Calibration of robot tools and sensors

In order for industrial robots to execute complex manipulation tasks, the exact positions of components inside the robot cell need to be identified. Without knowing the positions of tools and sensors on the end effector of the robot, the tool cannot be moved along a defined path.


Fraunhofer IPA calibrates your specific robot tool, therefore identifying the relative position of all components relevant to the process.

  • Calibration of robot sensors: 3D, 2D or 1D measuring systems
  • Calibration of different types of tool: welding tips, milling tools, bonding devices, grippers
  • Design of calibration systems tailored to your needs
  • Measurement of your robot cell and robot tools with our in-house measuring equipment (e.g. laser tracker, Nikon K600); determination of exact sets of parameters for calibrating cells and tools

Although standard robotics methods are easy to apply, the results obtained are not accurate enough for precise applications. From experience, we have found out that reliability problems with a lot of systems is due to the imprecise calibration of the robot cell. Fraunhofer IPA enables you to calibrate your robot components accurately to assure reliable, higher-quality processes.


The accurate calibration of your robot tools allows you to implement robots for complex manufacturing processes. By combining sensors with a tool at the level of the end-effector, the robot is given hands and eyes which enable it to adapt autonomously to its environment and react to any changes within it. Processes can only be performed accurately if the exact position of the sensors and tool are known. As no manual intervention is necessary to modify robot paths or spend valuable time mounting workpieces into fixed devices, the system become much more productive. In many cases, reliability problems with existing systems can be solved by accurately calibrating the end-effector and the robot cell.

Sample applications

  • Deburring
  • Milling
  • Quality assessments
  • All high-accuracy and sensor- controlled robot processes

One example of the importance of calibrating robot tools accurately is rounding component edges with a robot-based milling process. A laser sensor identifies the position of the component and the edge to be milled in the submillimeter range. To do this, the sensor has to be calibrated to a tenth of a millimeter and a hundredth degree in six dimensions. The position of the tool on the robot also has to be precisely identified. Only then can the subsequent milling process be executed with the required degree of accuracy and the milling tool be moved along the edge of the component.