Free People from Monotonous Work: OMRON Releases FH-SMD Series 3D Vision Sensor for Robot Arms

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KYOTO, Japan, March 3, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — OMRON Corporation based in Kyoto, Japan, announced the release in March of its new FH-SMD Series 3D Vision Sensor. The FH-SMD Series can be mounted on a robot to recognize randomly placed (bulk) automotive parts in three dimensions, enabling space-saving assembly, inspection, and pick & place, which are difficult with conventional robots, and improving productivity. OMRON continues to contribute to bringing innovation to manufacturing sites through total solutions combining robots and automation devices.

Image1: The FH-SMD Series mounted on OMRON’s collaborative robot recognizes bulk parts in three dimensions

Production workers are hard to come by these days, and labor costs have risen sharply. Manufacturers are now facing intense pressure to automate processes that rely on the senses of experienced human workers. Moreover, production workers now need to work harmoniously with machines to raise productivity amid the COVID-19 crisis. In particular, the automotive industry requires vision sensors as the eyes of robots that are indispensable for automation because it is difficult for machines to recognize positions and postures of various complex-shaped parts. However, conventional large 3D vision sensors take a long time to detect the status of targets as well as needing large spaces and large mounting equipment. These are barriers to installation into preexisting spaces and automation that provides human-level performance.

The new FH-SMD Series 3D Vision Sensor is small and light enough to be mounted on a robot arm, eliminating the need for special mounting equipment and thus saving space. This sensor can be moved to change viewpoints and easily recognize parts, reducing blind spots and providing reliable detection. In addition, the newly developed 3D measurement technology enables part detection in approximately 0.4 seconds (*1) regardless of the shape and location. Bulk parts assembly can be automated smoothly.

OMRON set forth a strategic concept called “innovative-Automation” consisting of three innovations or “i’s” — “integrated” (control evolution), “intelligent” (development of intelligence by ICT), and “interactive” (new harmonization between people and machines). By providing productive automation solutions combining the FH-SMD Series and robots, OMRON accelerates the creation of “interactive” manufacturing sites — key to the materialization of “innovative-Automation” — together with its client companies.

(*1) Total time for 3D measurement and 3D recognition under OMRON’s specified conditions.


1. Fits in preexisting compact spaces

The new small and light 3D vision sensor for robot arms saves installation space. There is no need for big mounting equipment and a major layout change which are required for other 3D vision sensors.

Image2: Features

Examples of using FH-SMD with robot

Flexible part picking from multiple locations, easily transportable to where needed

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2. Faster cycle time thanks to human-like speed and flexibility High-speed detection in approximately 0.4 seconds (*1) makes picking smooth.

High-speed detection is accomplished by 3D measurement technology to create 3D shape images and 3D recognition technology to identify the position and posture of targets.

(*1) Please refer to the previous note.

Image5: High-speed detection

The camera changes the viewpoint to detect parts at high speeds, reducing blind spots.

Image6: Examples of using FH-SMD with robot

3. Easy setup without manuals

The wizards guide operators step-by-step by setting up a picking application, from camera setup to calibration.

Image7: Easy setup without manuals

4. System configuration


5. Specifications

About “innovative-Automation”

Recently, OMRON has developed a manufacturing innovation concept, called “innovative-Automation.” With this concept, OMRON is currently committed to bringing innovation to manufacturing sites through three key innovations, or three “i’s.” Through these innovations in the area of automation, OMRON aims to enable significant productivity improvements in manufacturing sites in order to achieve high-value-added manufacturing.

With the first “i,” “integrated” (control evolution), OMRON will seek to advance automated control technology so that virtually any operator, even inexperienced operators, can effortlessly perform work that previously required the expert skills of experienced workers. With the second “i,” “intelligent” (development of intelligence by ICT), OMRON seeks to create constantly evolving equipment and production lines. By adopting a wide range of control devices and artificial intelligence (AI), machines can learn through experience and maintain themselves in optimal condition. For the third “i,” “interactive” (new harmonization between people and machines), OMRON pursues the development of a new harmonious relationship between human operators and machines; as they work together in the same workspace, machines will be able to assist human operators by recognizing human thoughts and behavior in a way that only OMRON, a specialist control equipment manufacturer who knows production floors inside and out, can realize.

About OMRON Corporation

OMRON Corporation is a global leader in the field of automation based on its core technology of “Sensing & Control + Think.” OMRON’s business fields cover a broad spectrum, ranging from industrial automation and electronic components to social systems, healthcare, and environmental solutions. Established in 1933, OMRON has about 30,000 employees worldwide, working to provide products and services in around 120 countries and regions. In the field of industrial automation, OMRON supports manufacturing innovation by providing advanced automation technology and products, as well as through extensive customer support, in order to help create a better society. For more information, visit OMRON’s website:

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