The Benefits of Multi-Sensor Alignment with 6 Degrees of Freedom (6DoF) - Part 1

The majority of today’s inline quality control applications require machine vision systems to inspect targets that are larger than a single sensor’s field of view. Examples include log scanning, electronic parts (PCB, tablets, laptops) inspection, large automotive component and assembly inspection (doors, engine blocks, cylinder heads), and inspection of factory panels.

Multi-sensor networking using 3D smart sensors is the ideal solution to this challenge. The ability to synchronize scanning and perform alignment and stitching across multiple scan devices offers several key benefits.

Multi-sensor networks are:

  1. Flexible – Users can set up a network in any layout they want, including ring, opposing, angled, and staggered.

  2. Scalable – Users can network any number of sensors to meet the needs of their particular application.

  3. Simple – In a smart sensor, the required software for networking is already onboard. A single cable connects the sensor to a dedicated master network controller that handles power distribution and micro-second data synchronization.

Bank of 3D Smart Sensors

6 DoF in Flexible Sensor Alignment

Industrial inspection applications present a number of variables that need to be compensated for in the setup of a sensor network. This includes inaccurate mounting, or the need for a specific rotation to optimize scan results (e.g., angling the sensor to improve the signal on reflective targets).

Non-reflective vs. Reflective targets

3D smart sensors solve these inspection challenges by supporting advanced alignment options that correct for variation in 6 degrees of freedom (6 DoF). In essence, this means sensors can be staggered, rotated, angled, or offset in every coordinate direction (X, Y, Z) to fit specific applications. Gocator produces fully stitched 3D models in a single, world coordinate system which can then be used for accurate absolute measurement. Watch the video for a closer look at this powerful smart sensor capability.

Stay tuned for Part 2, where we’ll discuss how data is handled in a multi-sensor network, application examples for 6 DoF alignment, and the benefits of this key 3D smart sensor functionality in improving factory production.