Autonomous rolling-stock coupler inspection using industrial robots

Randika K. W. Vithanage*, Colin S. Harrison, Anjali K.M. De Silva

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)
146 Downloads (Pure)


In railway rolling-stock maintenance, where the environment is highly unstructured and unpredictable, the detection and localization of smaller components is difficult and remains a key challenge in introducing autonomous systems. This paper presents the design and evaluation of a system, which allows industrial robots to inspect the electric head of railway couplers. The system developed comprising multiple sensors and active compliant end of arm tooling, is robust to noise and ambiguities. Successful validation of the system is achieved using both an actual coupler in its working environment and an experimental setup that includes a commercial grade industrial robot and a mock coupler.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-91
Number of pages10
JournalRobotics and Computer-Integrated Manufacturing
Early online date28 Mar 2019
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2019


  • 3D-image processing
  • force-control
  • sensor fusion
  • autonomous maintenance

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Engineering(all)


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