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1. WO2020141455 - ROBOTIC TARGET ALIGNMENT FOR VEHICLE SENSOR CALIBRATION

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[ EN ]

CLAIMS

1. A robotic system for aligning a target to an equipped vehicle for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle, said system comprising:

a vehicle support stand upon which an equipped vehicle is stationarily disposed in an established known position for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle;

a robotic manipulator that is moveable longitudinally toward and away from said vehicle support stand, wherein the robotic manipulator comprises a multi-axis robotic arm; a target, with said robotic arm configured to moveably hold said target for multi-axis movement of said target;

wherein said robotic manipulator is configured to position said target into a calibration position relative to the sensor on the equipped vehicle by longitudinal movement of said robotic manipulator relative to said vehicle support stand and by movement of said robotic arm based on the established known position of the equipped vehicle on said vehicle support stand whereby the sensor is able to be calibrated using said target.

2. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said robotic manipulator includes an end-effector disposed on said robotic arm, wherein said end-effector is configured to selectively grasp said target from a plurality of targets.

3. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said robotic manipulator is mounted to a base, and wherein said base is longitudinally moveable along a track in a floor support surface.

4. The robotic system of claim 3, wherein said track includes rails along which said base is moveable with said rails disposed vertically lower than said floor support surface.

5. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a plurality of locator arms with said locator arms being extendable and retractable and configured to press against tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle to orient the equipped vehicle on said vehicle support stand.

6. The robotic system of claim 5, wherein said locator arms comprise sets of forward opposed arms and rearward opposed arms, wherein said forward opposed arms are configured to extend equally in opposite directions from each other and said rearward opposed arms are configured to extend equally in opposite directions from each other.

7. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises moveable forward tire supports and moveable rearward tire supports upon which the opposed sets of tires of the equipped vehicle are disposed.

8. The robotic system of claim 7, wherein the forward tire supports comprise forward rollers and/or the rearward tire supports comprise rearward rollers.

9. The robotic system of claim 8, wherein the axis of rotation of the forward rollers and/or the axis of rotation of the rearward rollers is aligned with the longitudinal axis of the equipped vehicle.

10. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a pair of moveable forward tire supports upon which each of the forward opposed sets of tires of the equipped vehicle are disposed, and wherein each said forward tire support comprises two sets of rollers, and wherein said two sets of rollers of each said forward tire support are angled together in a V-shaped configuration for locating the equipped vehicle.

11. The robotic system of claim 10, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a pair of moveable rearward tire supports upon which each of the rearward opposed sets of tires of the equipped vehicle are disposed, and wherein each said rearward tire support comprises at least one set of rollers.

12. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a forward centering device, wherein said forward centering device is disposed beneath the equipped vehicle when the equipped vehicle is disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said forward centering device comprises a pair of locator arms configured to extend outwardly synchronously to engage an inner side of the forward tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle.

13. The robotic system of claim 12, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a rearward centering device, wherein said rearward centering device is disposed beneath the equipped vehicle when the equipped vehicle is disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said rearward centering device comprises a pair of locator arms configured to

extend outwardly synchronously to engage an inner side of the rearward tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle.

14. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand further comprises a pair of forward non-contact wheel alignment sensors disposed adjacent the forward opposed tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle when disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said forward non-contact wheel alignment sensors are operable to determine vehicle orientation information to determine the established known position of the equipped vehicle for use in positioning said target into said calibration position.

15. The robotic system of claim 14, wherein said vehicle support stand further comprises a pair of rearward non-contact wheel alignment sensors disposed adjacent the rearward opposed tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle when disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said rearward non-contact wheel alignment sensors are operable to determine vehicle orientation information to determine the established known position of the equipped vehicle for use in positioning said target into said calibration position.

17. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand is disposed above a pit configured to enable an operator to work on the equipped vehicle from beneath the equipped vehicle.

18. The robotic system of claim 1, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a lift configured to raise and lower the equipped vehicle when positioned on said vehicle support stand, and wherein the equipped vehicle is able to drive onto and off of said lift when said lift is lowered.

19. The robotic system of claim 18, wherein a plurality of non-contact wheel alignment sensors are mounted to said lift, wherein said non-contact wheel alignment sensors are disposed adjacent opposed tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle when disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said non-contact wheel alignment sensors are operable to determine vehicle orientation information to determine the established known position of the equipped vehicle for use in positioning said target into said calibration position.

20. The robotic system of claim 19, wherein said lift includes runways with said runways including moveable tire supports.

21. A method for robotically aligning a target to an equipped vehicle for calibration of a sensor on the equipped vehicle, said method comprising:

maneuvering an equipped vehicle onto a vehicle support stand, where the equipped vehicle includes a sensor and is stationarily disposed on the vehicle support stand;

moving a target held by a robotic manipulator into a calibration position for calibration of the sensor based on an established known position of the equipped vehicle on the vehicle support stand; and

performing a calibration routine whereby the sensor is calibrated using the target; wherein the robotic manipulator is moveable longitudinally relative to the longitudinal axis of the equipped vehicle on the vehicle support stand, and wherein the robotic manipulator includes a multi-axis robotic arm with said robotic arm configured to hold said target.

22. The method of claim 21, wherein said robotic manipulator includes an end-effector disposed on said robotic arm, wherein said end-effector is configured to selectively grasp said target from a plurality of targets.

23. The method of claim 21, wherein said robotic manipulator is mounted to a base, and wherein said base is longitudinally moveable along a track in a floor support surface.

24. The method of claim 21, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises a plurality of locator arms with said locator arms being extendable and retractable and configured to press against tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle to orient the equipped vehicle on said vehicle support stand.

25. The method of claim 21, wherein said vehicle support stand comprises moveable forward tire supports and moveable rearward tire supports upon which the opposed sets of tires of the equipped vehicle are disposed.

26. The method of claim 21, wherein said vehicle support stand further comprises a pair of forward non-contact wheel alignment sensors disposed adjacent the forward opposed tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle when disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said forward non-contact wheel alignment sensors are operable to determine vehicle orientation information to determine the established known position of the equipped vehicle for use in positioning said target into said calibration position.

27. The method of claim 26, wherein said vehicle support stand further comprises a pair of rearward non-contact wheel alignment sensors disposed adjacent the rearward opposed tire and wheel assemblies of the equipped vehicle when disposed on said vehicle support stand, and wherein said rearward non-contact wheel alignment sensors are operable to determine vehicle orientation information to determine the established known position of the equipped vehicle for use in positioning said target into said calibration position.

28. The method of any one of claims 21 to 27, wherein said maneuvering the equipped vehicle onto the vehicle support stand comprises driving the equipped vehicle onto the support stand.

29. The method of claim 28, wherein said method further comprises driving the equipped vehicle off the vehicle support stand after said performing a calibration routine.

30. The method of claim 29, wherein said driving the equipped vehicle off the vehicle support stand comprises driving the equipped vehicle in the same direction the equipped vehicle was driven onto the vehicle support stand.

31. The method of claim 30, wherein said driving the equipped vehicle off the vehicle support stand comprises driving the equipped vehicle toward the robotic manipulator.

32. The method of claim 31, wherein said method further comprises moving the robotic manipulator longitudinally away from the vehicle support stand prior to said driving the equipped vehicle off the vehicle support stand.

33. The method of claim 29, wherein said driving the equipped vehicle off the vehicle support stand comprises driving the equipped vehicle over a vehicle support surface within which the robotic manipulator is mounted for longitudinal movement, and/or over a track for the robotic manipulator.