The use of machine vision systems in the lab has become widespread in recent years. There is a lot of evidence at the moment suggesting this is a trend that is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. It is understood that these systems, when keying from given co-ordinates will create what is known as solid fixturing. This is yet to be confirmed by any recognized institution but this is merely a formality and we expect this to be confirmed quite soon. As machine vision systems grow in popularity we can expect a lot more investment in this technology, especially from the lab automation industry. An investigation in to how this technology can help better our understanding of robotics needs to be first carried out, before appropriate funding can be provided.
Locating components in an environment can be a very difficult task and researchers have begun to use luminescent codes to help hi-light the location of objects. The system will scan a given area using ultraviolet illumination in conjunction with regular illumination. Following this, a second scan will be carried out using just regular illumination to create another image. These two images are then compared allowing the system to deduct what is in a given area. The resulting image will give the system a detailed understanding of its area, allowing it to clearly see where various illumination codes are located. Given that these codes are applied in a meaningful way, different codes can be used to represent different elements of the object. A code can even be placed on what is deemed to be a critical spot on the object, allowing the device to track the position of the robot in relation to the devices robot arm.
Use in Manufacturing
The most obvious application of these systems is in manufacturing, where a device such as this can easily replace human workers. This application is fraught with challenges which need to be overcome if a successful system is to be implemented. In the manufacturing of non-conformed parts, it can be very difficult for these systems to manipulate objects in a repeatable manner. Intricate manipulation such as folding and twisting can be very difficult for most robotic systems but those fitted with vision systems have made a real breakthrough in this industry. Edge detection is paramount in being able to carry out these tasks without damaging the objects in anyway. I will cover this in more detail in a later article but for now I will leave this subject. I will post some more resources for those who are interested in this subject, so they can carry out further reading.