Robot dog project to improve MAX IV’s bluelining works

Robot dog project to improve MAX IV’s bluelining works

Alina Andersson and Buster, the robot dog, during measurements tests done at MicroMAX hutch on Thursday (7/10)

MAX IV had a special visitor yesterday (7/10) named Buster; a robot dog produced by Boston Dynamics. It is part of a thesis project between the Survey, Alignment, and Mechanical Stability (SAM) team; led by Alina Andersson, and LTH engineers; Ola Nilsson (student) and Mathias Haage–senior lecturer at Robotic and Semantic systems LTH, who are trying to find good use of the robot in MAX IV’s bluelining works.  

Bluelining is a labor-intensive and time-consuming process undertaken by the SAM team to measure the positioning of any sensitive equipment installation at MAX IV. This measurement process is carried out within micrometer precision to be able to ‘catch the light’.  

“The robot is helping with sensitive equipment positioning today– to find the exact position where we should install equipment on the space. So instead of me, it’s the dog. We learned a lot about the robot’s physics: how it can turn and how it can’t turn and what it can do. The robot’s vision system is very different from ours, and it’s very interesting to test. It was very successful for a beginning,” explained Andersson.  

Andersson and the team tried to apply the robot dog’s capabilities to the methods available at MAX IV, specifically focusing on the interplay between a laser tracker and a reflector ball.  

“So, the ball is the reflector; it receives and sends back the laser to the laser tracker. We put the ball on the robot’s back and analyzed how it worked with the laser tracker. Then I know where the ball is in the space, and then I can mark the floor for sensitive equipment positioning. The ball is the connection between the CAD model and me—the design and the reality”, said Andersson. 


Buster will be back

The ongoing collaborative project gained a lot of insight from yesterday’s try-out, and additional improvements will be made for better positioning works. The SAM team is also working on their own robot, and therefore knowledge sharing with LTH engineers is imperative. 

“The robot will be upgraded so that it will have an arm on top; then it will visit MAX IV again. We learned from our measurements today, and we will perform better measurements next time,” said Andersson. 

The robot dog is a part of a collaborative project between LTH’s Center for Construction Robots and PEAB, aiming to use it for building inspections.


Watch our conversation with Alina Andersson (SAM team) here: