Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Laser triangulation case study

Here’s an automotive machine vision application that popped up in an unusual place. From the Automobile magazine blog comes “2013 Ford Escape Built with Help from Laser-Eyed Robots.”

Now don’t let the title put you off, because this short article describes a vision system being used at Ford’s Louisville, Kentucky plant. Essentially, it comprises a large robot end-of-arm fixture with suction cups for part holding plus multiple camera and laser pairs for measurement. What I infer from this is that the vision systems measure key dimensions on the vehicle and then adjust the robot position so as to ensure the most precise assembly. Presumably this lets Ford tighten some of the assembly tolerances, so reducing build variation.

The blog article includes photos of the actual tooling – click on the thumbnails to get a bigger image, then click the ‘full image’ label to fill your monitor with high-res glory.

laser triangulation
Or save yourself time and just look at the small section showing a camera and laser that I cropped from one of the larger images.

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