OMRON develops 3D vision sensor for robot hands

OMRON develops 3D vision sensing technology for robot hands
OMRON's high-speed, 3D vision sensing technology for compact vision sensors will enable robots to perform fast and accurate assembly of bulk parts. (OMRON)

OMRON Corporation has developed a high-speed, 3D vision sensing technology for compact vision sensors that three-dimensionally recognizes the position and orientation of target objects. Incorporating this technology with robots will enable fast and accurate assembly of bulk parts by automating the conventional human-intensive process. A compact 3D vision sensor based on this technology is expected to be commercialized in 2020.

To automate the picking of bulk parts performed by humans in an assembly process, robots need to be equipped with "eyes", thus requiring high-speed 3D vision sensing technology capable of instantly recognizing part position and orientation. To this end, both of the two component technologies of 3D measurement to generate 3D images of a shape, and 3D recognition to recognize the position and orientation of the target object, need to be faster.

Measurement by conventional phase-shifting 3D measurement technology requires time, since 10 or more images need to be captured. Instead, OMRON developed a 3D measurement technology capable of generating a 3D image of a target object in a single shot using a proprietary pattern illumination. In addition, by extending the high-speed 2D search technology it accumulated in the image processing field to 3D, OMRON developed a high-speed object position and orientation recognition algorithm for 3D recognition technology. These technologies allow for high-speed part recognition for fluid part picking in approximately 0.5 seconds.

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Furthermore, mounting cameras onto compact robot hands became possible as OMRON's proprietary pattern illumination reduced the camera size and weight to approximately 500 g. The 3D vision sensor's visual point can be moved in accordance with the part setup, allowing for flexible picking of parts in various positions and orientations.

OMRON will unveil a picking system based on the TM-series Collaborative Robot and 3D vision sensor which will contribute to the realization of a flexible manufacturing site where humans and machines work together in harmony. The technology will be exhibited later this month in Tokyo.

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