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Automated detection of euro pallet loads by interpreting PMD camera depth images

: Weichert, Frank; Skibinski, Sebastian; Stenzel, Jonas; Prasse, Christian; Kamagaew, Andreas; Rudak, Bartholomäus; Ten Hompel, Michael


Logistics research 6 (2013), No.2-3, pp.99-118
ISSN: 1865-035X
ISSN: 1865-0368
Journal Article
Fraunhofer IML ()
computer vision; de-palletizing; contour check; automated handling; PMD technology; 3D-imaging

In this study, a novel approach for the detection of parcel loading positions on a pallet is presented. This approach was realized as a substantial change in comparison with traditional system design of contour detection in de-palletizing processes. Complex 3D-vision systems, costly laser scanners or throughput decreasing local sensor solutions integrated in grippers are substituted by a lowcost photonic mixing device (PMD) camera. By combining PMD technology and a predetermined model of loading situations, stored during assembling the pallet, this approach can compensate for the drawbacks of each respective system. An essential part of the approach are computer-graphics methods specific to the given problem to both detect the deviation between the nominal and the actual loading position and if necessary an automated correction of the packaging scheme. From an economic point of view, this approach can decrease the costs of mandatory contour checking in automated de-palletizing processes.