Box dimensioning

New opportunities in intralogistics by ToF cameras

From warehouse to customer, intralogistics is dominated by a desire to achieve efficiency; efficiency in warehousing items, efficiency in routing items to their destination, efficiency in handling items throughout the process, and efficiency in transporting items between locations. Whilst innovative software is often used to find optimal routing, similar to the famous ‚travelling salesman‘ problem, each of the other aspects can successfully leverage the advantages provided by a new generation of dedicated cameras and sensors.
Recently developed time-of-flight cameras, such as the VS-1000 series, offer a number of unique advantages particularly suited to intralogistics solutions. These time-of-flight cameras (ToF) are capable of measuring both range, (the distance to each object in the scene), whilst also capturing a conventional intensity image of the scene at the same time. With the measurement of range comes the ability to measure the size or dimensions of objects. In the case of a typical intralogistics solution, the object is often a parcel or other cuboid object. In other, more complex cases, it is the minimum enclosing volume which is required; the so called ‚bounding-box‘. If the accurate dimensions of a parcel or object are known, increased optimization of further downstream operations is possible, such as the efficient packing of a pallet with parcels of many different sizes. It is exactly this type of optimization which drives efficiency throughout the whole intralogistics chain; for example a greater number of efficiently packed pallets can be transported on a single vehicle, and a machine readable map of the packing can be passed directly to a robotic depalletizing cell, providing useful input data to the next stage of materials handling, reducing both transport costs and handling time. An entire scene is imaged by a ToF camera in a single operational cycle, i.e. ’snapshot 3D‘ operation, and this means that the relative orientation of a parcel is not critical to the measurement; parcels can be measured for dimensions in any orientation. This is in contrast to some systems, such as ‚light-curtain‘ approaches, where actuation is required to move the object during measurement. With a ToF camera it is even possible to measure multiple parcels within the field-of-view, giving the possibility of high-throughput operation. This freedom in measurement can mean that, on the one hand, more simple infrastructure can be used during the design of intralogistics systems, or alternatively that dimensional measurements can be taken in less constrained sections of the overall process flow, giving greater flexibility in process design. Other features of the VS-1000 camera translate into specific benefits for intralogistics solutions. For example, the ability of the camera to capture high-quality monochrome intensity images, can allow for the capture and storage of images for verification and manifest purposes, as well as simple but powerful IO capability for synchronizing any internal operation of the camera with an external trigger, such as image capture or image transfer.

Helping the system integrator

3D vision applications within intralogistics are sometimes considered complex to implement, due to the unconstrained nature of the objects to be measured. However, much of this complexity can be traced to issues such as complex system calibration and low pixel resolution. The VS-1000 camera can capture images at 1.3 Megapixel resolutions, allowing for clear detection of sharp edges as well as the possibility to finely segment areas. Fine segmentation of the image can often prove critical during robust operation, where the ability to discard individual pixels returning invalid data or poor data without compromising the overall system measurement is a huge benefit. For example, low reflectivity areas, such as printed logos on parcels, can reduce the precision of a ToF measurement, however these areas can be simply extracted from the overall image and discarded from the measurement. As a convenience feature, each pixel directly returns a flag, indicating whether or not the last measurement was valid, which can be used in pre-processing operations to eliminate incorrect data whilst at the same time streamlining further processing functions. In order to provide support during integration activities, engineers at Odos Imaging have developed prototype solutions for exactly these types of flexible dimensioning application, providing readily available open source software to help address potentially complex issues such as camera and system calibration, parcel identification, and coordinate transforms. In the simplest cases, software is available which can allow the camera to be directly mounted above a measuring station and, after a one-time background calibration, directly output dimensions of cuboid objects placed within the field of view. A GigE Vision interface together with a GenICam compliant software interface ensure that the cameras are simple both to install and to integrate into existing process flows.

Anzeige

Das könnte Sie auch interessieren

Mit dem Digital4Eyes-Wettbewerb möchte die Bayer AG Teams dazu aufrufen, ihre Kompetenzen in Bilderkennung und/oder maschinellem Lernen mit der eigenen Produktionskompetenz zu kombinieren. Ziel der Aufgabe ist ein lernfähiger, digitaler Prototyp, der in der Lage ist, einen 4-Augen-Check durchzuführen. Einsendeschluss für die Projekte ist der 15. Januar 2018.

grants

Anzeige

Neu am Markt ist die Firma NotaVis aus Ettlingen. Geschäftsführer Thomas Schweitzer (Bild) und sein Team bieten Bildverarbeitungskomponenten für OEMs und Integratoren an. Im Programm enthalten sind Kameras (u.a. Dahua), Intelligente Kameras (Vision Components), sowie Software, Optik und Beleuchtungen.

 

www.notavis.com

Die Viscom AG kann mit der Veröffentlichung der aktuellen Halbjahresbilanz des Unternehmens Rekordergebnisse in allen Vertriebsregionen verzeichnen. Insgesamt konnte ein Umsatzwachstum von +27,8% verglichen zur Vorjahresperiode verzeichnet werden. Damit erwirtschaftet das Unternehmen im ersten Halbjahr 2017 Umsatzerlöse in Höhe von rund 40Mio.€.

www.viscom.com

Anzeige

Am 12. Januar 2018 findet ab 13 Uhr an der Universität Heidelberg eine Festveranstaltung zu Ehren ’10 Jahre Heidelberg Collaboratory for Image Processing (HCI)‘ statt. Zehn Jahre erfolgreiche Zusammenarbeit zwischen Forschung und Industrie im HCI sollen dabei gewürdigt , sowie die wichtigsten Forschungsergebnisse und einen Ausblick auf die Zukunft gegeben werden. Die Teilnahme an der Veranstaltung ist kostenfrei, eine Anmeldung allerdings erforderlich.

www.bv-forum.de

Anzeige

Die kanadische Firma Lucid Vision Labs wurde im Januar 2017 in der Nähe von Vancouver gegründet und entwickelt eigene Bildverarbeitungskameras. Hinter dem neuen Unternehmen stehen zwei bekannte Vision-Experten: Rod Barman (rechts, einer der Gründer von Point Grey) ist Geschäftsführer des Unternehmens; Torsten Wiesinger (links, ehemals IDS und MVTec) ist General Manager für den EMEA-Bereich. Mit der GigE-Kamera Phoenix und der IP67-Kamera Triton sind bereits erste Produkte verfügbar.

www.thinklucid.com

Am Mittwoch, den 29.11., findet auf der SPS IPC Drives in Nürnberg die Podiumsdiskussion ‚Sind individualisierbare Sensoren und Bildverarbeitungssysteme die Antwort auf Industrie 4.0?‘ statt. Die Diskussion startet ab 15:00 Uhr auf dem VDMA Forum in Halle 3 Stand 668. Dabei geht es um neue Möglichkeiten für die Anwender, anwenderspezifische Systeme einfach selbst zu erstellen. Teilnehmer der Diskussion sind Vertreter der Firmen Baumer, Matrix Vision/Balluff, MVTec, Sick, Silicon Software und Stemmer Imaging.

ibv.vdma.org

Anzeige