Productive Robotics' Vision System Opens Manufacturers "Eyes" to Cobots on the Shop Floor

Productive Robotics has introduced a new, automated vision system for its cobot line.

"Our goal has always been to simplify the use of cobots on the shop floor by eliminating the need for software and programming," says Zac Bogart, president of Productive Robotics. "Now we've made OB7 even easier to use by giving it sight. With this evolutionary step, OB7's ability to adapt to its work environment is significantly enhanced. Operators simply show OB7 what to pick up, push one button, and OB Vision learns to recognize the object and pick it up in one automated step."

The sighted cobots eliminate the need for fixtures and staging parts for pickup; two of the largest bottlenecks when it comes to implementing collaborative robots. With a sighted OB7, manufacturers can deploy cobots faster and produce more complex parts while reducing costs. It can perform vision-based bin picking and provide sensitive gripping for handling delicate parts.

"We wanted to get the mind of the operator into the mind of OB7," Bogart says. "With a tablet, a technician or operator will be able to see what OB7 sees as it automatically identifies parts that it can touch, handle and pickup."

Each of the OB7's joints can rotate 360 degrees in both directions. The cobot can sense collisions at every joint, a function that triggers a safe stop. The OB7 can also be stopped with an operator's hand and restarted with a tap on one of its joints. When running at collaborative speeds, guarding is not required. For high-speed operations, a laser safety scanner is available.

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Productive Robotics

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