the probe 90 and protects the probe 90 from being hit from the side. When the probe 90 is lowered axially onto the object 9, the probe cover spring 806 serves as a compensator by receiving a portion of the weight of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. In the retract mode, the probe cover 803 is retracted, leaving the probe 90 fully exposed. The probe cover 803 may be any type of probe 90, particularly a touch trigger probe 92 with or without a removable stylus, a force probe 99 with or without a removable stylus, and a fixed contact probe 95. Can be used with uncompliant or fragile probes 90, including The probe cover 803 can be made from most engineering materials, but a lightweight and rigid material is preferred. In order to comfortably hold and move between the three modes, a soft coating such as rubber may be preferred. The probe cover 803 may be transparent so that the probe 90 can be seen through.
Reduction of cause 8: The probe cover 803 reduces this cause of measurement error in a number of ways, including: In many orientations in the down and displaceable modes, the probe cover 803 absorbs the weight of the manual CMM arm 810 having the exoskeleton via the exoskeleton 801 and protects the probe 90 from being hit. When the measurement is performed in the displaceable mode, the operator applies a slight pressure to the exoskeleton 810 to bring the probe 90 into contact with the surface of the object 9 under a slight contact force. The ideal contact weight is in the range of 10-30 g. Although the Renishaw TP20 probe is preferred as the probe 90, most touch trigger probes and fixed probes can be used. In retractable mode, the measurement error is not reduced, but the retracted probe cover 803 has the advantage of allowing measurement of areas that are difficult to access with full access of a manual CMM arm 810 having an exoskeleton. .

Referring now to FIG. 82A, an optical probe cover 804 is disclosed. The optical probe cover 804 is attached to the exoskeleton 801 and arranged to protect the optical probe 91. The optical probe cover 804 can be held by the operator 11, and neither force nor moment is transmitted to the optical probe 91. The optical probe cover 804 protects the optical probe 91 in case of accidental hitting. Referring now to FIG. 82B, the optical probe cover 804 serves a second purpose as a handle so that the operator 11 can more easily operate a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. One or both of the optical probe cover 804 and the probe cover 803 can be provided on a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. The optical probe cover 804 reduces the cause of measurement errors in a number of ways, including:
Reduction of cause 9: The optical probe cover 804 absorbs the weight of the manual CMM arm 810 having an exoskeleton and can be operated by the operator. The optical probe 91 receives neither force nor moment when the operator operates the optical probe cover 804.

Partial Exoskeleton In a further embodiment of this eighth embodiment, the exoskeleton 802 may be a partial exoskeleton having fewer exoskeleton segments than CMM segments. Referring now to FIG. 83A, a partial exoskeleton 807 is provided comprising three exoskeleton segments 1 41-343 and two exoskeleton joints 1 61 and 2 62. This partial exoskeleton 807 has a compensation device 210 at the exoskeleton joint 262, which is preferably a machined spring and is housed within the housing of the partial exoskeleton 807. This is because the Manual CMM Arm 800, which has an exoskeleton whose exoskeleton is a partial exoskeleton 807, has the advantage of a counter-balanced arm and the portability advantage of a single enclosure around the lower segment. However, the compensation device does not apply moments to either CMM segments 1 31-33 or CMM joints 1 51 or 2 52, so that the precision advantage and compactness around CMM segments 1 31-33 are compact. It means that the aesthetic advantage of fitting is obtained. The partial exoskeleton is not limited to the partial exoskeleton 807, and may include fewer segments and / or joints or more segments and / or joints than the partial exoskeleton 807. Referring now to FIG. 83B, an extended partial exoskeleton 808 comprising four exoskeleton segments 1 41-444 and two exoskeleton joints 1 61-363 is provided. The extended partial exoskeleton 808 supports the internal CMM arm 5 closer to the CMM joint 454 than the partial exoskeleton 807. This means that the extended partial exoskeleton 808 has a smaller bending moment on the CMM segment 434 than the partial exoskeleton 807, and has the aesthetic advantage that the extended partial exoskeleton 808 terminates neatly at the elbow. Exoskeleton joint 3 63 has approximately the same joint position as CMM joint 3 53. Alternatively, the exoskeleton joint 3 63 may be provided near the elbow and combined with the transmission means 4 74 as a bearing. However, the CMM joint 454 is subject to blow. Referring now to FIG. 83C, a protected extended partial exoskeleton 809, which is one embodiment of a preferred partial exoskeleton, comprising five exoskeleton segments 1 41-545 and four exoskeleton joints 1 61-464 are shown. Provided. The exoskeleton segment 545 is a short segment covering the elbow and accommodates the bumper 819 as an impact absorbing element. The protective extension partial exoskeleton 809 supports the internal CMM arm 5 via the transmission means 4 74 at a location close to the same CMM joint 454 as the extension partial exoskeleton 808. The short exoskeleton segment 545 rotates about the exoskeleton joint 464. A transmission means 5 75 is provided to minimize any bending moment on the CMM segment 5 35. This means that the short exoskeleton segment 545 and in particular the bumper 819 protects the CMM joint 454 from rough use such as hitting in use, heat transfer from the operator's hand, and dropping from the elbow. Show. The partial exoskeleton of this embodiment is not limited to the disclosed embodiment and may include any configuration in which the number of joints and segments of the exoskeleton 6 is less than the number of joints and segments of the Internal CMM Arm 5. it can. For example, the partial exoskeleton may include exoskeleton segments 1 to 5, exoskeleton bearings 1 to 5, and two transmission means 10 disposed in front of the elbow CMM joint 4 and in front of the wrist. CMM joint 6. Such an arrangement has the advantage of simply supporting two long CMM segments so that the load on the majority of the length of the internal CMM arm 5 is reproducible whenever the exoskeleton 6 is held. Have.

Joint Distribution In a conventional manual CMM arm, the CMM joint 353 is provided adjacent to the CMM joint 4 54 instead of adjacent to the CMM joint 2 52, so there is no inconvenience that the operator holds the rotating segment. Similarly, CMM joint 555 is provided adjacent to CMM joint 656 rather than adjacent to CMM joint 454. The CMM joint layout of a conventional manual joint CMM arm with a CMM joint distribution on the shoulder-elbow-wrist is 2-2-2 for the 6-axis arm and 2-2-3 for the 7-axis arm. In any design of a manual CMM arm, there are advantages to moving the mass closer to the base than to the probe end. This means that the user feels the arm light and the user's fatigue is reduced. Each joint has mass from at least the bearing and encoder. In an alternative embodiment having a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton, or a partial exoskeleton 807, an extended partial exoskeleton 808, or a protective extended partial exoskeleton 809, or any other type of partial exoskeleton. As shown at 83C, CMM joint 3 53 may be provided adjacent to CMM joint 2 52 instead of adjacent to CMM joint 4 54. The CMM joint distribution in the shoulder-elbow-wrist is 3-1-2 for the 6-axis arm and 3-1-3 for the 7-axis arm. In a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton, CMM joint 555 may be provided adjacent to CMM joint 2 52 instead of adjacent to CMM joint 4 54. This means that the CMM joint distribution at the shoulder-elbow-wrist is 3-2-1 for the 6-axis arm and 3-2-2 for the 7-axis arm. With the same arm, the exoskeleton joint distribution in the shoulder-elbow-wrist is 2-2-2 for the 6-axis arm and 2-2-3 for the 7-axis arm. This means that the CMM joint distribution is different from the exoskeleton joint distribution and provides the advantage of a manual CMM arm 800 with an exoskeleton that feels lighter in use. Embodiments having a manual CMM arm 800 with an exoskeleton of this embodiment and a partial exoskeleton 807, an extended partial exoskeleton 808, or a protected extended partial exoskeleton 908, or any other type of partial exoskeleton include: One transmission means may be provided for each movement segment, or no transmission means may be provided for each movement segment, or two or more transmission means may be provided for each movement segment.

Measurement Method and Scanning Method Using a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton with a rigid contact probe 95 attached to the probe end 3, a manual contact measurement can be performed without the operator having to hold the internal CMM arm 5 or the contact probe 95. A measurement method for performing is provided. Referring now to FIG. 83D, in a first step 881, the operator grasps the exoskeleton 801 of the manual CMM arm 800 with the exoskeleton so that the contact probe 95 contacts the desired location of the object 9. Move. In step 882, the operator presses operator button 183 to trigger a measurement. In step 883, the manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton generates the position and / or orientation of the contact probe 95 in response to the button trigger signal.

  A measurement method for performing an automatic contact measurement without requiring the operator to hold the internal CMM arm 5 or the force probe 99 using a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton in which the force probe 99 is attached to the probe end 3. Provided. Referring now to FIG. 83E, in a first step 891, the operator grasps the exoskeleton 801 of the manual CMM arm 800 with the exoskeleton so that the force probe 99 contacts the desired location of the object 9. Move. In step 892, the force probe 99 detects the contact in step 881 and automatically triggers the manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton. In step 893, the manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton generates the position and / or orientation of the force probe 99 in response to the signal. This method can also be applied when using the touch trigger probe 92 instead of the force probe 99. A further advantage of this method is that the operator does not have to press a button to make a point measurement.

  A non-contact scanning method is provided that uses a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton with an optical probe 91 attached to the probe end 3 and does not require the operator to hold the internal CMM arm 5 or the optical probe 91. Referring now to FIG. 83F, in a first step 901, an operator grips the exoskeleton 801 of a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton so that the desired area of the surface of the object 9 is within the measurement range of the optical probe 91. Move to come to. In step 902, the operator presses the operator button 183 of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. In step 903, the manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton initiates a scan in response to the signal. In step 904, the operator moves the manual CMM arm 800 having the exoskeleton with respect to the object 9 so that the surface of the object 9 is within the measurement range of the optical probe 91. In step 905, the operator presses the operator button 183 of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. In step 906, a manual CMM arm system 802 having an exoskeleton stops scanning in response to the signal.

  Using a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton with a force probe 99 having an automatic scanning function such as a Renishaw MSP-3 attached to the probe end 3, an operator needs to hold the internal CMM arm 5 or the force probe 99. No contact scanning method is provided. Referring now to FIG. 83G, in a first step 911, the operator grasps the exoskeleton 801 of the manual CMM arm 800 having the exoskeleton and moves the force probe 99 to contact the desired location of the object 9. And remain in contact for the shortest time T. In step 912, when the force probe 99 detects the contact in step 911 for longer than the shortest time T, the force probe 99 automatically starts scanning. In step 913, the operator moves the manual CMM arm 800 with the exoskeleton relative to the object 9 so that the force probe 99 remains in contact with the surface of the object 9 for the duration of the scan. In step 914, the operator moves the manual CMM arm 800 having the exoskeleton away from the object 9 so that the force probe 99 does not contact the surface of the object 9. In step 915, when the force probe 99 detects that the contact in step 914 has been lost, the force probe 99 automatically stops scanning. A further advantage of this method is that the operator does not have to press a button during the scanning process.

Automatic calibration of manual CMM arms A new robot calibration device for automatic calibration of manual CMM arms is provided to eliminate human error from the calibration process and provide benefits such as reproducibility and cost savings associated with automation. The

  In a modular embodiment of the new robot calibration device, the drive unit is provisionally fitted to a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. Referring now to FIG. 83H, the modular robot calibration rig 920 includes a drive unit module 921 that is connected to the control box 159 by seven cables 922. The drive unit module 921 is assembled to a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton in a quick-fit process. The drive unit module 921 drives the exoskeleton 801 so that no force and moment are applied to the internal CMM arm 5. Each joint of the exoskeleton 801 is provided with at least two clamping flanges 923, one flange 923 is attached to each segment adjacent to the joint, and torque from the drive unit module 921 is passed through the adjacent exoskeleton segment. Can be received and distributed. The combination of a manual CMM arm 800 with an exoskeleton and a modular robot calibration rig 920 is effectively a tentative embodiment of the Robot CMM Arm 1. The preferred number of axes is six or seven, but any number of axes may be provided. The combination of manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton and modular robot calibration rig 920 can automatically perform a calibration process such as that previously disclosed for calibration of Robot CMM Arm 1.

  In an alternative tentative embodiment Robot CMM Arm of the new robot calibration device, the Internal CMM Arm 5 is operated by an exoskeleton 6 having an automatic drive for automatically calibrating the Internal CMM Arm 5. Thus, this device is a temporary Robot CMM Arm 1 for calibration.

  A method of calibrating a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is provided using any of the above embodiments of a novel robot calibration device. In an optional first step, the manual exoskeleton 6 is removed from the internal CMM arm 5. This step is not necessary if the internal CMM arm 5 has just been manufactured and the manual exoskeleton 6 has not yet been fitted. In the second step, the robot exoskeleton 6 is attached to the internal CMM arm 5. The attachment can be done either by a disclosed process such as “coating”, “sock”, or “insertion”, or any other attachment process. In the third step, calibration is performed automatically by any of the previously disclosed methods. In a fourth step, the robot exoskeleton 6 is removed from the calibrated Internal CMM Arm 5. In the fourth step, the manual exoskeleton 6 is attached to the calibrated Internal CMM Arm 5 to produce a calibrated Manual CMM Arm 800 with the exoskeleton. The attachment can be done either by a disclosed process such as “coating”, “sock”, or “insertion”, or any other attachment process.

  In a preferred external embodiment of the new robot calibration device, a manual CMM arm is coated with the robot exoskeleton. Referring now to FIG. 83I, an exoskeleton robot calibration rig 930 supports a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton and an existing exoskeleton 6 of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton via further transmission means 10. A robot exoskeleton 6. The robot exoskeleton 6 is connected to the control box 159 by a cable 922. The salient feature of this embodiment is that the internal CMM arm 5 has two exoskeletons, an intermediate manual exoskeleton 6 and an external robot exoskeleton 6. In this embodiment, a relatively small number of robotic transmission means are required to support a manual CMM arm 800 with an exoskeleton, because the manual exoskeleton 6 already optimally supports the internal CMM arm 5. This is because the robot transmission means only needs to hold the 6-axis or 7-axis manual CMM arm 800 having the exoskeleton in at least two positions in order to move it in an arbitrary direction. As already explained, at least three or four positions are preferred in order to reduce the bulk of the drive system.

  The combination of Manual CMM Arm 800 with Exoskeleton and Robot Exoskeleton 6 calibrates the first embodiment of Robot CMM Arm 1 that may include additional axes, additional artifacts, multiple measurement points, and multiple spatial orientations. To do so, a calibration process such as that disclosed above can be performed automatically. This integrated embodiment of the novel robot calibration device can also be used to calibrate a manual CMM arm 790 that does not have a conventional exoskeleton.

  In an alternative hybrid embodiment of the new robot calibration device, the new robot calibration device comprises a part-robot exoskeleton and a part module drive unit, and the partial exoskeleton A manual CMM arm with 807, extension partial exoskeleton 808, or protective extension exoskeleton 809 is provided for automatic calibration. The lower joint with the exoskeleton is driven by the drive unit module 921, and the upper joint without the exoskeleton is driven by the partial exoskeleton 6.

  A further method is provided for calibrating a manual CMM arm using any of the above embodiments of the novel robot calibration device without having to disassemble the manual CMM arm. This additional method includes a manual CMM arm 800 with an exoskeleton, a conventional manual CMM arm 790 without an exoskeleton, a manual CMM arm with a partial exoskeleton 807, a manual CMM arm with an extended partial exoskeleton 808, and protection Applicable to calibrate any of the manual CMM arms with extended exoskeleton 809. In the first step, the drive is attached to the Manual CMM Arm. Attachment can be done by any or any combination of the disclosed processes such as “module attachment”, “coating”, “sock”, or “insertion”, or any other attachment process. In the second step, calibration is performed automatically by any of the previously disclosed methods. In the third step, the drive is removed from the calibrated Manual CMM Arm. This additional method has the advantage of not requiring manual CMM arm disassembly and assembly steps.

The advantage of automatically calibrating a manual CMM arm 800 or internal CMM arm 5 with an exoskeleton using any of the above described embodiments of a novel robot calibration device is:
-No manual work other than installation and removal of the drive. This reduces costs.
-There are no human errors. This increases accuracy.
-Increases the rate of acquisition of calibration points per second.
The calibration process can be carried out for a longer period of time than in the case of an equivalent manual process, since a human operator is fatigued while the device driven by the robot can operate without fatigue.
-Much more calibration points can be taken than with an equivalent manual process. This increases accuracy.

  In any case, the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton or the manual CMM arm 790 without exoskeleton needs to be designed taking into account the need to install a device for automatic calibration. In particular, the internal CMM arm 5 needs to have sufficient robustness so that it can be calibrated with high accuracy regardless of whether it has a manual exoskeleton 5 or a robot exoskeleton 6. The internal CMM arm 5 is preferably supported by the same location and type of transmission means 10 on both the manual exoskeleton 6 and the robot exoskeleton 6. The present invention is not limited to the described embodiment, but includes all methods of automatic operation of a manual or internal CMM arm for calibration.

Transport Case Manual CMM Arm 800 having an exoskeleton is portable and is often transported in a transport case. Only the base 4 connects the internal CMM arm 5 directly to the transport case. In all other places, the internal CMM arm 5 is isolated from shock and vibration by transmission means 10 designed to absorb noise and vibration. Most of the mass of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is in the high-density base 4, and the contact surface area with the foam of the transport case is small. The majority of the contact surface area of the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton is the surface of the exoskeleton 801, and the mass and volume corresponding to this surface is low density compared to the base. In an impact situation where there is a difference in acceleration between the transport case and the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton, the force density from the impact is low near the surface of the exoskeleton 801, and the force density from the impact is near the surface of the base 4. Is expensive. The force density from the impact can be about 5 to 100 times higher near the surface of the base 4 than the surface of the exoskeleton 801. During the impact, the foam near the base 4 can be compressed 5 to 100 times that of the foam near the surface of the exoskeleton 801. This compression ratio is related to the various mass to surface area ratios of base 4 and exoskeleton 801 in each direction of impact force. The base 4 and exoskeleton 801 have two different decelerations. Two different decelerations cause impact forces and moments inside the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton, which can damage the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton. In situations where the transport case is impacted downward in the longitudinal direction, such as when the transport case falls from its end, and the base 4 of the manual CMM arm 800 with the exoskeleton is higher than the exoskeleton joint 464, The mass of the base 4 accelerates and creates a large compressive force on the exoskeleton segments 2 32-434 between the base 4 and the exoskeleton joint 4 64. When the transport case is subjected to a lateral impact and the manual CMM arm 800 having the exoskeleton is substantially horizontal, such as when the transport case falls from its base, the mass of the base 4 is displaced further downward than the exoskeleton 801. In the region after the base 4 is connected to the exoskeleton segment 2 32, a large bending moment is generated in the exoskeleton segments 2 32 to 3 33.

Referring now to FIG. 84, a transport case 830 for a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton that reduces the shock and vibration experienced by the internal CMM arm 5 during transport is disclosed. The upper half and the lower half of the transport case 830 are attached by hinges 836 along the long side of the transport case 830. The transport case 830 is filled with a packing material 831 such as a foam. The packing material 831 has two arm cutout portions 837. The arm cutout 837 exactly corresponds to the arm (precise), the packing material 831 contacts the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton, and there is no gap except for the notch 832 in the packing material 831. In this embodiment of the present invention, a lightweight and rigid spreader foam 833 is provided that provides a significantly larger surface area of contact with the packing material 831 in the required direction. The base 4 of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is formed by a spreader foam 833 by a fastener such as a bolt 838 before, during, or after the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is put into the transport case 830. Attached to. The spreader foam 833 has a large surface area that contacts the packing material 831 in all directions. In a preferred embodiment, the surface area of the spreader foam 833 is mainly arranged in three orthogonal planes. The surface area of the spreader foam 833 in any direction is optimized overall to minimize the forces and moments that cause damage to the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton resulting from different local deflections of the packing material 831. The center of the area of the spreader foam 833 in any direction almost passes through the center of mass Cg of the base 4 of the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton. This means that the center of mass Cg of the base 4 and the center of the area of the spreader foam 833 are greatly deviated, so that little or no rotational inertia occurs in the base under impact. In an alternative embodiment of spreader foam 833, (a) when different local deflections of packing material 831 are minimized, and (b) the center of the area of spreader foam 833 in any direction is the mass Cg of base 4 Other shapes of spreader foam 833 can be used if it passes almost through the center. Thus, the directional force density for the direction of impact on the transport case 830 is the same for the spreader plate 833 / base 4 and the exoskeleton 801 that are firmly attached. In the support area around the probe end 3, the packing material 831 can be cut so that none of the CMM segment 8 38, probe end 3, or probe 90 contacts the packing material 831. This is because the CMM segment 838, probe end 3, and probe 90 are supported by the transmission means 10 when in their original positions. Further optimization can be performed by providing notches 832 in the packing material 831 that are not in contact with the exoskeleton 801 at one or more locations. Optionally, a large amount of low-elasticity packing material 834 may be locally provided at a location where the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton having lower elasticity than the main body of the packing material 831 comes into contact. Optionally, a large amount of highly elastic packing material 835 may be provided locally at a location in contact with the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton that is more elastic than the body of the packing material 831. 3D CAD analysis software for modeling inertia under impact conditions is used by those skilled in the art to produce spreader plate 833, notch 832, locally low amount of elastic packing material 834, and locally high amount of elasticity. One or more combinations of high packing materials 835 can be optimized. In order to minimize the size of the transport case 830, the two long segments of the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton are parallel or nearly parallel when the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton is in the transport case 830. Become. The shape and position of the spreader foam 833, the notch portion 832, the locally large amount of low-elasticity packing material 834, and the locally large amount of high-elasticity packing material 835 are adapted to the state of impact in the longitudinal and lateral directions. Optimized. The outer shell 839 of the transport case 830 is made of a suitable material such as ultra high molecular weight polyethylene and is provided with shape features such as ribs to absorb shock and vibration. The overall shape is not limited to having six orthogonal side surfaces, but can have any number of side surfaces or side surfaces with complex curved shapes. The size and shape of the shell 839, along with the location and layout of the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton in the transport case 830, defines the distance between the shell 839 and the manual CMM arm 800 with exoskeleton at any point. . The size and shape of the shell 839 is optimized to match the deflection of the packing material 831 against impacts in all directions. Means such as a tongue and groove edge and a neoprene gasket are provided to prevent moisture from entering. Heavy duty latches are provided.
Reduction of cause 10: The transport case 830 significantly reduces the forces and moments on the manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton resulting from an impact on the transport case 830 during transport by achieving a uniform force density during the impact. To do.

[Ninth Embodiment]
Manual CMM Arm with Holding Exoskeleton In a further embodiment of the Manual CMM Arm with Exoskeleton, holding means 811 is provided. Referring now to FIG. 85, a manual CMM arm system 812 having a holding exoskeleton has holding means such as a brake 811 provided on exoskeleton joints 1 61-464 of a manual CMM arm 810 having a holding exoskeleton. The holding means is preferably a brake 811 that is an electromagnetic brake that operates on the disk 813.
-Manually operated machine connection,
-Force actuated mechanical connections,
-Brakes using any force including electromagnetic force, aerodynamic force, and oil pressure;
-The arm can be held by any means including a clutch that utilizes any force including electromagnetic force, pneumatic force, and oil pressure. The brake 811 can be activated when the exoskeleton joint is stationary. Alternatively, the brake 811 can be activated when the exoskeleton joint is moving, and then brakes until the exoskeleton joint is stationary, the exoskeleton being held at a stationary point. The exoskeleton joint to which the brake 811 is applied may be more or less than the exoskeleton joints 1 61 to 4 64. The brake 811 is applied to the exoskeleton 801 and is not applied to the internal CMM arm 5. This is because the joint of the internal CMM arm 5 does not generate a moment due to the application of the brake 811, and the manual CMM arm 810 having the holding exoskeleton has the holding means but does not have the exoskeleton 801. It means higher accuracy than the CMM arm. The brake 811 can be activated when the operator performs wired transmission or remote wireless transmission using a switch. Different combinations of brakes 811 can be activated with different switches. In the event of a power failure, a brake 811 using electrical actuation can be implemented to brake during a power failure and prevent the Manual CMM Arm 810 having the holding exoskeleton from falling under gravity. In an alternative embodiment, a gearing can be provided between the brake 811 and the exoskeleton joint to reduce the required braking torque and thus the weight of the brake. This has the disadvantage that more manual work is required to move the Manual CMM Arm 810 with the holding exoskeleton.

[Tenth embodiment]
Manual CMM Arm with Endoskeleton In this tenth embodiment, a Manual CMM Arm with Endoskeleton is provided. Referring now to FIG. 86A, an embodiment of the state of the art for a manual CMM arm is a manual CMM arm with no support, with the base axis vertical and the CMM segment 333 in a horizontal spatial orientation. It is shown. In this horizontal spatial orientation, CMM segment 3 33 is supported at CMM joint 2 52 with force Fn1. An internal compensation device 210 is provided at the CMM joint 2 52 and provides a counterbalance moment Mn to the CMM segment 3 33 to compensate for the weight force Fn2 of the rest of the manual CMM arm after the CMM joint 3 53. At the state of the art, CMM segment 333 receives a large bending moment Mn on the order of 10 Nm in the horizontal spatial orientation shown. As a result, the CMM segment 333 bends greatly and is bent. The deflection cannot be measured by the CMM encoder 178, resulting in a loss of speed accuracy. The deflection can be minimized by increasing the stiffness of the CMM segment 3 33, but the cost increases with the weight or cross-sectional size of the CMM segment 3 33. Referring now to FIG. 86B, a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton is provided, which is similarly shown with the base axis vertical and the CMM segment 333 in a horizontal spatial orientation. CMM segment 3 33 is simply supported by force Fx 1 at CMM joint 2 52 and force Fx 2 at transmission means 3 73. The deflection that occurs in the CMM segment 333 is due to gravity or the weight of the rest of the internal CMM arm 5. In a manual CMM arm 800 having an exoskeleton of the present invention, the deflection of the CMM segment 333 is at least 1/30 of the deflection of the state of the art manual CMM arm of FIG. 86A. Referring now to FIG. 86C, a manual CMM arm 840 having an endoskeleton is disclosed. External CMM arm 841 is external to endoskeleton 842. The endoskeleton segments 1 41 to 43 are disposed inside the external CMM arm 841. The endoskeleton 842 further includes endoskeleton joints 1 61 and 62. The endoskeleton 842 is firmly attached to the base 4 and supports the external CMM arm 841 along with the transmission means 3 73 at the far end of the CMM segment 333. There is no significant contact between the endoskeleton 842 and the external CMM arm 841 to transmit force. The endoskeleton joint 2 62 is fitted with a compensation device 210, which is preferably a machining spring, but may be any other type of compensation device, which includes a damper 211. It can also be provided. Endoskeleton segments 1 41-3 43 exhibit a large deflection which can be on the order of a few millimeters. As long as the deflected endoskeleton segment does not contact the inside of the external CMM arm segment, these deflections are not significant. Due to the deflection, the endoskeletal joints 1 61, 62 62 can move greatly with respect to the base 4 during use where the spatial orientation of the arms changes. The CMM segment 3 33 is simply supported by the force Fd 1 at the CMM joint 2 52 and the force Fd 2 at the transmission means 3 73. Any deflection that occurs in the CMM segment 333 of the manual CMM arm 840 with endoskeleton is due to gravity or the weight of the rest of the external CMM arm 841. For the Manual CMM Arm 840 having the endoskeleton of the present invention, the deflection of the CMM segment 333 is at least 1/30 of the deflection of the state of the art manual CMM arm of FIG. 86A. It will be appreciated that, based on the entire disclosure herein, one of ordinary skill in the art can provide a manual CMM arm 840 having an endoskeleton.

  In a further embodiment of this tenth embodiment, endoskeleton 842, which comprises two exoskeleton seg