Breakthroughs occurred with advanced software, rapid computer processing and vision systems and new options in gripping. Bin picking was referred to as “a problem that’s approachable” in the article Intelligent Robots: A Feast for the Senses. A demonstration at Automate 2015 by Recognition Robots showed guests a system that retrieved randomly piled parts and stacked them one-by-one in a uniform orientation.
The work that has gone into making this challenging area a reality has brought together cross-discipline teams to benefit manufacturers of all sizes. Robots aren’t made by one separate engineering department at a time. As noted in the article Motion Sees the Benefits of Vision, combining motion and vision requires vertically integrated design.
A robot that can pick random items from a bin has the capability of adapting to the surrounding environment. This is good news for companies that want to automate limited runs or diversify product lines.
Look at the components that give robots the ability to pick through bins and you’ll see why the future is bright for robots that can adapt and handle a variety of materials.