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Pick & Place without PC - direct interaction of camera and robot

23 March 2021

AI Vision per edge device – easier than ever! IDS NXT industrial cameras are able to carry out the image processing for localising pre-trained objects themselves. The immediate conversion into control commands and the direct communication with the robot make a PC for "pick and place" tasks no longer necessary.

The solution can be realised with a Vision App, which runs directly on the cameras. It enables the robot to directly implement the image information provided by the camera and to localise the desired objects, which then can be gripped in the correct position and put on a designated place. 

An inference camera can apply the "knowledge" acquired through deep learning to new data. Since IDS NXT industrial cameras have a special AI core, neural networks are hardware-accelerated and run directly on the devices – enabling inference times of just a few milliseconds. With features such as C-mount, robust housing, GigE network connection with RJ45 or M12 connectors, RS232 interface and REST web interface, they are also fully-fledged industrial cameras. Thanks to OPC UA, IDS NXT cameras can not only be easily integrated into industry 4.0 systems, but can also directly trigger subsequent processes as AI-capable edge devices. The models are available with different sensors and protection classes. 

The cameras are part of the all-in-one solution “IDS NXT ocean”. It provides easy-to-use tools for creating inference tasks in a few minutes and executing them immediately on a camera, without the need for prior knowledge. The all-in-one system is based on three essential components: An intelligent camera platform, an AI accelerator that executes neural networks directly on the camera hardware and an easy to use training software for neural networks. 

With the help of the IDS NXT lighthouse cloud software, even non-experts without prior knowledge of artificial intelligence or camera programming can train an AI classifier with their own image data. Since it is a web application, all functions and the necessary infrastructure for creating the neural network are immediately available. This means that users do not have to set up their own development environment first, but can start training their own neural network right away. This involves three basic steps: To upload sample images, to label the images and then to start the fully automatic training. The generated network can then be executed directly on the IDS NXT industrial cameras. 

Anyone wishing to test the potential of AI for their applications should take a closer look at the IDS NXT ocean Design-In Kit. It provides all components a user needs to create, train and run a neural network in his productive environment. In addition to an IDS NXT industrial camera with 1.6 MP Sony sensor, lens and cable, the package includes six months of access to the AI training software. The use of deep learning-based image processing for individual applications can thus be realised in a short time. 

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