Prime Vision announces partnership with Delft Robotics to advance automation in postal logistics | Automation.com

Prime Vision announces partnership with Delft Robotics to advance automation in postal logistics

Prime Vision announces partnership with Delft Robotics to advance automation in postal logistics

March 31, 2017 - Prime Vision and Delft Robotics have agreed to a technology partnership that will see the pair work together to advance automation in postal logistics applications. The postal recognition technology of Prime Vision will complement Delft Robotics to apply robots based on 3D machine vision using deep learning.

By combining robotic arms with the sensing capabilities of 3D vision technology, it will be possible to provide solutions to automation problems that have been impossible or too expensive to develop. Intelligent robotic systems use a combination of technologies that allow the system to ‘look’ at its work environment. In this way, robotic systems are able to cope with product differences, which is particularly important in the postal sector, where the processing of parcel variety remains a major barrier to wide scale robot adoption.

The partnership between Prime Vision and Delft Robotics will also lend itself to integration with the Internet of Things (IoT). Both companies believe that the mid-term future of postal logistics will see printed electronics propel the sector into a world where every parcel is ‘smart’, which in turn will demand the evolution of recognition methodology.

Among the core focus areas of Prime Vision’s Innovation Department is robotics. Here, trends in greater computing power and vision potential are making robots far more mobile than they were in the past. Applying this school of thought to postal logistics, pick and place robots are becoming a reality. These robots will be able to recognise each parcel type, grasp it accordingly and place it where required.

Delft Robotics won the 2016 Amazon Picking Challenge twice. By applying deep learning on 3D images the robot was able to effectively recognize and grasp a great variety of products. Items ranged widely in shape, from soft clothing and boxed DVDs, to water bottles and toothbrushes, indicating the system’s recognition potential.

Ultimately, the partnership between Prime Vision and Delft Robotics is intended to allow company experts to join forces and empower each other.

The pair are now planning to begin joint R&D with one or more postal companies that are looking to take advantage of robotics.

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