Advanced Robotic Vision and Sensing



Advanced Robotic Vision and Sensing Enables Speed and Accuracy

The Symbotic system operates with industry-leading speed and precision in a dynamically changing warehouse environment. State-of-the-art vision technology, embedded throughout the system, enables the robots to sense and see with the help of machine learning and artificial intelligence software.

When a pallet of goods arrives at the warehouse, a vision-enabled robot arm picks up a full layer of cases at a time, looking first to see if there are any obstructions like a slip sheet, or case quality issues, that must be resolved. The cases are placed on a conveyor where a pair of vision-enabled robots inspect each case before separating and orienting the case for induction into the system. Computer vision ensures the whole process is fast and seamless.

Vision systems also inspect incoming cases to validate products for accuracy — and identify damaged goods or packaging issues. Scanning all six sides of each case, the vision software detects hazardous material and case orientation symbols to ensure products are stored properly and to prevent spills.

It’s incredible to work among the most talented engineers and mathematicians anywhere. They are experts in their own fields – like machine learning, edge computing, and robotics. Together, we’re developing game-changing innovations.

Curtis Senior Solutions Engineer, Symbotic

Vision plays an essential role in ensuring hundreds of autonomous mobile robots, moving at speeds up to 20+ miles per hour, can accurately determine their position and sense each other to avoid collision. Symbotic is pushing the limits on vision with its mobile robots — achieving real breakthroughs in speed and accuracy.

Each robot has multiple RGB cameras that can guide its movements and help it maneuver around obstacles. Two cameras on both the front and back will give the bots binocular vision for depth perception and enhanced object detection. Giving bots the ability to “see” means they can move faster with greater precision.

A 3-D camera helps the bots validate the dimensions and position of a case and also look for anomalies before attempting to handle it. The camera monitors the payload bay as the bot moves to ensure the load doesn’t shift. This reduces the possibility of errors and spills.

Vision technology is especially critical as cases are assembled into pallets to be shipped to customers. First, vision systems in the outbound cells ensure each case is oriented and positioned correctly for pick-up and placement.

Then the entire pallet area is 3-D mapped in real-time, so the robot knows exactly where to place each case as it builds an ultra-tall, dense and stable pallet. The vision system sees when a case is misaligned or out of position and compensates to ensure pallet stability.

Autonomous robots empowered with computer vision, combined with artificial intelligence, machine learning and neural networks, enable world class performance, reliability and scalability of the Symbotic System.

We’re reinventing the warehouse with our industry-leading solution. And we’ve only scratched the surface of what's possible. I’m really excited to see how far we can take this technology in the future.

Nir Senior Robotics Engineer, Symbotic

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