NexCOBOT Taiwan
13F, No.916, Zhongzheng Rd., Zhonghe Dist., New Taipei City, Taiwan 23586, R.O.C.
TEL: +886-2-8226-7786

Robotics with AI for Industry 4.0

Advancing industrial optimization and automation via the integration of machine vision and AI

The future of robot and machine solutions is a production environment where devices, machines, robots, and sensors are interoperable. NexCOBOT integrates AI-driven vision capabilities into robotics to improve quality and accuracy over traditional machine vision—as well as deliver new levels of flexibility to industrial operations. In a recent pilot, NexCOBOT demonstrates two robots with AI vision conducting automotive assembly. This example of low-volume, high-mix manufacturing requires high levels of customization and flexibility. Patterns, colors, and the shape and arrangement of LED modules change frequently.

The NexCOBOT solution is powered by high-performance Intel® technology including the Intel® Celeron® processor and Intel® Core™ i7 processor, and uses the Intel® Ethernet Controller to build EtherCAT-based robot control systems. In addition, the solution leverages the OpenVINO™ toolkit to implement AI inference and Intel® Movidius™ VPUs for computer vision acceleration at the edge.

Unlike many companies providing complete sets of industrial robots, NexCOBOT provides an open and modular solution for users to develop a robot control system that best fits their particular application requirements.

• Meet the demands of high-mix, low-volume manufacturing

• Increase accuracy under varying environmental conditions

• Speed time to results—no need to set up an identical environment each time

• Use a single statement of purpose (SOP) and model for varying tests and different applications

How it works

The OpenVINO toolkit includes the Intel® Deep Learning Deployment Toolkit with a model optimizer and inference engine, along with optimized computer vision libraries and functions for OpenCV and OpenVX. This comprehensive toolkit supports the full range of vision solutions, speeding computer vision workloads; streamlining deep learning deployments; and enabling easy, heterogeneous execution across Intel platforms from device to cloud.

The Intel Core processor and OpenVINO toolkit are used for inference acceleration, while Intel Celeron processors are used in the robot control system. The OpenVINO toolkit's Model Optimizer allows AI models to be easily deployed on the Intel platform.

Based on EtherCAT communication, NexCOBOT modular products include embedded computing boards, robot controllers, teach pendants, EtherCAT I/OS, and control cabinets. NexCOBOT’s robot control software, NexGRC, provides robotic control (PTP, JOG, HOME, LINE, CIRCLE, etc.) and a robot operation user interface. Those robotic control functions always come in dynamic-link library (DLL) API forms so that customers can develop their own GUI for their robot system, or integrate robot control with any other software. To save development time and effort, customers can find components from NexCOBOT to fit in a complex robot control system.

• EtherCAT communication to easily expand system’s motion control and I/O (up to 32 slaves)

• Support commonly used robot types, including 6/7-axis articulated robot, delta robot, or Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA)

• Powerful utility to configure, test, and simulate robots

• Robot control API to develop customized GUI or integrate robot control with other software

Integrated with Touch Cloud’s AI software, NexCOBOT’s robot control solution can be utilized with a vision solution. Touch Cloud brings AI expertise and experience on imaging and numerical analytics areas. The AI vision system generates inspection results and information, such as object position, for NexCOBOT’s system to follow up the automation process with industrial robots.

Sample manufacturing use cases

By ensuring that thousands of modular products reach the market each year, NexCOBOT supports a variety of robotics use cases, from classification of modules to defect identification and inspection. Operators even interact with machines digitally using a human-machine interface (HMI). Smart factories provide many benefits, including a reduction in operator hours and opportunities to increase throughput, boost yields, improve efficiency, and reduce downtime through insights gained from advanced data analytics.

NexCOBOT smart machinery solutions facilitate the end-to-end linkage of manufacturing processes and simplify the architecture of production lines.

Defect classification in TFT LCD manufacturing process

• No extra coding efforts (as required by traditional machine vision)
• High accuracy and repeatability

Defect classification in LED manufacturing process

• No extra coding efforts (as required by traditional machine vision)
• High accuracy and repeatability

Car LED assembly

• High accuracy, even in a changing environment
• Precise location of objects

Touch panel manufacturing process analytics

• Improve customer satisfaction and productivity

With preintegrated and prevalidated robotic control modules, the NexCOBOT solution performs precise robotic control for today’s manufacturing plants and Industry 4.0. Together, NexCOBOT and Intel are bringing new levels of accuracy and acceleration to solution providers and industries.