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Sensor Solutions for Mobile and Stationary Robotic Applications

How intelligent sensors enhance robotics applications to improve supply chain operations.

Intelligent sensor solutions from SICK enhance mobile and stationary robotic applications. From 3D vision robot guidance systems for more efficient bin picking to safety and LiDAR solutions for AMRs, SICK prioritizes improving the supply chain.

Superior Safety Sensors for Small Mobile Robots

Small mobile robots just got safer. As mobile robots continue to trend smaller, stringent safety requirements for safe operation remains. But where do you put the safety sensors as the installation space becomes increasingly tight?

The nanoScan3 is the world’s smallest profile safety laser scanner on the market. Its space-saving design works perfectly in mobile robotics applications, but also in stationary applications where space is limited. It delivers high-precision measurement data and is extremely resistant to light, dust, or dirt. It also has the highest level of flexibility with up to 128 freely configurable fields and monitoring cases.

The nanoScan3 combines smart safety functions with excellent measurement data quality for accurate and reliable localization. With an overall height of just over three inches, this space-saving sensor can be used wherever machines and vehicles require maximum performance, but have minimal mounting space. This enables manufacturers to use small AGVs or mobile robots equipped with SICK’s leading-edge safety technology.

LiDAR Localization Solutions for Automated Industrial Vehicles

Vehicle tracking and localization software within a manufacturing setting is essential in order to safely collaborate with robotic vehicles. As a result, one challenge associated with the tracking of these autonomous vehicles is a loss of tracking guidance that leads to the potential for unplanned vehicle stops and fleet jams. But in the near future, this will be a thing of the past for automated industrial trucks in the area of intralogistics.

Using the LiDAR-LOC software from SICK, automated guided vehicles, carts, and robots can continue to remain on track even if the magnetic or optical-guide tape happens to be missing. The system uses the 2D measurement data of the surroundings acquired by SICK safety laser scanners, which are often already present onboard the vehicle as electro-sensitive protective devices.

The LiDAR-LOC hybrid stands for light detection and ranging localization on contour. This 2D localization solution continuously evaluates – separate from its safety function – the measurement data of the surroundings acquired by the safety laser scanners, thereby recognizing the position of the vehicle at all times.

It travels along on the vehicle as a supplementary system and activates itself automatically when the magnetic or optical guidance tape can no longer be detected. The switching from tape guidance to the LiDAR-LOC hybrid software is unnoticeable to the observer as the vehicle continues to travel reliably along its route without any hesitation.

The LiDAR-LOC hybrid software is a supplementary system for automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and carts (AGCs) or autonomous mobile robots (AMRs). It can either be integrated by the manufacturer or easily retrofitted by the operator. Any subsequent changes or extensions to the track layouts can be quickly and simply incorporated into the electronic mapping.

The 2D LiDAR localization system helps avoid vehicle standstills or fleet jams during operation as a result of defective magnetic or optical track guidance tapes. This translates to higher availability and leads to increased throughputs and productivity in the distribution center.

Bringing Order to Chaos with Robot Guidance Systems for Logistics Picking Applications

Manufacturers across multiple industries face a number of current challenges, including shorter production series, lower costs, and a need for increased flexibility. But perhaps the greatest challenge is effectively implementing automated material handling solutions.

Manual part picking is an expensive, labor-intensive process. As a result, repetitive manual handling is increasingly being replaced by robots. The challenge with robots, however, is that they are blind and many are not flexible enough to accommodate ever-changing automated production processes.

With robot vision guidance systems from SICK, flexible material handling is made possible for industrial production. These customizable vision systems provide the competitive advantage many manufacturers are looking for in part localization applications.

“With the creation of many new technologies for the industrial automation industry, this is a very exciting time,” said Nick Longworth, SICK Senior Robotics Engineer. “Simple and repetitive tasks of lifting heavy parts from deep bins, conveyors, and racks has always been a primary source of long-term back injuries, accidents, and inefficiencies.”

SICK’s PLB is a vision system that can be used for high precision localization of parts that are randomly oriented in bins and boxes. The vision system consists of a 3D camera, part localization software, and tools for easy integration.

Using a high-quality 3D camera, the robot can locate the part, regardless of orientation, and provide pick coordinates to the robot. The robot then verifies that a collision-free space is available for the gripper in reported pick positions. This also can all be done under ambient or varying light conditions while still maintaining superior image quality. The integrated tools in the system enable coordinate alignment and communication with the robot for accurate part picking and localization.

The PLB is an easy-to-use solution that makes it possible to configure new applications quickly and efficiently with its CAD-based, 3D-shape matching part localization software, edge algorithm, and available plugins. It noticeably reduces the effort of analyzing and designing solutions for new applications. The software simply matches the CAD model of a part to the 3D image it takes and the part is then picked by the robot. In addition, advanced users gain additional versatility with the ability to develop plugins for localization, letting the PLB to do the rest of the work.

Robot-automated part picking eliminates the need for precise part placement in the bin or the pallet, thereby maximizing part-handling uptime. With the PLB vision system, you’ll get a complete solution that comprises of hardware and preconfigured and tailored software. With this system, you can identify and pick objects of sizes, typically ranging from 15 mm to 100 mm. This system is ideal for intralogistics applications in depalletizing and de-stacking tasks and parcel singulation.

Article Topics

Mobile & Wireless
Mobile Robots
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