Eyes for Robots

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we design visions forrobotic applications

Robots and Machine Vision

Machine vision is the ability of a machine to capture images, analyse them, understand them, and then react accordingly. Depending on the entrusted task, the vision system may consist of simple vision sensors or intelligent cameras, as well as an image processing interface, a processor and an appropriate software. The process begins with imaging and then automatic image analysis and extraction of the necessary information. If detection of an element that does not meet the appropriate parameters, the appropriate signal is sent to the control system, which removes the defective product. The machine vision supports large-scale production manufacturing, ensuring the appropriate quality of goods and their compliance with customer requirements. Machine vision systems are increasingly becoming a necessary element of the production process.

Machine vision systems are increasingly being used to guide robots’ actions — a trend that has grown out of recent advances in affordable machine vision technologies and industrial computing power. When coupled with 2D or 3D sensors, robots can be made to perform a wide variety of tasks, from basic inspection to more complex operations.

“How you respond to the challenge in the second half will determine what you become after the game, whether you are a winner or a loser.”

Although machine-guided robotics can involve 2D sensors, our company focuses on 3D vision systems, which operate in conjunction with higher-performing six-axis or SCARA robots. There are several 3D sensor technologies to choose from, including laser displacement, structured light, and point cloud, which involves generating a list of three-dimensional coordinates to represent an object’s surface in space. The 3D camera generates the point cloud, and then image processing software analyses the point cloud file to guide the robot.

Due to its speed, accuracy and repeatability, the vision system can inspect hundreds or even thousands of parts per minute on the production line. Built around the appropriate resolution of the camera, it easily checks the details of objects too small for the human eye. Human eyes are able to perceive radiation in the electromagnetic wavelength range from 390 to 770 nm. In contrast, cameras can pick up a much wider range of wavelengths. Some machine vision systems operate in the infrared (IR), ultraviolet (UV), or X-ray range. Industrial vision systems, compared to optical inspection, are more accurate, faster and are not exposed to fatigue, distraction or disease. As a result, they reduce the number of defective components, while also reducing the human labor required for quality control.

A machine vision systems use sensors integrated with robots and computer solutions for viewing and recognising objects. Machine vision is used in a variety of industrial processes, such as material inspection, object recognition, pattern recognition, electronic component analysis, along with the recognition of signatures, optical characters, and currency. Even the food and beverage manufacturers apply machine vision systems to monitor quality. In the medical field, machine vision systems are used in medical imaging and examination procedures.

Lighting plays an essential role in image quality.

Lighting elements are synchronised with image capture. They can be integrated within a camera, or attached to it as an external device. The technology ensures that even rapidly moving objects are perfectly illuminated with maximum precision and strobe intensity.
Since too much or too little light can spoil the accuracy of images, it is important to consider environmental conditions, artificial light and shadows to be able to clearly capture parts’ edges and features.