Omron Industrial Automation has introduced a vision sensor developed specifically to meet the needs of pick-and-place applications. Highly compact, and with a processing speed of 5,000 pieces per minute – even with full 360 degree rotation – the new FQ-M vision sensor comes with Ethernet and EtherCAT embedded for ease of integration into any environment, and includes an incremental encoder for easy tracking and calibration. The FQ-M is configured for guidance of dynamic pick-and-place robots using Omron’s Sysmac Studio software, and is complemented by the palm-sized TouchFinder console for local monitoring and access to functions and settings. The FQ-M is a smart camera that meets all of the needs of demanding object recognition and tracking applications, combining a camera, image processing functionality and flexible communications options into a single package, the company says. The vision sensor ensures stable and robust shape-based detection, even under changeable environmental conditions, and has been designed for the inspection of a wide range of objects. Object detection is based on a newly developed contour-based search algorithm, which ensures the highest reliability, regardless of changing lighting conditions, reflection and object inclination. The algorithm can even cope with overlapped or partially hidden objects. With this high performance algorithm and the high-speed image processing capability, the FQ-M can detect up to 32 pieces at once with absolute stability, and 5,000 pieces per minute. The incremental encoder interface simplifies initial calibration of the system, and enables on-the-fly tracking for tightly synchronized control. The FQ-M is able to output position co-ordinates and the corresponding encoder values, and is able to manage the object queue so that no object’s co-ordinates are duplicated.