Coverage Path Planning for Robotic Quality Inspection with Control on Measurement Uncertainty

Yinhua Liu, Wenzheng Zhao, Hongpeng Liu, Yinan Wang, Xiaowei Yue

The optical scanning gauges mounted on the robots are commonly used in quality inspection, such as verifying the dimensional specification of sheet structures. Coverage path planning (CPP) significantly influences the accuracy and efficiency of robotic quality inspection. Traditional CPP strategies focus on minimizing the number of viewpoints or traveling distance of robots under the condition of full coverage inspection. The measurement uncertainty when collecting the scanning data is less considered in the free-form surface inspection. To address this problem, a novel CPP method with the optimal viewpoint sampling strategy is proposed to incorporate the measurement uncertainty of key measurement points (MPs) into free-form surface inspection. At first, the feasible ranges of measurement uncertainty are calculated based on the tolerance specifications of the MPs. The initial feasible viewpoint set is generated considering the measurement uncertainty and the visibility of MPs. Then, the inspection cost function is built to evaluate the number of selected viewpoints and the average measurement uncertainty in the field of views (FOVs) of all the selected viewpoints. Afterward, an enhanced rapidly-exploring random tree (RRT*) algorithm is proposed for viewpoint sampling using the inspection cost function and CPP optimization. Case studies, including simulation tests and inspection experiments, have been conducted to evaluate the effectiveness of the proposed method. Results show that the scanning precision of key MPs is significantly improved compared with the benchmark method.

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