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SICK visionary camera takes 3D images in a snapshot

Visionary new camera from SICK takes 3D images in a snapshot

SICK has launched the Visionary-T, its first robust, industrial imaging camera to capture high-resolution 3D data with a single ‘snapshot’, whether the object is stationary or moving.

The SICK Visionary-T uses high-resolution Time-of–Flight (TOF) technology to achieve superior quality 3D imaging for vision applications. Unlike 3D vision systems based on laser triangulation, the 3D image is captured with one shot of light, without the need to profile a moving object.

While single shot imaging systems have already been introduced for consumer applications, the IP67-rated SICK Visionary-T is designed for 24/7 industrial use in rugged conditions. The camera therefore offers an affordable alternative to high-end 3D vision systems so that manufacturers and machine builders can integrate 3D imaging into anti-collision systems for automated vehicles, palletising and depalletising or parcel quality checking in materials handling and warehousing applications. Images of moving or stationary objects are captured within a range of up to 7 metres.

Explains Neil Sandhu, SICK’s National Product Manager for Imaging, Measurement, Ranging and Systems:
“The Visionary T builds up a detailed and accurate real-time 3D image of fixed or moving objects with excellent results regardless of angle, surface finish, material or shape of object. The Snapshot technology means it is not necessary to design a system in which either the camera or the object must move across a laser line to create a triangulated image.

“In a single shot, the Visionary T combines different aspects of the light scattered by the object to build up a detailed picture of shape, distance, reflectivity and object depth. Our trials have shown that the single shot method performs well, with less false imaging than can occur with some of the other commonly used methods, and lead to far more reliable results over a wide range of conditions.”

The SICK Visionary-T uses Time-of-Flight measurement of a light signal between the device and the target for each point of the image. The CCD/CMOS imager develops a pixel matrix, with each pixel containing depth and intensity information. The camera is designed to capture more than 25,000 distance and intensity values to create real time 3D images at up to 30 frames per second.

Available in two different models, the SICK Visionary-T CX delivers raw data as depth, intensity and confidence values without any post-processing or reduction for in-house processing and program formulation, while the Visionary-T AG outputs filtered data in formats pre-selected by the integrator, OEM or other user. Likely to be used primarily for robot related tasks, typical data handling includes axis manipulation, parameter configuration, polar, scalable height integration time and different filter types.

Easy to mount, either on a vehicle or frame at the optimum angle for operation, the SICK Visionary-T is fitted with an industrial standard API connector for easy communication of the 3D data for evaluation on an external computer. Data can be read or recorded either directly via SICK’s SOPAS interface or via API for matlab, java or C++, and the SICK Visionary-T is compatible with SICK’s IDpro platform for integration with other SICK vision and sensor devices.

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