Universal Robotics, Motoman partner on 3D vision systems

Vision software and industrial robots will be combined to make materials handling more accurate, efficient and cost-effective.

11/12/2009


Universal Robotics 3D vision technology image

Universal Robotics technology, which is not dependent on a particular hardware platform, allows moving machines to learn through interaction with the physical world. Feedback to Spatial Vision 3D vision software in real time (called "visual servoing") enables what the company calls Neocortex reactive automation during task completion. Neocortex software reportedly optimizes patterns of similar tasks over time, resulting in long-term adaptive automation.

Universal Robotics, Inc. and Motoman, Inc. today announced a partnership to develop and market a new 3D vision system solution for a variety of robotic applications. The companies will integrate Universal's Spatial Vision self-calibrating 3D vision software in Motoman's industrial robots. The first Spatial Vision-enabled robots will target material handling applications, from 3D bin picking to racking, and will be available in early 2010, according to Roger Christian, vice president of marketing and international groups at Motoman .

Christian said Universal's Spatial Vision software will allow Motoman "to set a new price-performance point in the robotic 3D vision systems market." Current 3D robotic vision systems require extensive programming and laborious setup, and can be very costly to implement and maintain, he said. These factors have limited the wide adoption of the technology.

The Spatial Vision system enables automatic self-calibration, full color and high definition images, and millimeter accuracy within a robot's work envelope. The system can "automatically identify any dynamic point in 3D space and calculate the distance to this point using inexpensive web cams," said Christian, and "delivers accurate, full-frame color results at 960 by 720 pixels four to five times per second."

David Peters, CEO of Universal Robotics , said Spatial Vision software gives robots the real-time high-fidelity input necessary to react to their physical environments. "This is an important step towards Universal's efforts to enable machines to efficiently perform difficult or dangerous tasks," he said. Universal Robotics creates software that enables machines to learn from their experiences, react and adapt to their surroundings, and perform tasks that are costly, dangerous or difficult for humans to undertake. The company's signature technology, Neocortex, which was developed over seven years at NASA and Vanderbilt University, can increase efficiency and worker safety in applications including warehousing, mining, handling hazardous waste and automated vehicles such as forklifts.

- Edited by Renee Robbins, senior editor
Control Engineering News Desk

Machine Control, Motion Control news from Control Engineering





No comments
The Top Plant program honors outstanding manufacturing facilities in North America. View the 2013 Top Plant.
The Product of the Year program recognizes products newly released in the manufacturing industries.
The Leaders Under 40 program features outstanding young people who are making a difference in manufacturing. View the 2013 Leaders here.
The new control room: It's got all the bells and whistles - and alarms, too; Remote maintenance; Specifying VFDs
2014 forecast issue: To serve and to manufacture - Veterans will bring skill and discipline to the plant floor if we can find a way to get them there.
2013 Top Plant: Lincoln Electric Company, Cleveland, Ohio
Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Plant Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.

Bring focus to PLC programming: 5 things to avoid in putting your system together; Managing the DCS upgrade; PLM upgrade: a step-by-step approach
Balancing the bagging triangle; PID tuning improves process efficiency; Standardizing control room HMIs
Commissioning electrical systems in mission critical facilities; Anticipating the Smart Grid; Mitigating arc flash hazards in medium-voltage switchgear; Comparing generator sizing software

Annual Salary Survey

Participate in the 2013 Salary Survey

In a year when manufacturing continued to lead the economic rebound, it makes sense that plant manager bonuses rebounded. Plant Engineering’s annual Salary Survey shows both wages and bonuses rose in 2012 after a retreat the year before.

Average salary across all job titles for plant floor management rose 3.5% to $95,446, and bonus compensation jumped to $15,162, a 4.2% increase from the 2010 level and double the 2011 total, which showed a sharp drop in bonus.

2012 Salary Survey Analysis

2012 Salary Survey Results

Maintenance and reliability tips and best practices from the maintenance and reliability coaches at Allied Reliability Group.
The One Voice for Manufacturing blog reports on federal public policy issues impacting the manufacturing sector. One Voice is a joint effort by the National Tooling and Machining...
The Society for Maintenance and Reliability Professionals an organization devoted...
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
Maintenance is not optional in manufacturing. It’s a profit center, driving productivity and uptime while reducing overall repair costs.
The Lachance on CMMS blog is about current maintenance topics. Blogger Paul Lachance is president and chief technology officer for Smartware Group.