When do you need robot vision?


May 2020



This is a statement that can strike fear into the heart of even the most seasoned robotics specialists. This is because of a widespread perception that robot vision systems—comprising cameras, robots and supporting software—are complex, expensive, difficult to integrate and not entirely reliable.


Thankfully, it doesn’t have to be that way.


In fact, with the emergence of new technologies and falling costs, incorporating vision into your existing automation is now far more accessible; especially for cobot users.

Here we will look at the benefits of robot vision by comparing vision-enabled automation against ‘blind’ systems. We’ll explore some of the different camera options available and the upsides and downsides of each. Finally, we’ll dive into camera technology that can help you extract even more value from your cobot implementations.


Robot Vision


Benefits of Robot Vision

Consider the complex set up that’s required for a traditional ‘blind’ automation application to perform a simple pick & place task. The main challenge here is that objects have to be presented to your robots in exactly the same orientation and location every single time. This means installing costly fixtures and fittings and hardware such as bowl feeders, so that randomness is eliminated and your robots know precisely where the item to be picked is located.


Robots can perform superbly without vision, but what if you need to pick and place different objects? What if you want your automation to be capable of handling several types of objects arriving in different orientations? And what if you require rapid changeover times when switching between products?


In these scenarios, with flexibility and cost in mind, you should consider the benefits of adding robot vision—i.e., a camera and associated software—to your production lines. Vision eliminates the labor and capital costs associated with the addition of new hardware and fittings. Vision brings flexibility to your operations, enabling you to switch between different products easily. And vision dramatically reduces the time required to move between one product and another—a massive boon for busy manufacturers, especially in today’s demanding, customised-production environment.



There are clear benefits to giving your cobot ‘eyes,’ or robot vision but not all vision solutions are the same; variations in expense, flexibility, ease of use and software capabilities make a huge difference. So let’s take a look at different camera types typically employed in automation scenarios. This information is taken from the OnRobot blog page, read more on their website. You can also view more details of their new OnRobot Eyes and download their datasheet… here.


Read more about our automation here…


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