In multi-robot assembly of parts, for successful mating, the grasped parts must be located with sufficiently small position and orientation errors so that assembly can be achieved. This paper describes a new approach for determining the absolute three-dimensional spatial location of parts grasped by robots during assembly. Through a
combination of robot pose calibration and part-sensor calibration, the robot, used to grasp the part, is calibrated to accurately position and orient parts to a designated mating location. First, by employing a robot pose measurement system, the 6 DOF robot pose errors relative to a reference coordinate frame are compensated. Second, with the implementation of a part pose measurement, the 6 DOF part pose errors, relative to the robot tool frame, are estimated in real time. An experimental verification of the proposed methodology using a single FANUC S–110 robot manipulating an automotive sheet metal part is described.