Accuracy evaluation of hand-eye calibration techniques for vision-guided robots

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Abstract

Hand-eye calibration is an important step in controlling a vision-guided robot in applications like part assembly, bin picking and inspection operations etc. Many methods for estimating hand-eye transformations have been proposed in literature with varying degrees of complexity and accuracy. However, the success of a vision-guided application is highly impacted by the accuracy the hand-eye calibration of the vision system with the robot. The level of this accuracy depends on several factors such as rotation and translation noise, rotation and translation motion range that must be considered during calibration. Previous studies and benchmarking of the proposed algorithms have largely been focused on the combined effect of rotation and translation noise. This study provides insight on the impact of rotation and translation noise acting in isolation on the hand-eye calibration accuracy. This deviates from the most common method of assessing hand-eye calibration accuracy based on pose noise (combined rotation and translation noise). We also evaluated the impact of the robot motion range used during the hand-eye calibration operation which is rarely considered. We provide quantitative evaluation of our study using six commonly used algorithms from an implementation perspective. We comparatively analyse the performance of these algorithms through simulation case studies and experimental validation using the Universal Robot’s UR5e physical robots. Our results show that these different algorithms perform differently when the noise conditions vary rather than following a general trend. For example, the simultaneous methods are more resistant to rotation noise, whereas the separate methods are better at dealing with translation noise. Additionally, while increasing the robot rotation motion span during calibration enhances the accuracy of the separate methods, it has a negative effect on the simultaneous methods. Conversely, increasing the translation motion range improves the accuracy of simultaneous methods but degrades the accuracy of the separate methods. These findings suggest that those conditions should be considered when benchmarking algorithms or performing a calibration process for enhanced accuracy.
Original languageEnglish
Article numbere0273261
Number of pages26
JournalPLoS ONE
Volume17
Issue number10
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 19 Oct 2022

Bibliographical note

© 2022 Enebuse et al. This is an open
access article distributed under the terms of the
Creative Commons Attribution License, which
permits unrestricted use, distribution, and
reproduction in any medium, provided the original
author and source are credited.

Funder

The work of Hafiz Ahmed was supported through the Sêr Cymru II 80761-BU-103 project by Welsh European Funding Office under the European Regional Development Fund. The funders had no role in study design, data collection and analysis, decision to publish, or preparation of the manuscript.

Keywords

  • Algorithms
  • Calibration
  • Hand
  • Robotics - methods
  • Rotation

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