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 Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control 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.