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  • Writer's pictureBen P.

3D Vision Guided Rail Unloading Robot

Updated: Jul 15, 2021

We designed and built a 3D vision guided rail handling robot cell for one of our customers. This cell features a GP400 Yaskawa Motoman Robot with custom end-of-arm tooling, featuring (4) Schunk magnetic grippers as well as a Keyence barcode scanner. Above the robot is a Keyence RB-1200 3D vision system that takes images of rails in carrier baskets, telling the robot the exact location and orientation of each rail to be picked at the appropriate angle and skew.

Full rail carriers are delivered by forklift and stacked 3 high, indexed to the robot by a 4-position chain conveyor. Once at the unload position, the robot scans a barcode on the carrier to identify the load and the required sequence for each rail set (as there are both right and left-hand rails).

The robot works in conjunction with the camera to identify and pick each rail out of the basket and onto a powered exit conveyor to the next process. Once a basket is emptied, it's unloaded onto a separate outfeed conveyor, until stacked 3 high and indexed out of the cell to be picked up by the same delivery forklift.

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