Available Technology

Collaborative robot motion and force-torque gauges

The development of a new generation of industrial robots having multiple arms, smarter, easier to program, and can work side-by-side with human workers and other robots promises to revolutionize the manufacturing industry. However, the collaborative performance of the multiple arm operation is difficult to measure.

NIST has invented a multiple armed robot motion gauge (metrology bars) that provides the accuracy, repeatability, and reproducibility errors of the multiple arms’ transport and the positioning and manipulation of objects in three-dimensional (3D) space through the application of proper force and torque. These metrology bars use specially designed magnetic coupling grippers for easier mounting of the robot arms. Sensor adaptability allows for accurate weight selection possible. Additionally, these metrology bars are connected to data collection, storage, and analysis units that can display the test analysis results.

Prototypes of the invented device are built and thoroughly tested.

Patent Abstract: 

A collaborative robot motion gauge determines a motion of a collaborative robot and includes: a bar; a dextral metrology member disposed on the bar; a dextral motion coupler moveably disposed on the bar; a dextral displacement sensor disposed on the dextral metrology member in communication with the dextral motion coupler; a dextral arm coupler disposed on the dextral motion coupler and that: couples to a dextral arm of the collaborative robot to the dextral motion coupler; communicates motion of the dextral arm to the dextral displacement sensor; and moves the dextral motion coupler in response to motion of the dextral arm; a sinistral metrology member disposed on the bar at a sinistral position; a sinistral motion coupler; a sinistral displacement sensor in communication with the sinistral motion coupler; and a sinistral arm coupler that couples a sinistral arm to the sinistral motion coupler.


These two performance measurement devices are simple, inexpensive, light weight, transportable to the robot work site, and easy to operate.


Nicholas G. Dagalakis and Sik Kim Yong

Patent Number: 
Technology Type(s): 
Manufacturing and Precision Measurement
Internal Laboratory Ref #: 
Patent Issue Date: 
August 11, 2020
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