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3D ToF Camera Pushes Forward Into The Third Dimension of Safety Technology

With the safeVisionary2, SICK has launched the world’s first 3D Time-of-Flight (ToF) camera with safety certification performance level c in accordance with EN13849. In the process, SICK is setting a new milestone in safety technology and paving the way for efficient production and logistics processes. The 3D time-of-flight camera enables reliable three-dimensional environment perception as well as productivity-enhancing safety concepts, for instance for the automation of mobile robots and in human-robot collaboration.

Until now, 2D LiDAR sensors were used for two-dimensional hazardous area protection. In contrast, the safeVisonary2 3D ToF technology monitors a three-dimensional space. This is how mobile robots increase their availability, because scanning in three dimensions reduces collision risks, even above the scanning field level of a safety laser scanner, and enables automatic restart in many cases. In addition, the side guard provides more personal protection when the vehicle is turning or rotating, for example after loading and unloading operations.

Higher Safety Despite Less Distance

In collaborative robot applications, safe 3D environment perception can reduce the necessary safety distances, as it also reliably detects people’s upper bodies and therefore dangers such as reaching or leaning over in hazardous areas. The safeVisionary2 now also enables extended protection of the robot work area at human head height. In the past, it was usually necessary to stop the robot when people were in the immediate vicinity. Additional protection of the head in particular, on the other hand, enables real collaboration between humans and robots in many cases, as the latter can continue working with reduced force and speed.

The safeVisionary2 also ensures higher safety when using mobile service robots. In addition to the protective and warning fields for travel path protection, the camera offers a contour detection field that reliably identifies fall hazards, for example due to stairs or ramps.

Benefits From Precise 3D Measurement Data 

The camera not only reliably solves safety tasks, but also automation tasks. Thanks to outstanding 3D measurement data, tasks such as precise localization and navigation support for vehicles or the detection of empty pallets as well as object localization and measurement can be easily executed. The safeVisionary2 is characterized by a high degree of reliability and can be used in environments with ambient light or darkness. With no moving parts in the structure, the camera also offers very high shock and vibration resistance.

By opening up the third dimension for safety applications, SICK is presenting a wide range of new options for mobile and stationary applications.

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