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Location, location, location

Linking imaging data to digitally controlled machine positioning systems offers a number of benefits, such as improved productivity, a safer working environment, and better capabilities in adverse weather conditions. New technology based on this insight, developed by SIME, has extensive potential in cranes and robotics.

SIME’s Intelligent Gripper technology is the first of its type to use a new machine vision intelligent search algorithm to bring a new standard of accurate positioning to equipment such as tower cranes, mobile cranes, factory cranes, and transfer conveyors.

SIME’s Intelligent Gripper technology is ideal for close-range repositioning under a wide variety of difficult conditions.

The technology is particularly suitable for close-range repositioning under difficult conditions – in locations where operators cannot see the working area, and when faced with high winds, strong tides, unexpected load movements, or motor slip.

Capable of being easily retrofitted to existing systems, Intelligent Gripper technology can improve the accuracy and safety of GPS positioning applications, for example, which are dependent for their accuracy on a number of satellites and third-party adjustments. When the European GALILEO positioning system becomes operational, Intelligent Gripper will offer even more in terms of advanced positioning.

Grab your image

Intelligent Gripper is based on using a PC with a frame grabber to grab an image from a video camera at a specific location. Virtually any camera can be used, including wireless units and security surveillance cameras; the system selects the most appropriate feed from several cameras, as the location changes. This image is then linked with key data on machine position, camera location, and other parameters.

When the operator or system returns to the same location, Intelligent Gripper automatically recalls all this data, displays the stored image and activates the same camera, to enable the equipment’s current position to be compared to the stored position and ensure accurate repositioning.

This really comes into its own in high winds, for example, where Intelligent ­Gripper’s anti-sway feature compares the position of a crane’s hook with the target position, providing all the correctional data needed for a safe and successful lift.

Storing an image takes only a few seconds. This is then immediately ready for use. During repositioning, Intelligent Gripper compares the stored image of a location with the current one and provides an easy-to-use guide for returning there.
> Jouni Erikkilä
(Published in High Technology Finland )