Trading house Marubeni Corp. said Wednesday it has developed with two business allies a control system capable of recognizing the spatial location of industrial parts to be picked up and assembled by robot arms.

The system features a single camera acting like an eye that can judge the spatial position of parts, enabling it to minutely adjust the movement of robot arms as they pick up and carry the parts, Marubeni said.

The two other firms are the Canadian company Braintech Inc. of North Vancouver, British Columbia, which developed the computer software for recognizing three-dimensional images, and Talk Engineering of Kakamigahara, Gifu Prefecture, which made the hardware and related application software.

The spatial accuracy of the vision sensor is so accurate that the maximum error between what it sees and the actual location of the part is within plus or minus 0.5 mm, it said.

The control system features a short time lag of between 0.2 and 0.8 second from when the system recognizes the part and begins moving the arm to retrieve it.

The control system, called RoboNavigator, can be installed in various industrial robots to guide and adjust the movements of their arms, it said.

The system will be priced at 9 million yen per unit. Marubeni hopes to sell RoboNavigator mainly to automakers.

The firm said it is aiming for annual sales of 200 units by 2005.

In a time of both misinformation and too much information, quality journalism is more crucial than ever.
By subscribing, you can help us get the story right.