Pick and (re)place machine

Hi to all !

Am planning to make one pick and place machine which will be used as some kind of sorter.
Basically, machine should locate, pick and move object to one other position. All this will be done with RSP and arduino.

I would like to hear your suggestions regarding this project and ideas for possible shields or diy projects.
The main part is that i have to make this machine as fast as possible ( locate / pick / replace --> under 3 seconds). The movement of picker should be done on 300 cm x 100 cm area so i would have to use some faster stepper motors and adequate shields.

Picked weight is around 20 grams and this part will be done with pneumatic cylinder...

Arnix

Patrick Hood Daniel released a bunch of relevant videos about his experience on DIY pick and place CNC machines:

Thank you for this link i will check it.

Btw. i forget to mention that this picker will be located over existing moving track, so i have to "controll and move" upper part. The idea is to sliding bars like in some standard 3d printer but i dont know if this would be good idea, because of speed and area length....

Arnix

Linear bearings are better. Linear actuators maybe? Look at Delta 3D printers for inspiration.

If you can sense position then you don't have to use the most precise movement parts, just as long as you can position the piece.

If you can suspend the cylinder by 3 cords that change length in tandem, it can be moved in 3D. Sense the position continuously and move until as desired. I would table any long calculations for that into flash where possible to increase speed.

Thinking along the same lines! :wink:

3m by 1m is big. Much bigger than hobbyist 3D printers. You cant use those cheap parts and just scale up the lengths.

It is about the same scale as a router type milling machine. Something that cuts wood, fabric or steel. These machines can be purchased quite cheaply so long as your definition of 'cheap' is USD20000.

The Shapeoko might be a good place to start as it will have the basic mechanics suitable for that size of working area.

Thank you all for great answers and suggestions.
I agree with every of them but just to be clear i want to elaborate a bit on possible problems.

As MorganS has pointed out 3m x 1m is quite big area to cover, especially if you have moving track.
Please look at picture so you can easy understand this part with track because from point of view, this is the biggest problem.

Let me explain.
If the track is moving 10km per hour and if i have 6 objects that i have to pick up and replace then i think that i can use two vacuum heads. One for one part of the track and one for other ( yep, part between those two would be a problem ).

If i use pick and place system i have no chance to pickup and replace all 6 objects in defined time, IMHO...

I have watched openpnp systems and some big arduino based 3d printer projects.
It looks like this all can be done on arduino base and some fast nema steppers....

Arnix

So you have to pick up an item from a moving conveyor belt and put it back on the belt? What if the place it has to go is moving away from the pickup point? Do you have to chase the belt? That will require extremely high speeds and accelerations.

Or is the destination always coming towards you?

So you have to pick up an item from a moving conveyor belt and put it back on the belt?
*** very good question. the object that is picked up, should be dropped aside, off the belt and into container.

What if the place it has to go is moving away from the pickup point? Do you have to chase the belt? That will require extremely high speeds and accelerations.


The belt is moving always in the same direction ( let's say from right to left ) but the parts on the belt will be almost always on different locations.

On the beginning on the belt ( right side ) i will put a camera that will serve as first check point.
Camera should detect some pattern and software should calculate speed of track, x/y position and pick up time. Damn, when we talk about that i notice how big this project can be :-).

Could you just pick up a part, let the belt move under it while doing and sideways motion then placing the part on the belt?

Can you arrange to never have to stay with the belt or need to place a part in a position ahead of where it started?

In that case you only have to move parts the width of the belt at most.

arnix:
*** very good question. the object that is picked up, should be dropped aside, off the belt and into container.

Ok, that's much simpler. When you said re-place, I expected the parts to go back on the belt.

This kind of thing doesn't need an X-Y robot. A simple 'pusher' that pushes at the right time can do everything you need. So long as there's a path for the pusher scoop to travel across the belt and reach the right part without hitting any other part then it's very easy. If there isn't a path then turn up the speed of the belt or reduce the arrival rate of the parts until the parts end up far enough away from each other.

This is a pretty well-solved problem in industrial automation. There's dedicated cameras available and they get surprisingly high-tech. Sometimes the significant difference between parts is only visible to ultraviolet light, so there's ultraviolet cameras available for this.

For most purposes though, it just needs an array of sensors - maybe as few as 6 - across the entrance area and then the computer controlling the pusher knows the speed of the belt so it can advance the pusher out to hit any designated part with high accuracy.

If you're 'sorting' into multiple containers then you just need multiple pushers. One per container. All of the pushers are single-axis and don't need X-Y positioning. Or maybe a sorting chute at the output of the pusher.

Or a cross-belt motion picker for each bin.

If the parts slid down an incline, hatches could open or close over bins. But that might be difficult if some parts slide easier than others.

If you drop parts off a belt end, you could use air to blow parts into vertically stacked bins.

Sorry guys for late reply.
I have updated photo so we can be on the same track :slight_smile:

According to all that we have talk about and all that i have seen, delta robot should be the best solution for this project ? Something like this --> Kawasaki Robot YF003N high speed pick 'n' place - YouTube ?

BTW.
1.) speed of the belt is independent so it has nothing to do with the robotic part ( it can be in(de)creased
2.) parts on the conveyor track can be overlapped so this is additional problem
3.) drop off containers are cca 50 cm of delta arm ( work speed problem )

If there is some simpler solution please let me know.

Regards !

If you can make modifications: narrow the channel the parts pass through so they're in line: only one at a time passing by. Then the pusher (or blower) can push the parts one at a time onto a slid of sorts that's mounted next to the belt, and which lets the thing move to the container. Have as many such pushers as you have containers.

This would be the simplest solution - and no coincidence that this is how package sorting and so is done, too.

arnix:
Sorry guys for late reply.
I have updated photo so we can be on the same track :slight_smile:
pnp v1 — ImgBB

According to all that we have talk about and all that i have seen, delta robot should be the best solution for this project ? Something like this --> Kawasaki Robot YF003N high speed pick 'n' place - YouTube ?

BTW.
1.) speed of the belt is independent so it has nothing to do with the robotic part ( it can be in(de)creased
2.) parts on the conveyor track can be overlapped so this is additional problem
3.) drop off containers are cca 50 cm of delta arm ( work speed problem )

If there is some simpler solution please let me know.

Regards !

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  1. No problem.

  2. Fix this first. Like I said, make the belt run so fast that the overlaps stretch out to longer distances.

  3. What? Please describe this again with different words or draw a drawing.

0.) Forum staff
-- OK :slight_smile:

2.)overlaps on longer tracks...
-- hmm, the only idea that comes to my mind is to set some additional "shaker" that will "re-sort" pieces that are falling from main filler belt to conveyor track.

3.) When you look at the photo, you can see two containers ( painted in gray ).
They are located near the belt, each container on one side.
Belt size is cca 1 meter wide.

Human operator is located beside this container and he is doing the sort part, that should be replaced by delta robot.

So, you are suggesting delta robot as best approach ?

A.

Let the human do it and keep them in the job.

arnix:
2.)overlaps on longer tracks…
– hmm, the only idea that comes to my mind is to set some additional “shaker” that will “re-sort” pieces that are falling from main filler belt to conveyor track.

If you can drop 1 at a time you can have a ring of bins or line-feeders and air-blast each part to the correct one with a ring of compressed air nozzles.

Without knowing the differences in objects, methods to get the parts to ‘sort themselves’ don’t come into it. Very reliable vending machine coin mechs have used purely mechanical means to separate coins and slugs, often in freefall. For some things, a shaker on a modest centrifuge will separate parts by density.

If the parts have definite and different masses, being hit with the same force will accelerate each differently. F = MA!
If they’re kicked off a table top they will hit the floor at different distances (unless aerodynamic factors are greater) where you could put buckets.

@fall-apart-dave
Let the human do it and keep them in the job.
--> it's funny that you mentioned that because this was the first thing that i told to the investor.
--> luckily investor is a good guy and this operators will be reassigned on one other place. No one will loose there jobs. In fact,they will be doing something more suitable than just picking and replacing.

@goForSmoke
I agree with you. Shaker must be implemented in any case because there is too much material and overlaps. Now, there is just a question regarding HW. I would like to stick with arduino but am planning to create some "material sample db" that will be stored on SD card.

I dont know if i can get some "fast speed" robot with arduino or do i have to use RSP for this ?
Some profi solutions include smoothieBoards and alike....

But on the other and, maybe all this can be done with arduino and fast steppers like nema ?

Anyhow, delta robot it is :slight_smile: !
Arnix