Combining Robots and Vision

Nov. 10, 2020
Omron Automation’s 3D cameras and artificial intelligence-driven vision are designed for precise picking of objects with varying weights, shapes, and orientations.

Visitors to Omron Automation’s exhibit at PACK EXPO Connects can’t help but notice the company’ vision and robotics. This is particularly noticeable in two of Omron’s demos—one featuring the integration of its new FH Series 3D vision system with its TM collaborative robot, and the other focused on the combination of delta robots, motion control technologies, and Omron’s Sysmac safety and HMI technologies.

Looking first at the use of Omron’s new 3D camera with collaborative robots, Danielle Belskis, automation engineer at Omron Automation, said Omron developed the FH Series 3D camera to solve robotic bin picking applications. “Our collaborative robot, when equipped with our new 3D vision camera, is able to pick up known objects with random overlapping positions out of a bin. Traditionally, this was difficult to automate due to varying weights, shapes, and orientations of objects that require 3D location and different forces during picking. The FH Series 3D camera locates the various objects in the bin and sends their coordinates to the robot, while the cobot’s software makes the advanced calculations required for optimized trajectory and force to pick up objects.”

Though demonstrated with Omron’s TM cobot, Belskis noted that the camera can be integrated with a variety of robot arms. She added that this combination of 3D camera and collaborative robot can be assembled on top of Omron's mobile robot to pick parts from a row of multiple bins and place them in another location.

The FH Vision system from Omron is a small, lightweight FH 3D sensor that measures 100x100x50mm and weighs about 0.5kg, allowing it to be mounted on a robot arm. It can detect parts in 3D in 0.5 seconds, and can also be used for 2D applications.

Omron Automation also highlighted the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) to its FH vision system for advanced defect detection during production at PACK Expo Connects.  Here, the company combines its delta robots, motion control technologies, and its Sysmac safety and HMI technologies. Alexander Ormerod, automation engineer at Omron Automation, explained that the addition of artificial intelligence (AI) to its FH vision system enables advanced defect detection. He also noted how its tools—like AI Fine Matching and pre-trained scratch detection—can boost the accuracy and speed of visual inspection on flexible production lines.

Ormerod said Omron’s AI controller can identify abnormal machine behavior, by leveraging real time data and machine learning to minimize downtime and realize cost savings. 

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