Robotic Vision Systems refers to cameras and sensors added to robotic automations that enables them with greater positional accuracy and dexterity necessary for more challenging applications. Enhanced robotic automations contribute to decreased manual labor and improved accuracy and quality.
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As automation technology in warehouses has evolved, Robotic Vision Systems (RVS) have emerged, giving robotic applications “eyes” to “see” by perceiving, interpreting, acting, and learning within their surroundings, mimicking human visual capabilities. This capability has expanded the use of robot-based warehouse automations as robotic visions systems allow for additional applications.
Robotic vision systems are made up of several complex, sophisticated processes. The combination of these processes allows robotic vision systems to acquire visual data, process and interpret this data, and then take actions based on the interpretation. Let’s explore each part of this process.
1. Data Acquisition: Cameras and Sensor Data
High-speed, high-tech cameras and sensors serve as the first layer of a robotic vision system. These cameras and sensors capture images and digital representations of the physical world and turn this information into actionable, virtual data sets. Objects, patterns, shapes, colors, anomalies and other relevant data are acquired.
2. Data Processing: Real Time Path Planning and Decision Making
With the virtual data captured above , the data is processed swiftly and accurately. Robotic vision systems use powerful computer processing coupled with advanced software and algorithms to determine the best path for the robot to take in 4 dimensions (x, y, z, and time). This processing capability is also finding multiple plausible moves to make and deciding which next move has the greatest degree of confidence for success. This is all done through software.
3. Action: Execute the Work
Armed with multiple route plans, and a comparative analysis of which move out of a set of possible moves has the highest probability of success, the robot can now execute a specific task such as picking up an object and placing it in a bin.
4. Learn: Improve Performance through Machine Learning
Machine learning algorithms enable robotic vision system applications to learn from data and real world results to improve their object recognition and decision-making over time. This allows for more accurate and efficient picking, sorting, placement, and overall performance. The system adapts and improves on its own without reprogramming or significant input from humans.
The wide variety of applications for robotic vision systems demonstrates why this technology is so valuable for warehouse automations.
Robots equipped with proper end effectors coupled with a robotic vision system can enable individual piece picking applications for ecommerce fulfillment or any other application requiring the manipulation and control of individual items such as a shirt in a plastic bag, or a tube of toothpaste. The resulting “hand-eye coordination” enabled by both the end effector and robotic vision system unlocks significant new capabilities within the warehouse.
Individual items or larger boxes can be automatically acquired and subsequently placed by a robot onto induction belts or directly onto an adjacent sorter. This application would not otherwise be possible without a robotic vision system to acquire relevant sensor data, determine the best acquisition route, and execute the work.
Put Wall Sortation
In many ecommerce fulfillment applications, multiple individual items within an order come from different areas in a warehouse and arrive at different times. A put wall can be used to consolidate these items and are traditionally done manually. Robotic vision systems can automate this task entirely, making an otherwise “extra touch” in the fulfillment process an automated one, thereby reducing labor.
Object Recognition and Sorting
Robotic vision systems excel at recognizing objects, distinguishing between shapes, sizes, and colors. They're capable of sorting items with astounding speed and accuracy, revolutionizing industries like manufacturing and logistics.
In the world of e-commerce, packaging individual items into a shipping container is a recurring opportunity to reduce labor. Robotic vision systems can enable more efficient packaging operations by picking and placing items directly into a poly bagger, coldseal line, or corrugated box prior to seal.
Efficient inventory management is a crucial aspect of many industries. RVS ensure precise tracking, minimizing losses, and ensuring that shelves are stocked with the right items, at the right time.
There are two primary categories of Robotic Vision Systems (RVS) — 2D Systems and 3D Systems.
Robotic Vision Systems are versatile tools with applications across various industries:
Manufacturing: Picture robots efficiently managing assembly lines, inspecting products with unmatched precision, and ensuring every item meets stringent quality standards.
Logistics: Envision warehouses bustling with automated activity as robots tirelessly move goods, sort packages, and optimize storage space, ensuring seamless supply chain operations.
Agriculture: Imagine autonomous drones hovering over vast fields, assessing crop health, and ensuring efficient planting and harvesting, leading to more sustainable and productive agriculture.
Healthcare: Consider robotic surgical assistants aiding surgeons with unparalleled precision, or autonomous robots delivering medications to patients, improving the accuracy and efficiency of healthcare services.
Retail: Visualize smart shelves that keep track of inventory, replenishing products as they run low, and checkout processes that become frictionless, thanks to automation.
Robotic Vision Systems have transcended their initial niche and are now integral to countless sectors, driving efficiency, accuracy, quality and productivity.
Robotic vision systems’ ability to perceive, interpret, and act upon visual information has allowed for the automation of processes across a variety of industries, but especially in warehouse automation. Integrating RVS into your warehouse will increase productivity and order accuracy throughout your warehouse. Interested in learning how Maveneer can bring robotic vision systems to your warehouse? Contact Maveneer today!