High accuracy mobile robot positioning using external large volume metrology instruments

Z. Wang*, M. Liang, P. G. Maropoulos

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)


A method of accurately controlling the position of a mobile robot using an external large volume metrology (LVM) instrument is presented in this article. By utilising an LVM instrument such as a laser tracker or indoor GPS (iGPS) in mobile robot navigation, many of the most difficult problems in mobile robot navigation can be simplified or avoided. Using the real-time position information from the laser tracker, a very simple navigation algorithm, and a low cost robot, 5mm repeatability was achieved over a volume of 30m radius. A surface digitisation scan of a wind turbine blade section was also demonstrated, illustrating possible applications of the method for manufacturing processes. Further, iGPS guidance of a small KUKA omni-directional robot has been demonstrated, and a full scale prototype system is being developed in cooperation with KUKA Robotics, UK.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)484-492
Number of pages9
JournalInternational Journal of Computer Integrated Manufacturing
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 16 Mar 2011
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This research has been carried out as part of the IdMRC at the Department of Mechanical Engineering of the University of Bath, under EPSRC Grant Nos. EP/E002617/1 and EP/ E00184X/1. The funding of EPSRC and the support of our industrial partners is gratefully acknowledged. This article has been presented in the DET2009 conference held at the University of Hong Kong during 14–16 December 2009 and included in the conference proceedings published by Springer.


  • automated guided vehicle
  • iGPS
  • laser tracker
  • metrology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering


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