Transformational 3D Visual Guidance Systems
for Industrial Robots
Visual Robotic Systems, Inc. is transforming the performance of vision-guided robots with breakthrough 3D vision systems. While vision-guided robots have many advantages over “blind” robots, until now they’ve been relatively slow and therefore limited in their usefulness. Our patent-pending “Vision-in-Motion™” technology is eliminating barriers to performance and is about to disrupt the market.
Industry invests in robots to lower the cost of production. The lower the initial investment (including fixture investments), and the faster the performance (as measured by cycle time) the higher the ROI. Visual Robotics is about to transform robot return on investment.
Visually-guided Robot Picking Boxes from a Conveyor
The above video introduces our market position and provides a demonstration showing a sequence of increasingly difficult tasks.
The video below shows how our Vision-in-Motion VIM-201 camera makes it possible for a visually-guided robot to rival the speed of a blind robot picking boxes from random heights and stacking them in a single pile. We’ve never seen a UR3 perform pick and place anywhere near this fast- have you?
Here’s another example- moving golf balls from a bowl into a 3X4 pallet.
Since robot productivity is measured in cycle time, competitive cameras and software are at a disadvantage. They require robots to stop, take a picture, process the image and location, and then resume, increasing cycle time by 50% or even more. This means they run so slowly that countless applications cannot currently be addressed with visually-guided robots in any practical way. With Vision-in-Motion eliminating this performance barrier, the robot itself is far more likely to be the speed limitation than our vision system. Now, visually-guided robots can take on countless tasks that were previously impractical.
Why Vision-guided Systems Used Have Historically Been So Slow
Until now, the challenge has been far more than to build a camera that captures video at an acceptable frame rate. The system also has to determine the position of a robot head in real time, capture a video frame, correlate the image with location information, and interpret the image to determine if some action is warranted. Until now, this has not been possible without interrupting the robot’s motion because image and location correlation was so slow. This results in a “stop-image-restart” cycle that slows down robots considerably. In fact, one company that claims to offer state-of-the art 3D imaging runs at only 3 frames per second.
It’s time to envision the future.
The costs of setting up fixtures for blind robots to perform a repetitive task can be as much or more than the cost of the robot itself. Moving to a visual system dramatically reduces the cost and time to set up a robot because it accommodates variation in its environment.
A vision guided robot can be used for a wide variety of tasks with only minor setup changes and little or no changes required for its surrounding fixtures. A faster vision system such as ours means that an even wider range of tasks can be performed by a single machine, providing greater flexibility on the line.
Our Breakthrough Solutions
Visual Robotics’ patent-pending technology fully correlates image and location information at unprecedented speeds. We do this without the “stop-image-restart” interruption in robot motion required by other systems. The result is that vision guided robots can now operate at speeds approaching that of blind robots!
Our VIM-201 3D Robot Guidance System, available later this year, will put many previously impossible robot applications well within reach. And it will accomplish this while also offering quicker setup, and lower investment in fixtures and conveyances.