The NIST robot test bed is located in the NIST machine shops on the main campus in Gaithersburg, Maryland. It serves as a resource for research in advanced manufacturing, robotics, and material handling. The test bed contains an industrial robot arm that can be mounted on a linear rail or on a pedestal. Various grippers, conveyors, and sensors are installed in the test bed, and an automatic guided vehicle (AGV) is used for material handling and vehicle safety research. The test bed is augmented with a highly accurate simulation system that models the real components and interacts with the real test bed. The test bed includes a number of measurement devices, including a high resolution laser tracker that can accurately measure the locations and orientations of parts in motion and a motion capture system that is used to track people moving in and around the test bed. The robot includes a tool changer and vision and force-torque sensors. Advanced vehicle navigation systems are installed in the Shops to help guide the vehicle and the test bed and vehicle are controlled using the NIST 4D/RCS control system. Research in the facility focuses on human-robot collaboration, improvements to robot safety standards, and performance evaluation of robots, industrial vehicle systems, sensor systems, and dexterous manipulation for industrial applications. Research is also conducted on validating simulation systems.
Specifications / Capabilities:
The robot is a six degree of freedom arm with a payload of 20 kg. It has a working reach of 1.667 m, with repeatability of 0.08 mm. The linear rail adds a seventh degree of freedom to the arm. It is 3 m tall and has 3.6 m of travel. The maximum speed of the system is 2 m/s. The laser tracker has a 40 m measurement radius and sub-micrometer resolution. Other measurement systems are available as needed.
This test bed may be available for use by those outside NIST, but it must be operated by EL staff. Collaborative programs may be arranged on a cost reimbursable basis.
Name: Michael Shneier