Machine Learning Methods to Improve the Accuracy of Industrial Robots 2023-01-1000
There has been an ongoing need to increase the application of industrial robots to complete high-accuracy aerospace manufacturing and assembly tasks. However, the success of this is dependent on the ability of robotic systems to meet the tolerance requirements of the sector. Machine learning (ML) robot error compensation models have the potential to address this challenge. Artificial neural networks (ANNs) have been successful in increasing the accuracy of industrial robots. However, they have not always brought robotic accuracy within typical aerospace tolerances. Methods that have not yet been investigated to further optimize the use ANNs used in ML robot error compensation methods are presented in this paper. The focus of ML compensation methods has dominantly surrounded ANNs; there have been little to no investigations into other types of ML algorithms for their suitability as robot error compensation models. The success of ANNs to date proves the capability of ML algorithms for this task, and therefore other ML algorithms should be investigated to determine their capability to potentially improve industrial robot accuracy. This paper takes a novel approach by investigating the Support Vector Regression (SVR) ML algorithm to compensate for robot error. The ML models in this research were trained using measurement data captured using a laser tracker and collaborative robot. The ANN model reduced the mean error by 46.4%, 94.8%, and 95.8%, in the x, y, and z-axis, respectively. The SVR model reduced the mean error by 42.4%, 95.9%, and 98.4%, in the x, y, and z-axis, respectively, demonstrating its ability to be implemented as a robotic error compensation model. The success of both the ANN and SVR algorithms enforces the need for further research into other ML algorithms as robot error compensation models, and there is also still potential to further optimize the algorithms used.