Magazino are known for the building and development of mobile robots for Industry 4.0 logistics with precise, needs-based quantities of delivery. Based in Munich, Magazino explores and pursues new logistics concepts based on autonomous operating robots.
Magazino’s most recent development is TORU, an intelligent picking-robot. The camera works as the robot’s eye, making it possible in combination with a cross-laser (sheet-of-light) for the robot to locate individual objects on a shelf, followed by measuring and grasping them.
Industries such as eCommerce and intralogistics in the automotive industry require individual products, rather than in bulk, to be picked. To-date human workers have been essential in picking individual objects from storage as robots were not cutting-edge enough to handle the task. The picking-process is one of the most problematic tasks in robotics.
TORU is a mobile robot that can work alongside human co-workers in warehouses to pick orders. This works by sending the pick jobs wirelessly to TORU via the inventory control system, the robot moves autonomously to the respective warehouse spot. The sheet-of-light technique makes it possible for TORU to detect the objects, grasp them and move them with incredible accuracy and precision, to a specified location.
This involves a cross-laser projecting two vertical laser lines onto the object being measured. The Basler ace acA1920-40gm, a 2D camera, proceeds to record the reflected laser beams and then uses them to measure the object based on the position of the line in the camera image. This process is optimised for rectangular objects such as parcels or shoe boxes. Books with curved spines are also a good object to measure with precision.
Another advantage of using the sheet-of-light procedure with 2D cameras is that they use fewer 3D points than 3D cameras, this in turn demands less computational power. This means that there is always the option for the algorithm used to conduct the sheet-of-light procedure to run on a mini-computer.
Marcel Debout, developer of the sheet-of-light technique, explains why the Basler ace cameras and the pylon Camera Software Suite work so well for this procedure: “The quality of the camera and maturity of the pylon software interface are very high. Beyond this, support queries are truly handled almost instantly, and they have proposed a number of very well-considered solutions to us. We consider Basler to be a partner we can rely on.”
The main benefit of the picking robot is perhaps its incredible flexibility. TORU not only helps to cut process costs but can also extend the working day. The robot can be deployed alongside the human workforce and integrated into the warehouse without disrupting operation.