As Far As The Eye Can See

Choosing The Right Vision System For Your Cobot

As more production managers automate the mundane and repetitive tasks, what’s often overlooked is the human skill and dexterity involved in carrying out even the simplest of tasks. Picking up parts from a conveyor and placing them in a bin may seem like a simple process. It requires motor skills and visual processing, inherent human skills we tend to take for granted. However this process can be complex for a robot, particularly when it involves variable part positioning.

Depending on where you want the robot to pick parts from, your vision system will need to be able to determine the parts position and orientation in some or all six axes. Consequently, choosing the right vision  for your cobot is crucial.  The right system has the ability to transform the performance of your robotic system.

2D or 3D Vision System

Whether a 2D vision system or a 3D system is required, is dependent on multiple factors. These include part type, presentation, orientation, acquisition and space constraints. In applications where shape information is critical to performing a task and position and orientation on all 6 axes needs to be determined, a 3D system will be required. If you want to pick a part from a flat surface like a table or a conveyor belt and put it in a bin then the vision system will only need to determine part position and orientation along two of its axes.  As the z-axis is fixed, a 2D vision system is sufficient.


Pickit’s series of off-the-shelf guided vision systems offer a robust and versatile solution for pick and place applications handling parts of different shapes, materials and sizes. A great feature of the Pickit system is its ability to operate even in changing and poor light conditions. Unlike some 2D picking systems it does not need special lighting and is not affected by reflections. 2D vision systems are more commonly used than 3D vision systems. This is primarily due to the fact they are more economical and less complicated to implement. Ultimately though, it will come down to the capability of the system in carrying out the required task and the type of parts involved.


Robotiq’s wrist camera is a 2D vision system specifically designed to perform industrial applications with Universal Robots. One of the best features of this compact camera is it’s easy to use and set up.  Moreover,  the cameras software is seamlessly embedded in the UR’s graphical user interface. It has the ability to locate many parts in a single snapshot.  The wrist camera comes with customizable colour validation and a simple teaching method  to ensure repeatable picking. Add traceability to your production line with barcode and 2D reading function.

Whatever guided vision system you choose, it’s success will be dependent on all parts of the system working together. That includes the system itself and the data that provides in relation to backlighting, lens selection, filtering and the other variables of the cell including the gripper, product variation, orientation and lighting.

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