MCLEAN, VA -- Braintech Inc. is actively supporting an applied research project at a national research laboratory to evaluate the accuracy of visual sensors that measure position and orientation in manufacturing applications in real time. Braintech has loaned a copy of eVisionFactory (eVF), its award-winning vision guided robotic (VGR) software product, for the exercise to create a procedure that would lead to standards for measuring the accuracy of robotic/vision sensors that provide real-time position and orientation information.

“For this research and exercise, Braintech set up its vision software on the FANUC Robot in the Intelligent Systems Division’s lab at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST). The Intelligent Systems Division is in NIST’s Manufacturing Engineering Laboratory,” Braintech CEO Rick Weidinger says. “This represents an important deployment in the government and we have focused our support on the utilization of Single Camera 3D (SC3D) with automatic calibration, training, testing and data archiving capability. This is an important opportunity to help American manufacturing retool for the future.

“Braintech recognizes that American manufacturing needs to change and new solutions must be flexible, accurate and facilitate rapid retooling. Flexibility is the key to adapting to the ever-changing market and easy-to-use, accurate and adaptable vision guided robotic solutions permit cost effective retooling.”

Braintech is providing one of the sensors used in the NIST ISD experiments to define and implement metrics for determining the accuracy and repeatability of sensors for applications such as robotic pick and place. After an initial stationary part accuracy exercise is completed, the NIST engineers plan to address performance measures for sensors that locate parts in motion. The Braintech eVF may be used for these tests as well. Continuous moving line (CML) is a key factor in the successful conversion of American manufacturing to state-of-the-art rapid retooling.

For the tests at NIST, Braintech eVF software has been integrated into a FANUC Model R-30iA Controller and Model M16iB/20 Robot and initial accuracy measurements have been made on a stationary part. Images from an Ethernet-ready JAI GigE camera are sent to a Braintech-enabled PC.