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Programmable 3D camera

24 February 2020

SICK has made its powerful Visionary T 3D snapshot camera programmable, so it can run user-specific image processing applications developed in its pioneering AppSpace software development ecosystem.

The SICK Visionary T-AP, a robust 3D imaging camera that captures high-resolution 3D data with a single shot of light, is the first SICK programmable device to be launched with ready-to-use SICK Key Apps already on board.

The Visionary T-AP can be purchased with easy-to-use plug and play applications to solve common 3D guidance and localisation tasks in materials handling, warehousing and intralogistics applications, particularly for obstacle recognition, collision avoidance, and navigation in the use of service robots, automated guided vehicles, carts and forklifts.

The SICK Visionary T-AP can either function as a hardware platform for playing and executing ready-to use Key Apps, already developed in AppSpace by SICK’s own development teams, as well as by partner integrators.  The Key Apps are separately available as independent software products from SICK, transmitted to the camera by the SICK AppManager, and no programming is necessary.

Alternatively, the SICK AppSpace ecosystem gives software developers, integrators or end-users, the option to develop their own custom apps, accessing and adjusting the camera’s 3D snapshot data for their own needs and deploying them on the Visionary T-AP.

The IP67-rated SICK Visionary-T-AP is designed for 24/7 industrial use in rugged conditions, offering an affordable alternative to high-end 3D vision systems. It builds up a detailed and accurate real-time 3D image of fixed or moving objects with excellent results regardless of angle, surface finish, material or shape of object. It combines different aspects of the light scattered by the object to build up a detailed picture of shape, distance, reflectivity and object depth.

“At SICK, our vision is to make programmable devices as easy to use as downloading and playing Apps on your smartphone,” says Neil Sandhu, SICK’s UK product manager for vision, imaging and ranging.  “So, the Visionary T-AP marks an important milestone along the development path for our AppSpace ecosystem.

“Among the first user-friendly Apps already available are a solution for guiding forklifts smoothly into pallet pockets without the risk of collision or damage.  Another has been developed for localisation and collision avoidance of AGV platforms to optimise component workflows in the automotive industry.”

The SICK Visionary-T uses Time-of-Flight measurement of a light signal between the device and the target for each point of the image. The CCD/CMOS imager develops a pixel matrix, with each pixel containing depth and intensity information. The camera is designed to capture more than 25,000 distance and intensity values to create real time 3D images at up to 30 frames per second.