Quebec City’s Robotiq has unveiled Camera, a new vision-guided, pick-and-place solution for Universal Robots, at the Automatica robotics and automation conference in Munich, Germany, with live demonstrations taking place at booth 512, Hall B5.
Robotiq’s Camera system brings a Plug + Play vision system to Universal Robots, and can be set up on a shop floor in five minutes directly through the robot user interface, with no external PC required to program or operate the Camera owing to the fact that the software is seamlessly embedded in the Universal Robot’s graphical user interface.
“We kept seeing projects that would work much better with machine vision, but manufacturers stayed away because of the complexity and cost of existing solutions,” says Robotiq CEO Samuel Bouchard. “This is why we set out to create a camera and vision software that could be set up and used by anyone.”
Camera fits directly on the wrist of the Universal Robot, offering direct connectivity to the controller, and also has the benefit of expanding the search area without dealing with complex fixtures.
Once a controller teaches the Universal Robot how to recognize a part, using the Camera Kit software for Universal Robots, the robot can then autonomously locate the same object on the work surface with no further instruction.
“The Robotiq Camera breaks all the integration barriers that we are used to see with vision systems in manufacturing automation. We could think of many pick & place robot tasks that can now be programmed very fast. We will need this solution for upcoming projects with UR robots,” says Manufacturing Engineer Victor Canton, with Continental Automotive Spain SA.
A controller can teach the Robotiq Camera how to deal with handling a new part in less than five minutes, locating the part in its field of vision, without the need for complex calibration procedures or external illumination.
“The robot’s arm moves, so the Camera can locate the parts in a wider work area,” says Robotiq CTO Jean-Philippe Jobin.
Potential applications for Robotiq’s Camera include automated assembly, machine loading and unloading, or collaborative robots that work together with humans.
Robotiq was founded in 2008 by Université Laval graduates Samuel Bouchard, Vincent Duchaine and Jean-Philippe Jobin, all students of Clément Gosselin, director of Laval’s Laboratoire de robotique, which developed the SARAH hand for the Canadarm-2.
Robotiq makes 2-finger and 3-finger grippers for Universal Robots, and has made the Camera vision system available to European car tire maker Continental.
With products sold and supported in more than 30 countries, through a network of channel partners, Robotiq now has over 20 employees, and has sold several hundred units of its robotic hand to clients ranging from research institutes to manufacturers, including BMW, Bose, GE, Philips and Boeing.