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Machine Vision And Robotics Laboratory

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1998 Annual Conference


Seattle, Washington

Publication Date

June 28, 1998

Start Date

June 28, 1998

End Date

July 1, 1998



Page Count


Page Numbers

3.395.1 - 3.395.4

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Paper Authors

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Donald L. Buchwald

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NOTE: The first page of text has been automatically extracted and included below in lieu of an abstract

Session 3549 Machine Vision and Robotics Laboratory Donald L. Buchwald Kansas State University-Salina

The modern mechanical engineering technician/technologist must function in an increasingly automated world of design and manufacturing of today's products. The focus of this paper is on how to apply, not how to design, effective automated systems using some of the emerging building blocks of automated manufacturing systems. It will concentrate on the applied emphases of introductory and advanced courses in automated manufacturing systems that can be taken by associate and bachelor degree mechanical engineering technology students. These courses cover both theory and (hands-on) laboratory experiences in basic robots, switches, sensors, vision systems, digital logic, and PLCs used in today's industry. Many of these topics will not be covered here in order to address specifically the integration of machine vision with robotics applications. A short video showing the current automated manufacturing laboratory will be presented in conjunction with this paper.

Robots have been used for many years in applications of welding, painting, material handling, and assembly with more recent use in delicate assembly and inspection. Integration with machine vision has become a common partner more rapidly than expected. A machine vision system is not just a set of artificial eyes to permit a robot to see where it is going, navigate about its workplace or work as an object avoidance system. Such systems of the past bear little resemblance to today's machine vision systems, which may perform multiple manufacturing operations from inspection to measurement and small component assembly. Machine vision and machine vision systems will usually have specific assignments such as checking for proper part alignment, identifying parts, searching for specific defects, or checking alignment for assembly. 1 These procedures can be used advantageously with robotics systems to concentrate ways of employing integrated automated-vision systems for practical work.

Laboratory Facilities

The automated manufacturing laboratory in the Department of Technology, Kansas State University- Salina is built around seven laboratory and industrial robots and several flexible manufacturing systems. These include: two Scorbot ER VII laboratory robots, RobotVision/plus system, monitor, camera and two Motorola 68000 controllers; two Sankyo 5407 SCARA industrial robots with IBM controllers, IBM 386 control computers, AML/2 software and two SE 9100 vision sensors with monitors and cameras; two Unimation PUMA 550 robots, Unimation controllers with interface boards and VALII and Fast Talker software. All robot systems are equipped with their own teach pendant, 486 computer and dot matrix printers for both off-line and on-line programming.

The vision systems used in the lab can utilize 4 to 8 video cameras at a time. Programming in four different robot languages, Scorbase, ACL, VALII, and AML/2, along with equipment mentioned above, provide a flexible exposure to robotics and vision system interface. Hands-on operation and programming is provided each student working in small groups.


Buchwald, D. L. (1998, June), Machine Vision And Robotics Laboratory Paper presented at 1998 Annual Conference, Seattle, Washington.

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