A Novel Approach to 3D Contour Recovery using Structured-Light Mounted to a Robotic Manipulator

S. van Delden and N. Tobias (USA)


Industrial Robotics, Structured Light, Contour Recovery, Computer Vision.


This paper describes a novel approach to 3D contour recovery using structured light in which a single camera and simple laser dot projector are mounted to the end of a robotic manipulator. Distance from the robotic end effector and a surface can be calculated from the triangular geometry created by the camera, the laser, and the projected laser dot. The transformation relating an initial projection of the laser dot in the robot coordinate system must be calibrated. However, the primary contribution of this work is that a mm/pixel ratio does not need to be calibrated. Furthermore, camera/robot and camera/laser transformations do not need to be calibrated. The approach has been implemented along with a typical mm/pixel calibrated method. These approaches also use different data point collection techniques – a synchronous versus an asynchronous approach. This work has been implemented and tested on a Stäubli RX60 robotic manipulator with CS7B controller onto which an inexpensive off-the-shelf USB camera and laser-dot pointer were mounted with a bracket. Experimental test results are reported.

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