Continuous Collision Detection of Pairs of Robot Motions Under Velocity Uncertainty

E. Åblad, D. Spensieri, R. Bohlin, A-B.Strömberg, in IEEE Transactions on Robotics, p. 1-12. 25 January 2021


In automotive manufacturing, production systems typically involve multiple robots and, today, are being individualized by utilizing the concept of digital twins. Therefore, the robot programs need to be verified for each individual product. A crucial aspect is to avoid collisions between robots by velocity tuning: This involves an efficient analysis of pairs of robot paths and determining if swept volumes of (sub) paths are disjoint. In general, velocity uncertain motions require disjoint sweep volumes to be safe. We optimize a clearance lower bounding function to provide new sample points for clearance computations. Due to the computational cost of each distance query, our sampling strategy aims to maximize the information gained at each query. The algorithm terminates when robot paths are verified to be disjoint or a collision is detected. Our approach for disjoint paths is inspired by the technique for continuous collision detection known as conservative advancement. Our tests indicate that the proposed sampling method is reliable and computationally much faster than creating and intersecting octrees representing the swept volumes.


Photo credits: Nic McPhee