The recent advancement of 3D non-contact laser scanners enables fast measurement of parts by generating huge amount of coordinate data for a large surface area in a short time. In contrast, traditional tactile probes in the coordinate measurement machines (CMM) can generate more accurate coordinate data points in a much slower pace. Therefore the combination of laser scanners and touch probes can potentially lead to more accurate, faster and denser measurement. In this paper, we develop a dynamic sensing-and-modeling approach for integrating a tactile point sensor and an area laser scanner to improve the measurement speed and quality. The part is first laser scanned to capture the overall shape of the object. It is then probed via a tactile sensor at positions are dynamically determined to reduce the measurement uncertainty based on a novel next-best-point formulation. Technically, we use the Kalman filter to fuse laser scanned point cloud and tactile points and to incrementally update the surface model based on the dynamically probed points. We solve the next-best-point problem by transforming the B-spline surface’s uncertainty distribution into a higher dimensional uncertainty surface so that the convex hull property of the B-spline surface can be utilized to dramatically reduce the search speed and to guarantee the optimality of the resulting point. Three examples in this paper demonstrate that the dynamic sensing-and-modeling effectively integrates the area laser scanner and the point touch probe and leads to significant amount of measurement time saving (at least several times in all three cases). This dynamic approach’s further benefits include reduced surface uncertainty due to the maximum uncertainty control through the next-best-point sensing and improved surface accuracy in surface reconstruction through the use of Kalman filter to account various sensor noise.

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