Robotic weld groove scanning for large tubular T-joints using a line laser sensor
Peer reviewed, Journal article
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This paper presents a novel procedure for robotic scanning of weld grooves in large tubular T-joints. The procedure is designed to record the discrete weld groove scans using a commercially available line laser scanner which is attached to the robot end-effector. The advantage of the proposed algorithm is that it does not require any prior knowledge of the joint interface geometry, while only two initial scanning positions have to be specified. The position and orientation of the following scan are calculated using the data from two previous weld groove scans, so once initiated, the scanning process is fully autonomous. The procedure is a two-step algorithm consisting of the prediction and correction substeps, where the position and orientation of the sensor for the following scan are predicted and corrected. Such a procedure does not require frequent weld groove scanning for navigation along the groove. The performance of the proposed procedure is studied experimentally using an industrial-size T-joint specimen. Several cases of scanning motion parameters have been tested, and a discussion on the results is given.