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Automated piece-picker works with any cobot, bin or gripper
Published:  10 May, 2024

The Italian automation developer Comau has unveiled a piece-picking system which works with any cobot, bin or gripper to grasp and remove random-placed items from the bin, without needing information about their size, shape, colour or other characteristics. The AI-enabled Mi/Ra/OnePicker system uses a vision system to guide the gripper and determines the most effective way to empty a bin, saving time, energy and costs.

The system is aimed at applications such as kitting, sorting, pick-and-place, e-commerce and warehouses. It uses simulation tools and predictive algorithms to optimise path planning and to achieve safe, collision-free trajectories.

Based on user-defined 3D models of the bin, the environment and the robot, the algorithms calculate the ideal balance between speed and accuracy. A neural network recognises the surfaces from which an object can be picked using a suction cup to identify the most suitable grasping points. It takes “seconds” to calculate the picking pose and to determine the most effective way to empty a bin.

The system will work with the smallest cobots, without limiting their ability to reach inside bins. If used with Comau’s Racer5 six-axis cobot, if offers potential speed benefits. These machines can switch automatically between collaborative and industrial modes, working at full speed when there are no human operators nearby, and at collaborative speeds when they are.

Comau’s OnePicker system works with any cobot to pick randomly placed items from a bin

The OnePicker is part of Comau’s Machine Inspection Recognition Archetypes (Mi.Ra) family of hardware-agnostic, intelligent vision systems.

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