Activities Robotics and Machine Dynamics

Permanent staff J.B. Jonker, R.G.K.M. Aarts

Research objective

This research program deals with the tracking control of robotic manipulators for laser welding of three-dimensional seams in sheet metal.

Robotic manipulators for the production of high quality laser welds require control techniques for seam tracking, i.e. positioning the laser beam relative to the seam.

Research concentrates on improving the tracking behaviour of robotic manipulators through the use of advanced control techniques. Vision based seam tracking equipment is utilised to directly measure the location of the seam trajectory. Seam tracking is concentrated on the development of advanced seam tracking algorithms for laser welding. Attention is paid to the behaviour of a seam tracking sensor, the role of errors in the kinematic manipulator model and the importance of accurate calibrations of the sensor and laser tool centre points.

A finite element based method is used for analysing the dynamic behaviour of manipulators including the effects of link flexibility, joint friction and their control system characteristics. A general purpose computer program called “SPACAR” has been developed. It has interfaces to the MATLAB and SIMULINK environment.


  • Ir. D. Iakovou, ‘Development of an integrated laser robot welding head’
  • Ir. W. Hakvoort, ‘Iterative learning control for robotized laser welding’