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Robot Calibration is the process of determining the actual values of kinematic and dynamic parameters of a robot. Kinematic parameters describe the relative position and orientation of joints in the robot while the dynamic parameters describe arm and Joint masses and internal friction.

Calibration is important process to improve the accuracy of movements and measurements.

Calibration can be done in many ways, using cameras, using laser sensors or using pre-defined positions. (by moving the robot’s body parts all the way to the end of their gear for example.) In many cases calibration is performed when the robot is being placed in a frame. Since the frame is static, every joint gets into a pre-defined position with well-known kinematic values. Once in the frame, the computer can read the values from the relevant sensors (such as a Rotary Encoder which reports the current angle of a specific motor) and then reset its software to the local-zero of each joint using the pre-defined values obtained by the frame.

Calibration can be done on the sensor level as well. This is important when relying on a color ‘temperature’, on a distance from a Laser Rangefinder an Ultrasonic Sensor or any other sensor. The accuracy of sensor’s reading is important when including the data in a calculation and making decisions based on that. (for example: an Autonomous car’s camera must be calibrated correctly so the red light on a traffic light will be identified as ‘red’, and not offset to yellow, as it may lead to a wrong decision)
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