V4R (Vision for Robotics)

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Stemmer Imaging, Kuka Switzerland, and the Interstaatliche Hochschule für Technik (Interstate College for Technology NTB) in Switzerland, have developed a robotics software package, V4R (Vision for Robotics), using Stemmer Imaging's Common Vision Blox (CVB) imaging toolkit. Image processing provides mechanical robots with a new mode of perception by giving them added 'vision'. The V4R software runs directly on the controller of the Kuka robot, so a separate image processing PC is not required, and users with robotics experience can code the vision application in the language with which they are familiar.

The V4R system handles synchronisation of the camera coordinate system with the robot coordinate system, recognition of position and orientation of parts in 2D, and data exchange with the robot program. The core of the system uses the CVB Foundation Package and CVB ShapeFinder. Other CVB tools can also be integrated to provide additional functionality.

Users can teach the system to recognise objects and translate this into automatic operation. With the recent introduction of the GigE Vision standard, a GigE Vision camera can plug directly into the Kuka robot controller. All program scripting is carried out using the Kuka language, with just the vision settings set by the configuration graphical user interface. The use of GigE Vision also provides a high degree of flexibility in camera selection.