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SmartRunner Explorer 3-D for High-Precision 3-D Image Processing


At the speed of light into the third dimension of automation.

SmartRunner Explorer 3-D
SmartRunner Explorer 3-D

3-D image processing systems are increasingly being used to achieve a more detailed representation of objects during goods inspection on conveyor belts or in pick-and-place applications in robotics. At the same time, the need for flexible identification detection, completeness detection, position detection, and volume detection solutions that can be individually adapted to a wide range of applications is growing.
As part of the SmartRunner product family, the new SmartRunner Explorer 3-D sensor delivers high-precision 3-D point cloud images in addition to 2-D images, and is available with stereo vision technology or time-of-flight (ToF) technology.

Pepperl+Fuchs can assist you in selecting the appropriate 3-D vision sensor and can carry out all the programming if required. Even application-specific versions that integrate the software directly in the device can be implemented.

One Sensor—Two Technologies

With its larger measuring range, the ToF sensor can be used in AGV applications.
With its larger measuring range, the ToF sensor can be used in AGV applications.

The SmartRunner Explorer 3-D is available with stereo vision technology or time-of-flight (ToF) technology. In the first step, the stereo vision version with two cameras and a resolution of 1.4 MP determines a disparity image, which is produced from the superimposition of the two 2-D images. Other than with comparable sensors, this is done directly in the device and fully automatically. Together with the integrated FPGA module, a 3-D point cloud image can be generated from this. Based on the high-resolution 2-D images, it is easy to orientate the sensor to the sensing range, which facilitates subsequent interpretation of the measurement results. In this way, any shading can be identified even before a 3-D image has been generated. Integrated scenery lighting for optimal illumination simplifies application setup.

The raw data sensor with ToF technology has VGA resolution (640 x 480 px) and a high measuring rate of 30 Hz. This makes it especially suitable for applications in which a larger measuring range and rapid reaction times are required—for example when using driverless transport systems. The 940-nanometer infrared light means the ToF version is insensitive to ambient light and can be used both indoors and outdoors.

The sensor camera generates what is known as a Z image, which is comparable to a 2-D image. In addition, the device outputs a depth image, which shows the distance between the object to be detected and the sensor, and a heightmap with 2-D information in the x and y directions. Finally, from this information, a detailed 3-D point cloud image can be generated.

Robust and Sophisticated Housing Design

An integrated mounting aid facilitates installation.
An integrated mounting aid facilitates installation.

Due to its temperature-regulating properties, the extremely robust aluminum housing with IP65 protection enables high-precision measurement results to be achieved even in the most demanding ambient conditions. The integrated mounting aid on the back of the housing is used for easy and precise installation of the sensor, therefore facilitating subsequent device exchange. Once sensors have been orientated, there is the option to duplicate them in an identical application.

Easy Sensor Integration with Software ViSolution

The new Pepperl+Fuchs software ViSolution provides users with an intuitive user interface for integrating, monitoring, and maintaining SmartRunner 2-D and 3-D sensors. The solution is suitable for desktop use and in the future will also be suitable for use on Windows-based mobile devices. The software makes it easy to commission and manage both SmartRunner 3-D technologies. 2-D data and 3-D point clouds can be generated and visualized with just a few clicks. Since the sensor is already calibrated when delivered, it is ready for use immediately. The time required to program and integrate the device into the application can therefore be reduced many times over.

Highlights of the SmartRunner Explorer 3-D Sensors

  • Individually configurable raw data sensor with stereo vision technology or time-of-flight technology
  • High-precision measurement results that can be displayed in the form of 2-D images and 3-D point cloud images
  • High chip resolution for more detailed 3-D data
  • Robust aluminum housing (IP65) compensates for temperature fluctuations
  • Programming can be carried out either by the user or by Pepperl+Fuchs; a C API and a .NET API are already supplied


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SmartRunner Explorer 3-D

Get more information about the SmartRunner Explorer 3-D with stereo vision and time-of-flight technology.