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This paper describes a robot calibration approach called the virtual closed kinematic chain (ViCKi) method. Traditionally, calibration requires the measurement of the position and orientation of the end effector, and measurement resolution limits the accuracy of the robot model. In ViCKi, we attach a laser to the end effector to create a virtual 7th link. The laser spot produced on a distant plane, the end of this virtual link, magnifies small changes at the end effector, resulting in a high resolution error measurement of the end effector. The accuracy of the robot after using the proposed calibration procedure is measured by aiming at an arbitrary fixed point and measuring the mean and standard deviation of the radius of spread of the projected points. The mean and standard deviation of the radius of spread were improved from 5.64 mm and 1.89 mm to 1.05 mm and 0.587 mm respectively. It is also shown in simulation that the method can be automated by a feedback system that can be implemented in real-time.
Date of Conference: Oct. 29 2007-Nov. 2 2007