Calling All Application Engineers:
VIM-201 SDK Plan


We're in the process of building a very powerful SDK (Software Development Kit) which will be available with the release of our VIM-201 camera. The SDK will come with published interfaces for image processing "finders" as well as publishing found object 3D (!) coordinates to user applications.

The VIM-201 SDK provides an interface for object finders you may have already written. Unlike any other system on the market, the SDK will track objects from frame to frame, even if they are moving. It returns not only the object coordinates (x,y,z) but also its dimensions, velocity and acceleration/deceleration! This means that your applications can now pick objects that are moving!

The VIM-201 SDK provides an interface for object finders you may have already written. Unlike any other system on the market, the SDK will track objects from frame to frame, even if they are moving. It returns not only the object coordinates (x,y,z) but also its dimensions, velocity and acceleration/deceleration! This means that your applications can now pick objects that are moving!

Our object tracking capability means that for the first time, your application will be able to track objects from frame to frame while the robot is still in motion! The power of this is really something to consider. It also means your application will be able to target items that are moving such as a box on an unsynchronized conveyor. Our Vision-in-Motion technology even enables us to even report the velocity and acceleration/deceleration of objects.

We're not afraid of motion, we thrive on it. But what nobody has ever done before is this: Our SDK will track all this for you!

If that weren't enough, we'll also provide robot control for advanced applications, enabling even a UR robot to change trajectories before reaching an intermediate way point. Our robot control software (under development) permits continual updating of the trajectory as the vision system detects changes in the scene.

We're looking for knowledgeable applications engineers who are willing to take a little time to review our interfaces and offer their insights and advice as we progress. If you're interested in participating, please send an email to:

Caine.OBrien@VisualRobotics.com.

VIM-201 Beta Testing Underway

We're pleased to share that our VIM-210 Beta1 build went well and we are now testing and tuning. The hardware is solid enough that we've initiated a pilot build that will begin in early July.

The only meaningful difference between Beta1 and follow-on builds is that Beta1 has a plastic case, and Beta2/Pilot will have a machined aluminum case and be ready for IP65/67 testing.

In the meantime, software development is in full swing, along with some demonstration development.

20190613_171109+v2.jpg

Applications Everywhere!!

We are finding that our Vision-in-Motion technology is proving to be even more potent than we thought.  Everywhere we look we see another application that becomes feasible with our new vision systems. We've learned that what used to be considered a 3D vision system problem can readily be addressed with our Vision-in-Motion 2½D.

The reason this matters, is that processing with our 2½D technology is drastically faster- perhaps 10X faster, than existing 3D approaches.  And that kind of a speed advantage makes the difference between an application that is practical for real-world use and one that is not.  Here are some examples:

Visually-guided Box Picking   In a production environment, there are countless applications involving boxes- depalletizing boxes, palletizing boxes, packing boxes, putting boxes into secondary packaging, and so on. Instead of spending money on expensive fixturing, visually-guided box handling makes it possible to pick and orient boxes as a human might do. And if boxes are arriving on a conveyor or down a chute, with our  Vision-in-Motion  technology, we can pick them while they are moving,  without requiring conveyor synchronization.  Even more, our vision-guided performance is essentially as fast as a blind robot!

Visually-guided Box Picking

In a production environment, there are countless applications involving boxes- depalletizing boxes, palletizing boxes, packing boxes, putting boxes into secondary packaging, and so on. Instead of spending money on expensive fixturing, visually-guided box handling makes it possible to pick and orient boxes as a human might do. And if boxes are arriving on a conveyor or down a chute, with our Vision-in-Motion technology, we can pick them while they are moving, without requiring conveyor synchronization. Even more, our vision-guided performance is essentially as fast as a blind robot!

Following a Line   There are many applications that require following a templated line or pattern in order to cut a shape out of a piece of material. Rigid materials such as steel are fairly straightforward for traditional robots to follow a pattern.  But what happens if the material is flexible like  rubber ,  fabric , or  plastic ? What if it moves or deforms while being cut? That would require a vision system that can maintain its course even when things move a bit, like our  Vision-in-Motion  technology can do. We're currently working on a research project for a large manufacturer facing exactly that problem. In this image we're investigating the tracing of an outline using a pencil as a stylus.

Following a Line

There are many applications that require following a templated line or pattern in order to cut a shape out of a piece of material. Rigid materials such as steel are fairly straightforward for traditional robots to follow a pattern.

But what happens if the material is flexible like rubber, fabric, or plastic? What if it moves or deforms while being cut? That would require a vision system that can maintain its course even when things move a bit, like our Vision-in-Motion technology can do. We're currently working on a research project for a large manufacturer facing exactly that problem. In this image we're investigating the tracing of an outline using a pencil as a stylus.

Exciting Times!

Things are happening!  The team is growing, and product development is progressing at a rapid pace.  We have recently added a mechanical engineer, an optics engineer, and a hardware design engineer, as well as a part-time accountant.  We're continuing to look for a Windows application software developer, and an embedded software developer. Referrals appreciated!!

Side Camera Beta.png

First Look at Beta VIM-201 Camera


We are putting the finishing touches on our Beta side-mount VIM-201 camera, and will send it to manufacturing very shortly.  Note how the inbound location of cable connections reduces the effective overall length.  All the insights gained from testing our prototype and Alpha versions are rolled in, as well as being designed to support IP 67, and possibly (to be tested) IP65 industrial duty standards.  The Beta version will be more than ready for pilot projects, and we have three under active consideration now.

2-1/2D Smart Camera Development

Under Development: Incredible 2-1/2 D Smart Camera for Industrial Robots

Over the last few months we have been developing our 2-1/2D arm-mounted robot camera, the VIM-201. We are pushing the boundaries of using 2D cameras to solve 3D problems, opening up an enormous number of new applications to robotic automation.  Incorporating our patent-pending Vision-in-Motion™ technology, this camera enables robots to perform "pick and place" applications at unprecedented speed and with greater flexibility than is presently possible. 

Our Alpha cameras are up and running although quite a bit bulkier than their final form factor will be.  To prove their performance, we have developed a robot demonstration that shows off some truly remarkable pick and place feats. We are now defining the final packaging form. While we thought we might make a wrist camera like Robotiq (only dramatically faster!) we are now leaning toward a very compact side-mount camera. Be sure to sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date!

Planning for Dramatic Growth!

Up until now, Visual Robotics has been self-funded from consulting engagements for customers like Digimarc and ADASA.  While we will continue to take on consulting work, our focus is now on product development, marketing, and sales in order to grow the company.

Our goals include hiring six more people early in 2019, releasing our first solution to production by mid-year, and finishing 2019 with a thriving revenue stream.  To that end we are looking to hire:

  • Marketing manager

  • Software application developer

  • Embedded/control software engineer

  • Sales representative. 

If you know of people who might be qualified and interested in one of these positions please have them get in touch via our Contact page.

Market Feedback Says "Yes!"

As we develop our products, we are checking in with other players in the industrial robotics market as we go.  At a recent trade show in Santa Clara, CA, we heard again and again, "You solve the vision problem, and you've really got something."  Our system integrator partners have also made it clear that this is game-changing. One firm was so impressed by our pick and place capabilities that they wondered if we were somehow cheating in our videos!
 

We are continually reaching out to technical contacts for constructive feedback on our solutions, and will be working with system integrators on pilot projects.  We'll continue validating our approach with the market and honing our story for a product launch in 2019.  We are interested in meeting with any technology or industry leaders you may know and would welcome an introduction- please reach out to Caine or Bryan.