An efficient strategy for robotic surface finishing of curved surfaces that includes real-time identification of the surface profile, control, and implementation is presented in this paper. Real-time identification of the surface profile in the robot base frame is accomplished by employing a proximity laser sensor mounted on the robot end-effector. This surface profile description allows us to generate trajectories for both motion and force control as it provides the surface normal at each point of the surface. Using the surface profile, a trajectory is generated that would orient the surface finishing tool to the local normal of the surface. An algorithm for simultaneous position and force control is developed for surface finishing of curved surfaces. The integrated robotic surface finishing system consists of a UR5 robot and a custom end-effector that includes a force/torque sensor, an electromechanical sander, and the proximity laser sensor. Robot Operating System (ROS) is utilized for real-time implementation, which would enable easy migration of the developed tools if other industrial robots are used. The effectiveness of the strategy is evaluated by conducting a number of experiments for flat and curved surfaces. A representative sample of results on force regulation and surface finishing are presented and discussed.

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