Software Enabling Automatic Self-Calibration of Robots

Maintaining the accuracy of robotic systems (e.g., robot arms and external sensors) in dynamic environments and under heavy duty cycles is often difficult due to factors including vibration, hard contact, and general wear and tear. As a result, beyond initial system calibration, frequent re-calibration may be needed. This is the case for collaborative robots (“cobots”) in particular, which typically incorporate lower-cost, person-safe arms and lighter, less rigid sensor mounts. TECHNOLOGY

  • A novel approach for quickly calibrating mobile robotic manipulators
  • The software makes use of readily-available surfaces in the robot’s immediate environment to establish subcentimetre-level post-calibration accuracy


  • Maintaining robotic accuracy in dynamic settings is difficult due to factors including vibration, movement, contact, and general wear and tear
  • Growing use of ‘Cobots’: Our technology will help to make it easier for collaborative robots (“cobots”) to work effectively alongside humans to enhance efficiency, safety, and quality. Humans physically interact with lower-cost and person-safe cobots in shared workspaces, especially in manufacturing, logistics, healthcare, and the service industry. The cobot market is expected to be a $1.2 billion opportunity by 2021, a CAGR of 42% from 2016, according to Frost & Sullivan
  • In areas where traditional calibration is difficult, our method calibration method can used where external fiducial markers or fixed sensors are not possible including in heavy industry, defence, aerospace, mining


  • This technology enables in-line, automatic sensor-to-manipulator calibration thereby reducing the downtime and associated costs for calibration vs. current methods:
    • Non-specialist calibration using onboard hardware and software manually updated by specialist
    • Calibration within minutes several hours
    • In-line calibration in a specialized area
    • Enables fully automatic self-calibration using specialized equipment


  • The technology is now available for licensing and a PCT application has been filed
  • Future work includes:
    • Developing tools for ongoing accuracy monitoring and preventative intervention
    • Further reducing the time needed for calibration




Calibration , Manufacturing , Robotics , Sensors & Instrumentation , Software

VPRI Contact

Kurtis Scissons

Director, University Ventures
Innovations & Partnerships Office (IPO)
(416) 978-3557

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