Machine Vision Systems in Robotics: An Introduction

machine vision

Industrial machinery now has the ability to “see” what it is doing. It makes decisions based on what it sees, owing to machine vision technology. With the advancement of machine vision technology, robots can now be used in a wide range of new applications. The technology has improved with time, offering better performance at lesser prices. Many businesses have adopted and embraced machine vision as a result, realizing the value it adds to their operational processes. Machine vision is mostly used for product identification, sorting, and tracking. It is also used for visual inspection and fault detection.

For many years, it has aided in raising product quality, speeding up production, and simplifying manufacturing. To speed up image processing, the technique uses AI, machine learning, and deep learning. So, let’s dive deeper into the use of machine vision technologies in robotics.

What is Machine Vision?

Machine vision systems provide operational direction by processing and evaluating the images they have collected from their environment using image processing. They are collections of integrated electronic components, computer hardware, and software algorithms. The information obtained from the vision system is utilized to analyze a product or material or to automate and control an operation.

Since computer vision is the brain behind processing the data, machine vision cannot function without it. It’s vital to remember that as computer vision technology develops, the likelihood of machine vision applications also grows.

Many industrial processes use this technology, including pattern recognition, material inspection, electronic component analysis, object recognition, and the identification of optical characters, money, and signatures.

What is Machine Vision used for Industrial Robotics?

A computer and a robot’s sensor are used by a machine vision system to view and identify objects. The use of robots for production-line operations is expanding because of the automation made possible by machine vision. This is when machine vision combines with AI and deep learning.

The robot would be blind without this technology and would only be able to repeatedly perform the same action until it was reprogrammed. With the use of this technology, a robot may adapt to barriers in its environment and carry out many pre-programmed activities by determining which one has to be done. Operations include picking, sorting, placing, and performing a manufacturing line scan. Due to this mix of technologies, robotics is also able to function in various settings.

With the aid of this technology, a robot can scan supermarket aisles. While scanning, it can also record inventory information about the items displayed on the shelves. It can navigate through busy aisles. It can also scan products using radio frequency identification technology. For example, reading a barcode. Additionally, machine vision improves the effectiveness and safety of human-robot collaboration. While human employees use more time to help customers, a robot could handle inventory in a supermarket.

Why is Machine Vision-based Robotics needed?

Robotics using machine vision for industrial applications includes all the tools needed to manage and process visual information and objects. This contains every piece of hardware, program, camera, lens, and illumination needed to capture and analyze images. This procedure produces reference points for precisely picking up and placing an object (X-Y-Z coordinates).

Robotics need this technology to work more quickly and efficiently in an uncertain environment. Robots thrive when everything is consistent, as we are all aware. They are programmed to choose and assemble parts in the same spot each time. But what happens if something changes, or if the object’s position or orientation changes? The robot is unable to take up the object as intended. When this happens, guidance is required, and vision assists in precisely locating the object and informing the robot of its location.

How does Machine Vision work in Robotics?

The visual system of a robot is made up of many crucial parts. It includes a camera that takes the image. It also includes the result-providing and communication mechanisms. The interaction of these elements is crucial for any machine vision system to function. And important to generate results that replicate.

Lighting plays a crucial role in machine vision. It illuminates the object, making it visible, its characteristics shining out and enabling the camera to see better. The lens captures the picture and transmits it to the sensor as light via the lens. This light gets converted into a digital image by the sensor in a machine vision camera. This digital image is then sent to the processor for analysis.

Vision processing uses algorithms. It is to examine the image, extract the necessary data, do the necessary checks, and reach a conclusion. Based on the color of the objects, a robot’s vision system is divided into three major groups.

These are:

  • binary images in black and white
  • grayscale images
  • images with red, green, or blue as their primary hues.

These three groups of pixels together create an electronic image. Production efficiency has improved as a result of industrial robot development. Time-consuming jobs have received attention with robots that use vision to guide them.

The majority of industrial robot makers have their own control systems installed. If you’re looking for a robot, be sure your image processing system works with the robot’s control program. Even with a suitable machine, the setup could take a long time and be labor-intensive.

Imaging Inspection and Sorting

Throughout a broad range of industries, such as medical imaging, automotive, scientific research, labeling, electronics and semiconductors, food and beverage, printing, etc., a machine vision system can check and sort a wide variety of items and objects.

When the objects are being inspected and sorted, the technology can be employed with a spectrograph camera, which gives the color of the image. This method can cause delays, though, as it takes the computer longer to analyze the information because the images are more detailed.

Operating Procedures and Methods

The camera requires to recognize the object or item that it will be collecting and transmitting to the processor to process the image; therefore, this is the initial stage in the automatic inspection sequence. The type of camera used for the image capture will differ based on the amount of detail required and can range from a normal camera and lens to a 3D camera.

Whereupon different digital image processing techniques will be used by machine vision software programs to extract the necessary information and decide what to do with the image, typically by moving it on to the next step in the process, deflecting it to another process, or removing it from the production or distribution system.

Summing Up

Machine vision systems have many more uses outside of industrial robotics. As businesses increasingly aim to automate business operations through the implementation of automation capabilities like machine vision and robots, the market for machine vision is expanding and is not expected to slow down anytime soon. In the period of COVID-19, businesses are finding it increasingly difficult to meet customer and business demands with fewer labor, and automation and robotics are really demonstrating their strengths and capabilities.

In this approach, we will help you succeed by using our machine vision technology services to support the growth of your business and its distinctive robotics technology. We really don’t need you to choose the wrong tools and spend time arguing with it rather than completing your work. Vadzo provides more practical machine vision technology that satisfies your need to extract accurate data for your robots to function. Additionally, we offer a broad selection of industry-standard cameras, assemblies, and solutions, value-added services for component modification, and unique designs for solutions such as scanners, CCTV, CCD/CMOS, medical imaging, surveillance systems, machine vision, and night vision equipment.

We are happy to help you with any issues or questions you may have.

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