Machine vision is a key technology for highly automated and seamlessly networked processes in the context of Industry 4.0, a.k.a. the Industrial Internet of Things. The use of new artificial intelligence processes such as deep learning is gaining in importance. A great many benefits make the technology attractive, but it also has limitations.
The automation of industrial production is advancing quickly. Fully networked and digitalized process chains have long been commonplace in production halls. In line with Industry 4.0 and the smart factory, all the components involved—including machines, robots, transfer and handling systems, sensors, and image acquisition devices—work together and communicate seamlessly with each other. A new trend is also catching on in robotics: Small, compact, and mobile robots known as collaborative robots (cobots) are joining the production processes and frequently cooperate closely with their human colleagues. The great benefit of cobots is that they can be retooled quickly and with minimal effort, making it possible to use them flexibly for different production tasks.