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Proceedings Paper

A Practical Solution Using A New Approach To Robot Vision
Author(s): David L. Hudson
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Paper Abstract

Up to now, robot vision systems have been designed to serve both application development and operational needs in inspection, assembly and material handling. This universal approach to robot vision is too costly for many practical applications. A new industrial vision system separates the function of application program development from on-line operation. A Vision Development System (VDS) is equipped with facilities designed to simplify and accelerate the application program development process. A complimentary but lower cost Target Application System (TASK) runs the application program developed with the VDS. This concept is presented in the context of an actual robot vision application that improves inspection and assembly for a manufacturer of electronic terminal keyboards. Applications developed with a VDS experience lower development cost when compared with conventional vision systems. Since the TASK processor is not burdened with development tools, it can be installed at a lower cost than comparable "universal" vision systems that are intended to be used for both development and on-line operation. The VDS/TASK approach opens more industrial applications to robot vision that previously were not practical because of the high cost of vision systems. Although robot vision is a new technology, it has been applied successfully to a variety of industrial needs in inspection, manufacturing, and material handling. New developments in robot vision technology are creating practical, cost effective solutions for a variety of industrial needs. A year or two ago, researchers and robot manufacturers interested in implementing a robot vision application could take one of two approaches. The first approach was to purchase all the necessary vision components from various sources. That meant buying an image processor from one company, a camera from another and lens and light sources from yet others. The user then had to assemble the pieces, and in most instances he had to write all of his own software to test, analyze and process the vision application. The second and most common approach was to contract with the vision equipment vendor for the development and installation of a turnkey inspection or manufacturing system. The robot user and his company paid a premium for their vision system in an effort to assure the success of the system. Since 1981, emphasis on robotics has skyrocketed. New groups have been formed in many manufacturing companies with the charter to learn about, test and initially apply new robot and automation technologies. Machine vision is one of new technologies being tested and applied. This focused interest has created a need for a robot vision system that makes it easy for manufacturing engineers to learn about, test, and implement a robot vision application. A newly developed vision system addresses those needs. Vision Development System (VDS) is a complete hardware and software product for the development and testing of robot vision applications. A complimentary, low cost Target Application System (TASK) runs the application program developed with the VDS. An actual robot vision application that demonstrates inspection and pre-assembly for keyboard manufacturing is used to illustrate the VDS/TASK approach.

Paper Details

Date Published: 9 January 1984
PDF: 8 pages
Proc. SPIE 0435, Architectures and Algorithms for Digital Image Processing, (9 January 1984); doi: 10.1117/12.937011
Show Author Affiliations
David L. Hudson, Octek Inc. (United States)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 0435:
Architectures and Algorithms for Digital Image Processing
Per-Erik Danielsson; Andre J. Oosterlinck, Editor(s)

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