Robotic pick-and-place is an important automated manufacturing process in many industries. In this application, robots pick up parts presented one at a time and place them in a preset order and location, even when the exact location and 3D orientation of the part is variable.
By using 3D smart sensors with onboard software, an industrial robot can perform this task autonomously—something that could previously only be done by a skilled worker.
Here are the 3 main application types this simple smart sensor driven robotic system can perform:
- Pick-and-place to stack and unstack target objects, similar to a palletizing or de-palletizing application.
- Random placement and picking up off of a moving conveyor.
- Placing objects into structured bins by height of the parts, at 1, 2, 3, and 4 stacks high.
The three applications listed above cover the majority of the real-world examples where 3D can be used in automated manufacturing.
The following is a common real-world pick-and-place application:
- Pick-and-place of incoming raw materials or subassemblies traveling on pallets. Objects are scanned with Gocator. The sensor reports the object position and directs the robot to place the object randomly or directly on a conveyor.
- Objects are scanned again as they travel down the conveyor, and then picked up by the robot and placed into an appropriate bin.
- Finished products are scanned and then stacked/re-stacked/palletized.
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