Posts

Center of Gravity Testing in Robotics Demands Precision Load Cells

As the use of robotics expands across industries and the types of robotic motions grow in complexity, advanced testing using quality measurement solutions is essential. Contact momentum and gross measurements of indicators are not enough for sophisticated robotics. With the requirements for robots and cobots to have fluid and inertial movement capabilities, control and feedback demand maximized feedback and resolution.

Related to the testing of inertia, load shifting, and interaction, is defining the center of gravity for robots’ actions and applications. The center of gravity (CoG) of a robotic system is a critical factor in its stability and performance.

The CoG is the point at which the entire weight of the system is evenly distributed. If the CoG is not properly located, the system may be unstable and prone to tipping over, which could damage the robot.

For any robotic application that deploys advanced mobility features, the center of gravity can affect the way the system moves. It can also impact the exactness of its movements. Thus, it is essential to use measurement solutions that are highly precise. See: Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors.

Why Robotic Engineers Care About CoG Testing

  • Stability: The CoG is a major factor in determining the stability of a robot. If the CoG is not properly located, the robot may be unstable and prone to tipping over. This can be a safety hazard, and it can also damage the robot. It is an expensive mistake to not have stability proven before moving forward with the design.
  • Performance: The CoG can also affect the performance of a robot. If the CoG is located too high, the robot may be less maneuverable. If the CoG is located too low, the robot may be less stable. By optimizing the CoG, robotic engineers can improve the performance of the robot and use for actions that rely on exact movement.
  • Safety: In some industries, such as manufacturing, medical and aerospace, there are safety regulations that require robots to have a certain CoG. For example, in the automotive industry, robots that are used to weld cars must have a CoG that is below a certain point. By testing the CoG of their robots, robotic engineers can ensure that they are meeting safety regulations.

There are different methods for determining the CoG of a robotic system. One common method is to use strain gage load cells. Not all load cells are designed for precision measurement. Interface specializes in precision. Center of gravity testing demands strict measurement. For example, Interface compression load cells are often used in center of gravity testing for robotics because they are very accurate and can measure remarkably small forces.

Interface load cells measure force, and they can be used to determine the weight of a system at different points. By measuring the weight of a system at different points, it is possible to calculate the location of the CoG.

Interface load cells used for center of gravity testing are typically in our miniature load cell line, due to the size of the installation and testing environment. Miniature load cells are easily embedded into robotics, as well as can be used for continuous monitoring.

Surgical Robotic Haptic Force and CoG

Robots used for surgery often utilize haptic force feedback for ensuring that the surgeon does not apply too much force, creating harm or greater impact on the patient. Haptic is the use of force, vibration, or other tactile stimuli to create the sensation of touch. In the context of invasive surgery, haptic force feedback from robotics is used to provide the surgeon with feedback about the forces they are applying to the patient’s tissue. CoG testing can help to prevent the robotic arm from tipping over during surgery.

CoG testing is important for haptic force feedback in invasive surgery because it ensures that the robotic arm is stable and does not tip over during surgery. The CoG is the point at which the entire weight of the robotic arm is evenly distributed. If the CoG is not properly located, the robotic arm may be unstable and prone to tipping over. This can be a safety hazard for the surgeon and the patient.

CoG testing is also used to optimize the design of the robotic arm for haptic force feedback. CoG testing using precision load cells can verify the performance of the robotic arm in haptic force feedback applications. After the robotic arm has been designed and optimized, CoG can ensure that the robotic arm is able to provide the surgeon with the feedback they need to perform surgery safely and accurately.

Robotic Center of Gravity on Production Line

A company is developing a new robotic arm that will be used to simulate human behavior on a manufacturing product line. The robotic arm will be used to pick and place products, and it is important that the arm is stable and does not tip over. To ensure the stability of the robotic arm, the company needs to determine the CoG of the arm. The load cell is placed on the arm, and the arm will be moved through a range of motions. The data from the load cell will be used to calculate the CoG of the arm.

CoG Testing and Multi-Axis Sensors

Multi-axis load cells are growing in use for robotics testing to provide data across 2, 3 or 6 axes at any given time. These high functioning sensors are ideal for robotic tests where there are simulations of human behaviors. This is detailed in Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life.

To perform CoG testing using precision load cells, a robotic system can be placed on a platform that is supported by the load cells. We call these force plates. The load cells measure the weight of the system at different points, and the data is then used to calculate the location of the CoG. Visit our 6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm application note to learn more about force plates and multi-axis sensors.


Benefits Of Using Precision Load Cells for CoG Testing:

  • Interface precision load cells provide advanced sensors functional beyond contact and simple indicator measurement, to maximize robotic feedback and optimize performance.
  • Interface precision load cells can provide accurate measurements of the weight of a robotic system at different points.
  • Interface precision load cells are repeatable and dependable, which means that the results of CoG testing are consistent when testing robots and cobots.
  • Interface precision load cells are easy to use, which makes them a practical option for CoG testing and integration into the actual robot.

There are several benefits to using an Interface Mini Load Cells, like our ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell or MBI Overload Protected Miniature Beam Load Cell for high accuracy CoG testing.

First, the miniature load cell is small and lightweight, which makes it easy to attach to the robotic arm. Second, the load cell is designed for precision measurement, which ensures that the CoG of the arm is accurately determined. Third, the quality of Interface precision load cells provides repeatable and dependable measurement, which means that the results of CoG testing are consistent.

Using a miniature load cell of high accuracy is a valuable way to test the CoG of a robot used to simulate human behavior on a product line. This ensures that the robot is stable and does not tip over, which is critical for safety and efficiency.

In addition to testing the CoG of a robotic arm, other tests for these types of robotics include the weight of the arm, the distribution of the weight of the arm, and the friction between the arm and the surface it is moving on. By considering these factors, it is possible to accurately determine the CoG of a robotic arm and ensure that it is stable and safe to operate.

There are many factors that can affect the accuracy of CoG testing using load cells, including the design, capacity and range of measurement of the load cells, the stability of the platform, and the distribution of the weight of the system.

CoG testing is an important part of the design and development of robotic systems. By determining the CoG of a system, it is possible to improve its stability and performance. If you are interested in learning more about CoG testing using Interface precision load cells, please contact us.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Types of Robots Using Interface Sensors

Robotic Grinding and Polishing

Collaborative Robots Using Interface Sensors

Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors

Using Multi-Axis Sensors to Bring Robotics to Life

Robotic Surgery Force Feedback

IoT Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

Force Measurement Solutions for Advanced Manufacturing Robotics

Reduced Gravity Simulation

Tank Weighing and Center of Gravity App Note

 

Automation-and-Robotics-Case-Study

Types of Robots Using Interface Sensors

Robots are increasingly being used in a wide range of applications, from manufacturing and healthcare to entertainment and defense. As robots become more sophisticated, the need for accurate and reliable force measurement becomes even more critical.

Interface load cells and torque transducers are commonly used in the design and testing of new robots. Our sensor technologies are used to measure and monitor forces and loads experienced by various robot components. Load cells are used to measure the forces exerted by robotic arms and grippers, while torque transducers are used to measure the torque generated by motors. Multi-axis load cells are growing in use with robotic engineers throughout the R&D phases for more measurement data to make smarter decisions in design and use of the robot.

The use of Interface load cells and torque transducers in robotics offers several benefits. First, they can help to improve safety by detecting excessive forces or overloads. Second, they can help to optimize performance by providing feedback about the forces being applied by the robot. Third, they can enable more sophisticated control of robotic systems by providing real-time data about the forces and torques being generated. Our miniature load cells are commonly used by robotic OEMs to provide control and feedback during use.

Types of Robotics Using Sensor Technologies

Autonomous robots are engineered to operate independently without human intervention. They are often used in applications such as space exploration, agriculture, and transportation. Cobots work in collaboration with humans, enhancing skills, providing safety, or replacing tedious tasks to increase productivity. Read more in our Advancements in Robotics and Cobots Using Interface Sensors case study. The following highlights robot types that utilize Interface measurement solutions.

Industrial Robots: These robots are used in manufacturing and assembly processes to automate tasks that are repetitive, dangerous or require precision. They are used in a variety of industries such as automotive and aerospace. Robotic arms are frequently used in industrial automation. Check out our Industrial Robotic Arm App Note.

Medical Robots: These robots are used in healthcare applications, such as surgical procedures, diagnosis, and rehabilitation. They are often designed to be highly precise and can perform tasks that are difficult for human surgeons to perform. Learn more: Robotic Surgery Force Feedback

Military and Defense Robots: These highly skilled robots are used in military applications, such as bomb disposal, reconnaissance, and search and rescue missions. They are often designed to operate in dangerous environments where it is not safe for humans.

Educational Robots: These robots are used to teach students about robotics, programming, and technology. They are often designed to be easy to use and intuitive, allowing students to experiment and learn through hands-on experience.

Entertainment Robots: These robots including animatronic robots are designed for amusement purposes, such as robotic toys or theme park attractions. They interactive and engaging, incorporating features like voice and facial recognition. Read about this type of use case here: Animatronics

Consumer Product and Service Robots: These robots are designed to interact with humans and perform tasks such as assisting in healthcare, cleaning, or entertainment.

Why Interface Supplies Robotic Manufacturers with Load Cells

Measurement solutions, including load cells, play a vital role in the design, testing, and operation of robots by providing valuable information about forces, loads, and weights. They contribute to enhancing safety, optimizing performance, and enabling more sophisticated control of robotic systems.

Load cells are used to measure the forces exerted by robotic arms and grippers. By integrating load cells at key points in the robot’s structure, engineers can monitor the forces and torques experienced during operation. This helps in optimizing the robot’s performance, ensuring it operates within safe limits, and improving its control algorithms.

To determine the weight of the robot itself or the payload it carries, sensors are vital. The measurement data is crucial for stability analysis, power calculations, and designing the mechanical structure of the robot to ensure it can handle the intended loads. This is extremely important when utilizing robots in industrial applications for lifting and weighing.

Utilizing robots in production lines requires integrated sensors into robots to protect everyone and the equipment. Integrating load cells into robotic safety systems helps to detect excessive forces or overloads. If a load cell detects a force beyond the specified limit, it can trigger emergency shutdown procedures to prevent damage to the robot or injury to nearby humans.

Calibrating robotic systems in the design phase by using transducers ensures accurate measurement of forces and torques is very important. They are used during testing to validate the performance of the robot under different operating conditions and loads. This data helps engineers fine-tune the control algorithms, improve the robot’s efficiency, and identify potential weaknesses or areas for improvement.

A quality force measurement solution is ideal for real-time feedback about the forces being applied by the robot. This feedback can be used in closed-loop control systems to regulate and adjust the robot’s movements, gripping force, or interaction with the environment. Load cell data can also be integrated into the robot’s control system to ensure accurate and precise force control.

Robotics_InfographicPoster

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES

Interface Sensors Used for Development and Testing of Surgical Robotics

6-Axis Force Plate Robotic Arm

Automation and Robotics Demands Absolute Precision

Robotic Arm Animated Application Note

Industrial Robotic Arm App Note

 

Interface Releases New ConvexBT White Paper

To meet the demand for the ever-evolving technological landscape, Interface is constantly gathers input from our customers across all industries and global network of test and measurement professionals to understand trends and sensor requirements for today and into the future. These valuable insights drive our new product introduction strategy and evaluations into how we can best solve your challenges.

In this new white paper, Ted Larson, VP Product & Project Management, and James Richardson, Mechanical Engineering Manager, highlight our recent introduction of a revolutionary load button load cell. We have captured the journey of our design story, along with detailing the innovative features, capacities, and benefits of our new ConvexBT Load Button Load Cell. Access the entire paper.

ConvexBT was introduced due to the growing trend of electronics miniaturization going on throughout nearly every hardware industry in the world. Original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are packing more capabilities into smaller and smaller packages, and as product size shrinks testing sensors and equipment must downsize to match. ConvexBT is engineered to fit in tight spaces to test compression force with ultimate precision. It’s well-suited for industries like medical and industrial, where product miniaturization is prevalent throughout.

You can see some of the other recent ConvexBT highlights and use cases here:

[White Paper] ConvexBT The Most Innovative Load Button Load Cell

Advancing Load Button Load Cell Capabilities with ConvexBT 

Robotic Arm Application Note

Sensor Tips Magazine Highlight of ConvexBT

ConvexBT also includes some incredibly novel design choices that helps with rejection of misaligned loads, as well as temperature compensation. This makes it not only the most accurate load button load cell on the market, but also the most flexible. To learn more about ConvexBT and the unique design, capacity ranges, technical specification and more, download the white paper here.

Robotics in Play with New Animated Application Using ConvexBT

Numerous factors are driving the industry 4.0 revolution. From big data to IoT technology, industrial facilities and manufacturing plants are looking at new ways to automate their process and create a more efficient and cost-effective environment. One of the most important technology advancements in this mix is robotics.

Robotic equipment is a common industry 4.0 innovation used to create an autonomous or semi-autonomous machine capable of carrying out a variety of repetitive tasks that used to take up the time of skilled labor. Some of the tasks or processes that robotics enhance include stock management and logistics, manufacturing automation, janitorial duties and, there are even robotic applications called co-bots that assist human workers when ultra-high precision is needed.

To facilitate the demand for robotics, a variety of sensor and measurement components are necessary to ensure the highest quality and reliability of these application. Many tasks carried out by robotic applications are ultra-precise and require more accuracy than what a human hand or eye can handle.

Sensor technologies embedded in the actual robotics instrument must also be used to constantly calibrate or monitor the robotics. If robotics is used on an automated manufacturing line, any issues with the robotics can disrupt and compromise the entire process. Therefore, robotics manufacturers utilize Interface solutions when they need quality sensors that can monitor the precision of the robotics and ensure that their accuracy and reliability is maintained.

Interface develops high-quality test and measurement solutions designed for hardware testing of all kind. For robotics, our products are frequently used as a component within an OEM device. We understand the premium accuracy and reliability necessary to help develop robotics solutions and have provided both off-the-shelf and custom force measurement solutions designed to meet a variety of applications. We recently created an animated application note on an industrial automation robotic arm using our new light weight, light touch load button load cell, the ConvexBT.

The ConvexBT is designed for testing and also for full integration into the robotic element to measure the force pressure during use.  ConvexBT is available in multiple capacities, including our latest release of the 500lb and 1Klb models.

NEW! Interface Robotic Arm Application Note

A customer came to Interface with a robotic arm product that would be used to lift and move delicate objects, such as a glass bottle, in an automated environment. The goal in using Interface was to find a force measurement product that could ensure the robotic arm did not damage the products it was moving by applying too much force. The main component that Interface products would be applied to is the robotic arms’ clamp. The objective was monitoring the grabbing pressure of the clamp and ensure that the device would stop applying pressure when the necessary force was used to pick up the object without doing damage.

Using its new line of Load Button Load Cells, ConvexBT, and a DMA2 DIN Rail Mount Signal Conditioner, Interface provided a solution that would produce an electric signal on the clamping process that tells a controller to have the device stop applying pressure. Two ConvexBT products were connected underneath the rubber pads on both sides of the robotic arm clamping device. When the clamps made contact and applied pressure, the DMA2 Signal Conditioner converted the signal from the ConvexBT from MV/V to volts to a PLC controller. This signal tells the controller when to have the robotic arm stop applying clamping force.

Ultimately, the two ConvexBT Load Button Load Cells were able to accurately measure the amount of pressure applied to the object the robotic arm was lifting and moving without causing any harm or damage to the object.

This is just one of many examples of force measurement products being used in the robotics and automation industry. As the demand for robotics grows and a wider variety of applications are introduced, Interface will continue to engineer the best solutions to help customers reach the age of Industry 4.0.

To learn more about Interface solutions for the robotics and automation industry, please visit /solutions/. You can also check out our case study on the for industrial automation and robotics use here.