For the collaborative work between humans and robots poses IFM Electronic the new 3D camera "O3X"With which this trend can also be implemented in practice. This camera is based on the TOF technology, which is based on a transit time measurement of light between the camera and the object.
Sensors - more or less as sensory organs of the machine - are crucial for automated systems. This applies in particular to partially autonomously acting robots, which, when working in interaction with persons, are also referred to as Cobots (Collaborative Robots). The recognition of objects and people in the immediate environment is of particular importance. Only when the controller of such a Cobot has a three-dimensional image of its environment, it can move independently and safely. The TOF technology was developed by the IFM subsidiary PMD Technologies and is used, inter alia, in smartphones from Lenovo and Asus.
The O3X has a resolution of 224 x 172 pixels and an image refresh rate of 20 Hz. This allows objects with a distance of up to 4 m to be detected with high accuracy. Since the transit time and thus the distance measurement works with infrared light, the camera is insensitive to stray light and also independent of the lighting. The 3D image data is output via the integrated Ethernet interface. A Windows SDK, a Linux Lib, as well as the active support of the robot operating system ROS on Github help with a fast integration. The camera is housed in an industrial-grade housing about the size of a matchbox that meets the IP54 degree of protection. Typical areas of application of the new O3X camera can be found in autonomously moving robots, for example in logistics applications or in autonomous vehicles.