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First 3D ToF camera opens up a new dimension in safety

21 November, 2022

The German sensor-maker Sick has launched what it describes as the world’s first 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera that has PL c safety certification in accordance with EN13849. It says that by opening up a third dimension for safety applications, the safeVisionary2 camera will offer a wide range of new options for mobile and stationary applications, including the automation of mobile robots and human-robot collaboration.

Until now, 2D Lidar sensors have been used to protect two-dimensional hazardous areas. The new technology monitors 3D space, reducing the risk of collisions for mobile robots, and protecting a bigger volume than safety laser scanners. It provides side guarding, improving protection when a vehicle is turning or rotating – for example, after loading or unloading.

In cobot (collaborative robot) applications, safe 3D perception can reduce safety distances, because it detects people’s upper bodies reliably and therefore guards against dangers such as them reaching or leaning over into a hazardous area. The new camera can also extend protection of robot working areas to human head heights.

In the past, it was usually necessary to stop a robot when people were nearby. Sick argues that additional protection of the head, in particular, will allow real collaboration between humans and robots in many cases, because the robots can continue to work with reduced force and speed.

Sick’s safeVisionary2 camera provides a 3D protective field, opening up new applications

The camera solves not only safety tasks, but also automation tasks such detecting empty pallets or measuring objects. The camera will work in dark or light environments.

Sick:  Twitter  LinkedIn   Facebook

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