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Robotic Collision Avoidance: When Accidents Are Not an Option

Jul 28, 2016
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Tim Dykstra, product sales manager for Concept Systems Inc., provides a detailed overview of the technologies and systems that can be used to avoid dangerous collisions between robots and their environment as well as robots and humans, in a dynamic manufacturing environment.

Tim discusses recent advances in robotics that make them less vulnerable to collisions; how to manage the interface between robots and their active, changing environments; the role of vision systems and sensors in collision avoidance; how to select and integrate technologies; the role of a collision avoidance module (CAM); and how to integrate computers and vision technology. Tim also discusses how collaborative robots are being used to achieve a safer production environment. In conclusion, he discusses the future of path planning and collision avoidance, including advances in technology that will all but eliminate the possibility of collisions; how innovations in the automotive industry could impact the industrial space; and how increasing safety in the work environment will impact productivity.

To ensure worker safety and productivity, dynamic manufacturing environments need reliable systems for preventing collisions. Fortunately, through the use of 3D vision and industrial computers, collisions are now largely avoidable. In some environments, collision avoidance is best managed by taking a multilayered approach that integrates a variety of technologies. These technologies can be managed through a collision avoidance module (CAM), a supervisory computer that examines movement requests, making precise and complex decisions about what movements and speeds are allowable.

Tim Dykstra is Product Sales Manager for Concept Systems Inc. He has worked on the research and development of a collision avoidance system that has been deployed at a number of companies, including Boeing. Along with Collision Avoidance, Tim has worked on various other vision guided robotic applications, including automated cake decorating, hot steel marking and bin picking. Previous to joining Concept, Tim worked for Keyence Corporation as a sales engineer, working with complex laser displacement systems and machine vision systems. Tim has also published a number of industry white papers on Vision Guided Robotics, and has spoken on the topic at Automation Fair and AISTech.
Research & TechnologyAmericasindustrial automationroboticscollision avoidanceCAMindustrial safetyOpticsphotonicsVision Spectraindustrialmachine vision
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