Robotic applications of a machine vision system

A machine vision system is employed in a robot for recognizing the objects. It is commonly used to perform the inspection functions in which the industrial robots are not involved. It is usually mounted in a high speed production line for accepting or rejecting the work parts. The rejected work parts will be removed by other mechanical apparatuses that are in contact with the machine vision system.

A machine vision system can be incorporated with an industrial robot for performing the following three important tasks such as:

  • Inspection
  • Identification
  • Visual servoing and navigation

Inspection:

The industrial robots are only used to support the machine vision system when it performs the inspection tasks. During this process, it checks for accurate surface finish, exact dimension, errors in labeling, presence of holes in the work parts, and other factors. The machine vision system carries out this inspection processes automatically with less time and errors. In addition, the human workers can also perform these operations manually, but there is a high possibility of error occurrence and increased operation time.

Identification:

In this process, the machine vision system performs recognizing and categorizing of work parts instead of inspecting it. It also helps in determining the work part’s position and orientation. Some of the operations accomplished by a machine vision system in the identification process are work part palletizing and depalletizing, object sorting, and gripping the parts oriented from a conveyor. A robot is used in these tasks to take successive action and decision.

Visual servoing and navigation:

In this application, a machine vision system controls the actions of a robot according to the visual input. For example: In robot visual servoing process, a machine vision system directs the path of robot’s end effector to a work part in the work cell. Some applications of this category consist of positioning of work parts, seam tracking, bin picking, and retrieving and re-orienting the work parts that are moving along a conveyor. With the help of visual data, the navigational control can be used in collision protection and automatic path planning of a robot.

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