TM Robotics, the company with European responsibility for Toshiba Machine’s Industrial Robots, has announced an innovative conveyor tracking system that uses high speed machine vision.
Based on the company’s TH450 SCARA robots linked to solid state cameras, the system not only tracks objects as they are carried on a moving conveyor, but the robot’s vision system will also discriminate between parts and orientations without special user programming.
Using the new conveyor tracking system, it is also possible to construct an inexpensive and automated line using an existing vision sensor (linked via industry-standard Ethernet). The robot can perform all necessary handling of the moving workpieces, taking account of the conveyor speed, and without ever needing to stop the conveyor.
The vision sensor picks up references from moving parts located in the workpiece detection area, just downstream of the robot itself, then automatically identifies each workpiece position on the conveyor. It can also perform discriminative handling of only items of a specified type among multiple types running on the conveyor.
The robot is also capable of performing sorting handling, in which it randomly picks up workpieces of multiple types running on the conveyor to group them according to type.
The new system has been designed for multiple conveyors – for example, the conveyor tracking synchronisation can be executed on one conveyor, while a previous conveyor synchronisation remains deployed on a second.