Artificial intelligence-based robot cell “sees in 3D” with two Ensenso cameras

Artificial intelligence-based robot cell “sees in 3D” with two Ensenso cameras

Neocortex bin picking is fast, flexible and self-learning

A six-axis robot with multifunctional gripper, a modular artificial intelligence software platform (Neocortex®), and Ensenso stereo 3D cameras: these are the key components of the new Neocortex® Goods to Robot (G2R) Robot Cells of the American software company and integrator Universal Logic.

Depending on the requirements, different versions of the cells are available and used for the automated processing of consumer goods. The robot picks up a wide variety of items from containers, transport boxes, conveyor belts or pallets and places them in cartons, bags or mechanical devices.

Artificial intelligence-based robot cell “sees in 3D” with two Ensenso cameras

Neocortex G2R cells can read barcodes, identify labels or take measurements. They can be used both for finished products and within production processes. They handle thousands of different products reliably, at high speed - 500-900 cycles per hour - and are cost-efficient at 7$ per hour in two-shift operation over 5 years, whether leased or purchased.

They are controlled by the Neocortex AI software platform, which extends perception, directs grasping, and guides the robot. Its artificial intelligence gives the cells a human-like flexibility. Programming or CAD data in advance are not necessary, the robot learns its tasks. The system has also been designed to match existing human-sized spaces and is therefore ready for use without major adaptations - within a day. The latest version Neocortex 5.0 even provides enhanced mixed piece picking, multi-configurations of finger grasping, and integration of new sensors and PLCs.

The cells are equipped with the industrialized high-speed, high-resolution Stereo 3D Cameras of the Ensenso N-Series from IDS Imaging Development Systems. Depending on the task, 2 or 3 cameras per cell deliver the necessary visual information.

Jeremy Bergh, IDS Imaging Sales Director of North America, points out, “IDS is constantly pushing the envelope on what’s possible in speed and resolution for imaging, and working with Universal on their bin picking applications has enabled state-of-the-art solutions.” Hob Wubbena, Vice President, Universal Logic, mentions: “The Ensenso 3D sensor provides both the accuracy and speed needed for the different requirements of our robotic cells. The reliability of the Ensenso 3D cameras helps us ensure long-term customer satisfaction in critical operations”.

The Ensenso 3D cameras work according to the "projected texture stereo vision" principle. Each model has two integrated CMOS sensors and a projector that casts high-contrast textures onto the object to be captured by using a pattern mask. The cameras are available with USB or GigE interface and are designed for working distances of up to 3,000 mm as well as variable picture fields. They capture both stationary and moving objects. Depending on customer´s requests most of the models meet the requirements for protection code IP65/67 and are therefore protected against dirt, dust, water splashes or cleaning agents.

The flexibility of the Neocortex G2R robot cells enable applications from e-commerce order fulfillment to machine tending to bin picking sorting systems. The Smart Factory of Industry 4.0 is possible when these cells are combined with the 3D Vision Technology of the Ensenso camera series.