Industrial Automation and 3D Imaging

Machine vision is quite prevalent in industry with many applications like automated inspection. Until now, certain hardware limitations were a bottleneck for the technology’s wider adoption but no longer.

Newly developed 3D image sensors have opened up new applications for machine vision. 3D image sensors have been developed to help with automated truck loading, depth perception and even enhancement of factory safety. But it was not always so.

At one time, 3D image sensors were very expensive but the cost has been brought down (mainly because of the development of consumer oriented image sensors for smartphones). The availability of advanced image processing software has also helped.

This proliferation of 3D image sensors is good news for industry because now many functions can be automated. For example, in the production lines we have today, the robot that assembles parts and the machine vision system that inspects the parts (put together by the robot) are located in different places. Think about the possibilities, if the image sensor can be mounted on the robot itself.

Embedded designers and developers certainly have a lot on their plate. There are numerous exciting possibilities. Using a robot integrated with a 3D vision system can help companies improve safety at factories and allow workers to work more closely with the robots. Such ability will also give embedded developers more flexibility when they design the system that goes into these robots.