Robotic random bin picking, the ability to handle loose items which arrive at facilities in containers, is a much coveted material handling capability. Braintech, a leader in vision guided robotics (VGR), has integrated random bin picking into the latest release of its eVisionFactory software platform and vision library for the development of VGR applications.
Braintech, Inc. (OTCBB: BRHI) has developed and integrated Random Bin Pickingª (RBPª), the much sought after “Holy Grail” of Vision Guided Robotic technology (VGR), into its latest release of eVisionFactory (eVFª version 5.1), a software platform and vision library for the development of VGR applications with greater efficiency and scalability than custom programming.
Braintech’s Random Bin Picking uses the Company’s unique VGR technology to locate and grasp randomly situated materials from generic bins, allowing them to be moved through assembly and manufacturing lines without high annual costs associated with manual labor, dedicated sorting machines, custom bins and trays. Braintech’s technology solves the bin-picking problem in a highly unstructured environment where parts are completely jumbled within a bin and are under various degrees of occlusion.
“We believe this is a major advancement,” Braintech Chief Executive Officer Rick Weidinger said. “Our team has made Random Bin Picking a priority in the last several months and they have done a tremendous job solving the problem of handling components which arrive at facilities in containers, including those jumbled together during shipping and throughout the entire material movement process. It streamlines the process along assembly lines by removing the need for purpose-built mechanisms, expensive custom crates and human interaction, which represents a significant return on investment for our customers.
“Our research indicates that there are approximately ten times as many random bin picking opportunities for any type of material movement application than current automation practices allow. We will target these opportunities.”
Braintech is hard at work on more advancements in robotic technology.
“We strive every day to develop software tools that enable our customers to be more productive,” Weidinger explained. “As a result, Braintech is successful because it enables its customers to be more successful.”
Braintech’s technology team, led by Chief Technology Officer Babak Habibi, has developed RBP to effectively deal with extreme part overlap and occlusion, significant lighting variability, few distinct part features and robot collision avoidance with other parts.
“Those were all very demanding challenges and we’ve overcome them. I feel we have the highest caliber and most cost effective research and development staff focused on solutions. While solutions exist for specific examples of structured problems, there are no widely applicable solutions that exist for unstructured problems. Not until today. Most companies talk about developing RBP—we have accomplished it,” Weidinger said.
Through its integration with eVF 5.1, RBP takes advantage of Braintech’s other VGR technologies including the award-winning Single Camera 3D. For the automotive industry, eVF is packaged as TrueViewª and sold exclusively by ABB.
“Braintech’s new development is the next big stepping stone in Vision Guided Robotics,” ABB Robot Automation Vice President and General Manager Jerry Osborn said. “Bin Picking has been a major point of discussion for intelligent material handling for some time. Several companies already claim to have random bin picking capability, but in reality, what has been offered to date is what we would consider ‘semi-structured’ bin picking. No one has managed to build a product that can successfully handle truly randomly jumbled parts like this, until now.”
For more information about Braintech, visit http://www.braintech.com.
For more information about ABB Robotics, visit http://www.abb.com/robotics.
About Braintech, Inc.
Braintech, founded in 1994, is a recognized leader in the field of Vision Guided Robotics. The company designs, develops and commercializes Vision Guided Robotic software and technology for Industrial, Government/Defense and Consumer/Service applications. Braintech continually creates products in the areas of vision recognition and robot guidance. Its industrial product, eVisionFactory, features the Henry Ford Technology award-winning Single Camera 3D Vision Guided Robotics technology. For the consumer/service markets Braintech has developed VOLTS-IQ, a software development product that integrates advanced vision technology to Microsoft Robotics Studio.
Braintech’s software and plug-and-play product portfolio enhances processes in material handling in manufacturing, distribution, object recognition, slewing and edutainment. With a customer list that includes global powerhouses Ford, Toyota, General Motors, Johnson & Johnson and Battelle Memorial Institute, Braintech’s software is being utilized every second in every day with installations on over 150 robots in diverse applications around the world.
Braintech, Inc., 2008. All rights reserved. eVisionFactory, eVF, Random Bin Picking, RBP, Single Camera 3D and SC3D are trademarks of Braintech and all its subsidiaries. eVisionFactory Patent Number US 6,816,755, Random Bin Picking (RBP) is Patent Pending.
TrueView is a trademark of ABB in connection with Braintech, Inc.
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