Analysis of sensors commonly used in industrial robots

In the field of industrial automation, machines need sensors to provide the necessary information to perform the relevant operations correctly. Robots have begun to use a large number of sensors to improve their adaptability. For example, many cooperative robots integrate torque sensors and cameras to ensure a better perspective in the operation and the safety of the working area. This paper enumerates some commonly used sensors that can be integrated into the robot unit for your reference.

Two dimensional vision sensor

Two dimensional vision is basically a camera that can perform a variety of tasks. From the detection of moving objects to the positioning of parts on the conveyor belt and so on. Two dimensional vision has appeared in the market for a long time, and occupies a certain share. Many smart cameras can detect the parts and assist the robot to determine the position of the parts. The robot can adjust its action according to the received information.

Three dimensional vision sensor

Compared with two-dimensional vision, three-dimensional vision is a new technology. The 3D vision system must have two cameras with different angles or use a laser scanner. In this way, the third dimension of the object is detected. Similarly, there are many applications using 3D vision technology. For example, parts pick and place, use 3D vision technology to detect objects and create 3D images, analyze and select the best picking method.

If the vision sensor gives the robot eyes, then the force / torque sensor gives the robot touch. The robot uses force / torque sensors to sense the force of the end effector. In most cases, the force / torque sensor is located between the robot and the fixture, so that all the forces fed back to the fixture are monitored by the robot.

With the force / torque sensor, such as assembly, manual guidance, teaching, force limit and other applications can be realized.

Collision detection sensor

The sensors come in various forms. The main application of these sensors is to provide a safe working environment for operators. It is necessary for cooperative robots to use them. Some sensors can be some kind of tactile recognition system, which can sense the pressure through the soft surface. If the pressure is sensed, it will send a signal to the robot to limit or stop the movement of the robot.

Some sensors can also be built directly into the robot. Some companies use accelerometer feedback, others use current feedback. In both cases, when the robot senses the abnormal force, it triggers an emergency stop to ensure safety. But before the robot stops, you will still be hit by it. Therefore, the safest environment is completely free of collision risk, which is the mission of the next sensor.

In order to make industrial robots cooperate with people, we must first find out the methods to ensure the safety of workers. These sensors come in various forms, from cameras to lasers, for the sole purpose of telling the robot what's going on around it. Some safety systems can be set to automatically slow down when someone appears in a specific area / space. If people continue to approach, the robot will stop working.

The simplest example is the laser safety sensor on the elevator door. When the laser detects an obstacle, the door immediately stops and reverses to avoid collision. Most security sensors in the robotics industry are similar.

Part detection sensor

In the part picking application (assuming there is no vision system), you cannot know whether the robot gripper has grasped the part correctly. The part detection application can provide you with feedback of the position of the gripper. For example, if a part is missing from the gripper, the system will detect the error and repeat the operation to ensure that the part is correctly grasped.

Other sensors

There are many sensors on the market that are suitable for different applications. For example, seam tracking sensor.

Tactile sensors are also becoming more and more popular. This kind of sensor is usually installed on the gripper to detect and feel what the object is. The sensor can usually detect the force and get the force distribution, so as to know the exact position of the object, so that you can control the grasping position and the grasping force of the end effector. There are also tactile sensors that can detect changes in heat.

Finally, sensor is the key component of software intelligence. Without these sensors, many complex operations cannot be realized. They not only implement complex operations, but also ensure that these operations can be well controlled in the process.

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