BitFlow PCI Express frame grabbers used in humanoid robot

July 18, 2013
BitFlow’s Neon-CLB PCI Express frame grabbers support the 3D vision system of the Robomotive humanoid robot, which was jointly developed by Yaskawa Motoman, Beltech and Robotiq.

The Robomotive humanoid robot, jointly developed by Yaskawa Motoman, Beltech and Robotiq, uses BitFlow’s Neon-CLB (Camera Link base cameras only) PCI express frame grabber as part of its 3D structured light imaging system.

Robomotive features a seven-axis design and is equipped with human-like grippers and arms, which can each lift different sized object of up to 44 pounds. With its 3D vision system, the arms are able to work both independently or together in the automation of small patch processes with large mixes of parts, according to the BitFlow press release.

The robot’s vision system is based on laser triangulation, which is a scanning method that is not disrupted by the lighting variations or reflections that are often found in industrial production. It uses a filter on its camera to eliminate peripheral light from the laser wavelength and with a Peak Detector built inside the camera; the vision system can detect the laser maximum intensity point.

Robomotive operation begins with a 3D point cloud, which is processed to locate a particular object and its orientation so that Robomotive can use its gripper to pick it up. The 3D image within the point cloud must be inspected to ensure that the object and gripper have no obstruction, and from there, a landing zone can be defined based off 3D coordinates as well as the angle and the plane of the particular object. Once the robot’s software defines the landing zone, the robot system is able to function.

The BitFlow frame grabbers reduce the demands of the robot’s motherboard by acquiring from the robot’s camera. They are built on top of BitFlow’s FlowThru technology which provides zero latency access to data, low CPU usage, and unlimited DMA destination size.

View more information on the BitFlow frame grabbers and the Robomotive.

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About the Author

James Carroll

Former VSD Editor James Carroll joined the team 2013.  Carroll covered machine vision and imaging from numerous angles, including application stories, industry news, market updates, and new products. In addition to writing and editing articles, Carroll managed the Innovators Awards program and webcasts.

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