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Microscan demonstrates industrial robot using MicroHawk smart cameras


Microscan, a provider of barcode, machine vision, verification, and lighting technology, has demonstrated flexible in-line inspection using the Universal Robots collaborative UR5 robotic arm and Microscan’s latest machine vision smart camera platform.

The robotic demo, at Automate 2017, featured what the company claims is “the world’s smallest Ethernet smart camera”, was given in partnership with Olympus Controls, an engineering services company specializing in machine automation.

The lightweight, flexible, and collaborative industrial robot – UR5 – automates repetitive and dangerous tasks with payloads of up to 5 kg. 

The camera-based UR5 demo reads a Data Matrix symbol and inspects the presence and position of components on a small engine, such as a choke lever and a fuel cap.

If the Data Matrix symbol is missing or obstructed, the robot will receive a failed result from the smart camera, will use this data to trigger an action to “shake its head”, and will try to read the code again.

If the choke lever is released, the robot will receive a failed result based on the lever angle. It will then use the robotic arm to reset the switch into position.

Similarly, if the fuel cap is missing, the robot will use its gripper to pick up the cap from a programmed location and then place it securely back onto the fuel tank.

Microscan’s latest machine vision smart cameras offer unrivaled advantages in speed, size, and precision – all of which are necessary for robotics applications.

MicroHawk smart cameras are the world’s smallest, and their image processing performance is twice as fast as that of competitive cameras.

With an integrated liquid lens and autofocus technology, MicroHawk cameras adapt to various optical working distances without any manual adjustment.