Robot tool positioning and alignment
One of the main applications of machine vision in industry is in the alignment and positioning of tools that are used in a large variety of tasks. In virtually every example of industrial automation, precise positioning of an end-tool (often attached to a robot arm) is required to complete a planned operation. Several examples can be drawn from the automotive industry, food manufacturing, industrial assembly, electronics industry to mention a few.
By means of image processing and 2D/3D object recognition, precise measurement of distances and objects can be derived allowing real-time closed-loop control of the machine tool. In some cases, though, vision equipment can be replaced - or coupled - with measurement sensors (such as laser displacement sensors) which are often simpler to set up and provide direct signals that can be fed back to the control system.