Automated Machine Vision

Oct 20, 2013

Industrial robots are becoming increasingly more accurate and precise with the integration of machine vision. With the help of cameras and sensors, the industrial robots can provide even more accuracy and consequently a better quality product.

Once they were blind, but now they can see. Increased accu­ra­cy of vision guid­ance sys­tems ensures increased robot­ic accu­ra­cy. While vision doesn’t make robots self-aware, it gives them the abil­i­ty to locate parts to be picked up, deter­mine where to apply a weld, inspect assem­bled parts, and deter­mine where to place a part.

Cam­eras are becom­ing more pow­er­ful and accu­rate in indus­tri­al robot­ics. More sin­gle cam­era 3‑D sys­tems are avail­able, which is a per­fect match for robots oper­at­ing with­in six degrees of free­dom. Robot-mount­ed cam­eras gen­er­ate images to refine an object’s posi­tion through tri­an­gu­la­tion, ensur­ing high accuracy.

With cam­eras that alle­vi­ate light­ing issues, along with more accu­rate soft­ware and more rugged equip­ment, vision guid­ance sys­tems are becom­ing more robust and powerful.

KUKA Vision Robot

Stereo­scop­ic vision guid­ance pro­vides sys­tems that are capa­ble of locat­ing objects as well as track­ing and pre­dict­ing their loca­tion in motion. Res­o­lu­tion and accu­ra­cy have improved in the stereo­scop­ic sys­tems, and they no longer require calibration.

Almost every appli­ca­tion now relies on machine vision. As robot­ic vision guid­ance becomes more accu­rate, it facil­i­tates more pre­cise weld­ing process­es. Typ­i­cal weld­ing appli­ca­tions require accu­ra­cy to with­in a mil­lime­ter, and this is achiev­able with machine vision. Even for appli­ca­tions requir­ing near-per­fect weld­ing such as air­craft welds, the soft­ware can run a weld­ing bead to with­in 10 microns.

Assem­bly appli­ca­tions allow enhance­ments to robot­ic vision guid­ance on the micro and nano-lev­els. Machine vision can locate minis­cule objects and zoom to val­i­date posi­tions. Res­o­lu­tion goes to the micron range. The vision guid­ance sys­tem must have a high res­o­lu­tion to ensure the robot cho­sen for micro-assem­bly appli­ca­tions has repeata­bil­i­ty and accuracy.

The robot must be cal­i­brat­ed with the vision guid­ance sys­tem to main­tain prop­er posi­tion­ing when the robot per­forms its tasks. The robot must under­stand what the vision cam­era sees. End-users must recal­i­brate the vision sys­tem occa­sion­al­ly when the focus is changed. 

Prop­er light­ing is crit­i­cal for vision for func­tion con­sis­tent­ly and to report part posi­tion to the robot. Lights should be arranged to cast dif­fused light instead of direct light when set­ting up a robot­ic guid­ance vision sys­tem. Struc­tured LED light­ing in robot­ic machine vision appli­ca­tions ben­e­fits the user by low­er­ing costs and min­i­miz­ing effects of incon­sis­tent lighting. 

Fanuc’s engi­neers are ded­i­cat­ed to devel­op­ing inte­gral robot­ic vision prod­ucts, pro­vid­ing a top lev­el of per­for­mance and reli­a­bil­i­ty. Fanuc’s iRVi­sion offers sev­er­al products: 

  • 2D Vision guid­ance accu­rate­ly moves the robot to the loca­tion of the part with­out the need for expen­sive posi­tion­ing fixtures. 
  • 3DL Vision guid­ance pro­vides the abil­i­ty to quick­ly find parts posi­tion (X,Y,Z) and ori­en­ta­tion (W,P,R).
  • Visu­al Line Track­ing pro­vides the abil­i­ty to pick prod­ucts from a mov­ing conveyor. 
  • Vision Guid­ed De-pal­letiz­ing allows for the 2D cam­era sys­tem to lever­age the size of parts to deter­mine the depth of parts.

Motoman offers Moto­Sight 2D, ide­al­ly suit­ed for robot guid­ance, error proof­ing, part iden­ti­fi­ca­tion and inspec­tion, and high-speed pick­ing. Moto­Sight 2D with MotoPick locates ran­dom­ly ori­ent­ed prod­ucts on a mov­ing con­vey­or belt. Moto­Sight 3D Cor­texVi­sion sim­pli­fies the use of 3D vision in robot­ic guid­ance appli­ca­tions, idea for pre­cise part loca­tion, rack­ing, dis­pens­ing, machine load­ing, prod­uct sort­ing, and weld­ing. Moto­Sight 3D Spa­tial Vision deliv­ers scal­able 3D vision guid­ance for six degrees of posi­tion and pose information.

Robots​.com can help you inte­grate a vision machine sys­tem into your facil­i­ty. Con­tact us to learn more online or at 8777626881.

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