Autonomous bin picking with a collaborative mobile robot
Published on 2019-10-16 10:51:41 UTC in Flexible Manufacturing
Our TM collaborative robot provides a unique solution to easily automate applications such as picking and packing that, traditionally performed by humans, have been challenging to automate. As part of the TM series launch, we also released a mobile-compatible model, which seamlessly integrates into Omron’s LD series autonomous mobile robot. Combined with a 3D vision camera mounted directly onto the collaborative robot, this enables for example e-commerce companies to automate more complex tasks. This includes pick and place of various items onto a tray or container, as well as connecting production processes with the autonomous mobile robots for flexible manufacturing and materials handling.
In our bin picking demonstration, the collaborative robot, which is equipped with sensors and a 3D vision camera mounted, is able to pick up known objects with random overlapping positions out of a bin. This is traditionally performed by humans, due to the fact that the weight, shape and orientation of the pieces require different force and gripping technology when picked. The 3D camera locates items and sends their co-ordinates to the robot, while the software makes the advanced calculations required for optimized trajectory and force to pick up goods. LD mobile robots will then be responsible of transporting sorted goods.
Implementing the collaborative and mobile robot for bin picking relieves humans from repetitive and monotonous tasks, improving efficiency and traceability, while working alongside people.
Why is random bin picking a challenge?
Random bin picking has been challenging to automate, with many companies working on solutions in this area, and e-commerce retailers even holding competitions focused on robotic solutions for bin picking. Advanced technologies including 3D vision and 3D analysis have to be used to enable picking from random positions. Our solution demonstrates picking a wider variety of parts directly from the bin, eliminating the need for bulk feeding.
Human-machine collaboration enables flexibility
The TM series collaborative robot family was designed to realize an innovative manufacturing environment where humans and machines work in harmony. With the various vision functionalities and the simple, intuitive programming environment of the TM collaborative robots, Omron will further enable safe, flexible, and collaborative manufacturing between human and machine. Robotic bin picking can relieve workers from tedious and monotonous tasks, for example in labour-intensive order fulfillment.