Four LiDAR Alignment Methods for Robotics Navigation

With automated guided vehicles (AGVs), accuracy is critical for success. If the AGV can’t navigate to the exact location and perform a task, safety and productivity is at risk. The same can be said for a robot performing a task.

In most cases, a sensor that uses infrared technology is commonly used to monitor potential hazards for robotics and AGV/AGC navigation applications. Past technology has made it challenging to get precise measurements once installed on the AGV or robot. As a result, SICK has developed an alignment aid that will help properly align a sensor for precise navigation.

With this new alignment aid, there are now four main methods for sensor alignment, listed below in order from least precise to most precise.

  1. Scan-Finder LS-80L – This product (available through SICK) is essentially a stud finder for infrared lights. It does work, but, because it only detects presence or absence and not the exact middle, it can be hard to be accurate with this method.
  2. Night Vision Goggles – These can be purchased anywhere, even possibly using a children’s toy or an app on an Android phone. It detects infrared light as a stripe around the room. As you can guess, this method only works at night in ideal conditions, making it challenging to find a proper place to test alignment.
  3. Measurement Data Feedback – With this method, you can get a bit more precise than the previous two. You simply place an object in range and then use measurement data to see how far apart the AGV and the object are from each other. No equipment is needed, but it isn’t always accurate as this method has the potential for human error through calculations.
  4. Alignment Aid – A new accessory created by SICK, this bar can detect infrared lights emitted from a sensor and then calculates all areas (top, middle, and bottom) and provides visual feedback of where the center of the beam is.

Precise Alignment for Robotics Navigation Applications

With the creation of this new accessory, SICK can now provide high-quality alignment data to its customers so you can ensure your AGVs/AGCs and robots are working with maximum precision and safety. The alignment aid works on any sensor that uses infrared technology, whether it be the safety laser scanners like the microScan3 or LiDAR technology like the TiM.

Want to see how the alignment aid could benefit you? Contact your SICK representative today!

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