3D camera systems will improve the capabilities of robots and autonomous systems and open up new possibilities for precise and versatile areas of application. To achieve this, 3D camera technology must keep pace with new market requirements, which does not require a technological revolution. However, there is a lack of systems that optimally combine several components while remaining easy to operate and integrate in order to develop applications in a clearer and more cost-optimised way. Despite the increased complexity, the systems must remain easy to use thanks to better usability.
Preassembled for fast commissioning
The major difference between fully customisable device classes and easy-to-use standard devices lies in the level of configurability and flexibility, as well as the effort required to set up and commission them. The choice between these two approaches depends on individual requirements and the application scenario. Fully customisable device classes offer more freedom and flexibility, but also require more technical expertise and time for commissioning. Standard devices, on the other hand, are easy to use and fulfil specific tasks without extensive adjustments. With the new C series, Ensenso now offers both device classes alongside the highly flexible X series in the high-end range. The Ensenso camera selector helps you to choose the right standard model for a specific application, ready for immediate use.
More than 3D
One advantage of the Ensenso stereometry method was that 2D images from the stereo cameras have always been available via the SDK. So, in addition to the depth information, the SDK always provides the basic data for further image analyses without having to use additional 2D cameras in the application. The 2D image data can thus not only be superimposed as a texture over the 3D point cloud to create a better 3D image, but also enable object edges to be recognised and measured or codes to be read in the image, for example. In this way, objects can not only be detected three-dimensionally in order to grip them with a robot, but can also be precisely identified for detailed object handling.
With an additional and fully integrated RGB camera, the Ensenso C series now also allows access to 2D colour images of the same scene. This extends the camera's range of applications when not only a 3D point cloud but also a colour image is required to solve a task. This could be AI-based image analyses, for example, for which colour images are usually used as basic data.
Compact and fully integrated
If several features or basic data are to be used and analysed to fulfil an application, this can usually be done in two ways. On the one hand, all the sensors or components required for the overall task can operate as separate stand-alone devices. Although this ensures the greatest possible flexibility in the selection and maintenance of each modular unit, the integration and synchronisation of several devices in one application is technically more demanding and therefore requires more specialist knowledge.
In contrast, fully integrated devices, such as the new Ensenso C, combine all components in a closed and protected housing. In other words, the stereo cameras, pattern generator, 2D colour camera and light are optimally matched to each other at the factory, adjusted and accessible via a common device software, the Ensenso SDK. Despite the increasing complexity of applications, the 3D camera system is compact enough to fit into the limited space available in robots and other autonomous systems, for example.
3D of large volumes
For applications with large object distances up to 5 metres, the components of a 3D camera system must be optimally designed and work together to achieve a high Z-accuracy of the depth values. In stereometry systems such as the Ensenso C, a large baseline, i.e. a large distance between the two stereo cameras, ensures very precise and stable triangulation of the object points. In conjunction with the high resolution of 5 MP, object structures can be scanned with great detail. For complete point clouds, even of low-texture object surfaces with only a few prominent pixels, Ensenso C cameras rely on an extremely powerful 200 W LED pattern generator, which ensures high-contrast surfaces even at a distance of 5 metres. The very rigid mechanics and optimised heat dissipation also ensure low jitter of the depth values even at great distances (0.1 mm at a distance of 1 m).
IDS took the next major step in 3D camera technology with the Ensenso C to provide applications with the necessary basic data for advanced image processing functions. This 3D camera system combines all Ensenso advantages in the 3D vision environment in a particularly compact housing, especially in the high-end sector for large-volume applications with the highest demands on accuracy. The simple handling and commissioning of the numerous model variants makes the Ensenso C series an essential tool for image processing in the 3rd dimension.