Our vision is to make intelligent robots available to everyone – to help us in manufacturing, in the office and at home. Sensors are a key technology to bring robots “out of the cage”, but current sensor systems are complex and expensive.
RoVi offers the world's first completely camera-based sensor system for robot arms and grippers. Our patented solution relies on an image processing software and features rich sensory feedback.
On the robot itself, low-cost passive elements substitute electronic sensors for joint positions, force/torque and tactile data. Positions are determined using visual markers, while force sensing relies on deformable elements, such as rubber foam. A camera obserses these elements remotely. The physical measurements are calculated from the image by our software.
RoVi’s sensor software greatly simplifies the mechanics, hardware design and wiring of robot arms – and thus enables their use in low-cost automation, service robotics and consumer applications. The robot is continuously auto-calibrated, enabling the use of low-cost structural parts even for precise manipulation tasks.
Joint position sensors or encoders are indispensable for any robot arm. Our technology determines the joint states remotely, using only a camera and an image processing software. The software accurately localizes patterns on the robot arm, indicated in green in the picture, and calculates the joint positions from these visual measurements.
These sensors measure 3D force and 3D torque, usually between the robot arm and the tool. They allow for force control and teaching of motions. Our solution relies on a very simple passive, elastic structure, which bends when forces are applied. This bending is observed by the camera and converted to a force/torque signal by our image processing software.
Tactile sensors provide a pressure or contact profile, similar to touch we feel on our skin. They offer rich feedback about the grasping process and are thus essential for adaptive and sensitive grasping processes. RoVi's camera-based solution requires only a passive and low-cost foam bar on the fingers, which deforms on pressure. Our image processing software derives a tactile signal from the observed deformation.
The sense of touch for robot grippers! Our solution relies on a passive sensitive element and provides tactile data from image processing.
Low-cost robot arm with camera-based joint position sensors for small-scale automation applications with integrated vision
This flyer explains our intelligent gripping system for flexible and sensitive grasping applications.
This demo video shows the fully camera-based control of a "sensorless" robot arm.
This video shows how we build a sensitive gripper from low-cost, 3D-printed parts and presents the rich feedback provided by our tactile sensor.