Optimisation of surface coverage paths used by a non-contact robot painting system
McPherson, Finlay Neil
MetadataShow full item record
This thesis proposes an efficient path planning technique for a non-contact optical “painting” system that produces surface images by moving a robot mounted laser across objects covered in photographic emulsion. In comparison to traditional 3D planning approaches (e.g. laminar slicing) the proposed algorithm dramatically reduces the overall path length by optimizing (i.e. minimizing) the amounts of movement between robot configurations required to position and orientate the laser. To do this the pixels of the image (i.e. points on the surface of the object) are sequenced using configuration space rather than Cartesian space. This technique extracts data from a CAD model and then calculates the configuration that the five degrees of freedom system needs to assume to expose individual pixels on the surface. The system then uses a closest point analysis on all the major joints to sequence the points and create an efficient path plan for the component. The implementation and testing of the algorithm demonstrates that sequencing points using a configuration based method tends to produce significantly shorter paths than other approaches to the sequencing problem. The path planner was tested with components ranging from simple to complex and the paths generated demonstrated both the versatility and feasibility of the approach.