Patents Assigned to Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
  • Patent number: 6944324
    Abstract: A system and method for detecting multiple object conditions, such as side-by-side and overlapped objects, such as packages, on a conveyor. The system includes at least one machine vision system including at least one machine vision camera, at least one illumination subsystem and at least one machine vision computer. The illumination subsystem(s) is configured to illuminate a plurality of objects as they are conveyed past at least one field of view at an inspection station along a conveyor belt. Each machine vision camera is positioned to capture one or more images of the objects as the objects are conveyed past the field of view(s). Each machine vision computer is programmed to detect the presence of multiple object conditions by detecting and counting the number of edges appearing in an image of an object captured by one of the machine vision cameras. The method illuminates at least one object as it passes through the field of view, at which time at least one image of the object is captured.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 24, 2001
    Date of Patent: September 13, 2005
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Don Tran, George W. Schurr
  • Patent number: 6860428
    Abstract: A hand-held imager which is capable of reading both linear and two dimensional symbologies, which can perform focusing and illuminating steps quickly and accurately so as to eliminate variation in the position of the imager relative to the code becoming a negative factor, in which can operate in environment where the imager is anywhere from 1.5 inches to 16 inches from the code. The imager includes an imaging system having a focusing system, an illumination system, and a two-dimensional photodetector which forms an image of the coded symbology. After achieving targeting of the coded symbology, the scanning system adjusts the focus between multiple different focuses, and utilizes a portion of the two-dimensional photodetector to determine the optimum focus. Upon the determination of optimum focus, the focusing system is returned to the focusing configuration established in the initial focusing step, and an image is created using the entire two-dimensional photodetector.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: March 1, 2005
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems Inc.
    Inventors: John H. Dowling, Howard Stern, Harry R. McKinley, Philip E. McKinley, Jason J. Lee, Luis Alberto Figarella
  • Patent number: 6667762
    Abstract: A miniature inspection system for observing an object. The system comprises a camera (4) defining an optical axis (8) defined between the camera (4) and the object when located at the object inspection location. A ring light (14) is located concentrically with respect to and along the optical axis at a location between an entrance aperture of the camera (4) and the object, when located at the object observing location. A field lens (10) is located along the optical axis at a location between the camera (4) and the object, when placed at the object observing location. A mirror or a penta-prism (34) may be located along the optical axis, between the camera (4) and the field lens, so that light reflected from the object along the optical axis is reflected by either the mirror or the penta-prism (34) toward the entrance aperture of the camera (4). An illumination source (50), may be also provided to supply illumination along the optical axis of the system.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: February 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: December 23, 2003
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: William P. Bouvier, Timothy P. White, John J. Merva
  • Patent number: 6661521
    Abstract: An illumination apparatus is provided for a hand-held imager preferably to provide diffuse illumination for encoded symbology carried directly upon an article (component, etc) or upon a substrate carried by an article. The illumination apparatus is disposed proximate the front of the hand-held imager and is configured to permit light reflected from the target to pass through the illumination apparatus and onto a CCD image receiver. An array of unlensed LED's is disposed to cast approximately or substantially lambertian illumination in a direction away from the target to be imaged and into the hand-held housing to impinge upon surfaces of an illuminator to receive the illumination and, in turn, project efficient and diffuse dark field illumination through the array of unlensed LED's and towards and onto a location where a target to be imaged would be disposed.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: September 11, 1998
    Date of Patent: December 9, 2003
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Howard Stern
  • Publication number: 20030161524
    Abstract: A method and system is disclosed to improve the ability of a machine vision system to distinguish desired features of a target by taking images of the target under different one or more lighting conditions and using image analysis to extract information of interest about the target. Ultraviolet light is used alone or in connection with direct on-axis and/or low angle lighting to highlight different features of the target. One or more filters disposed between the target and the camera help to filter out unwanted light from the one or more images taken by the camera. The images may be analyzed by conventional image analysis techniques and the results recorded or displayed on a computer display device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: February 22, 2002
    Publication date: August 28, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Steven Joseph King
  • Patent number: 6603874
    Abstract: A system and method for simultaneously obtaining a plurality of images of an object or pattern from a plurality of different viewpoints is provided. In an exemplary embodiment, proper image contrast is obtained by replacing the light sources of earlier systems with equivalent light sensitive devices and replacing the cameras of earlier systems with equivalent light sources. With such a system, bright-field images and dark-field images may be simultaneously obtained. In one aspect of the invention, a light source is positioned to illuminate at least a portion of an object. A plurality of light guides having input ends are positioned to simultaneously receive light reflected from the object and transmit the received light to a plurality of photodetectors. The light guides are arranged such that their respective input ends are spaced substantially equally along at least a portion of a surface of an imaginary hemisphere surrounding the object.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: March 3, 2000
    Date of Patent: August 5, 2003
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Howard Stern, Fereydoun Maali
  • Patent number: 6585185
    Abstract: A multiple output reel module includes a reel wheel supporting a plurality of spindles. Mounted to each spindle is a reel. The reel wheel is rotatable to position one of the spindle and reel combinations in a loading position in which output media from a nearby machine is interconnected to the reel. The spindle and reel are rotated to load the reel with output media. A CPU monitors the status of the reel, and stops the loading when the reel is full. The CPU then rotates the reel wheel to position a second spindle and reel combination in the loading position. The output media is automatically positioned over a portion of the second reel, and the output media is automatically interconnected to the second reel with an over-center finger assembly. Then the output media between the two reels is cut and the second reel is loaded with output media.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 6, 2001
    Date of Patent: July 1, 2003
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Martin Weiss, Merlin Behnke, Scott E. Booker, David J. Rollmann, Troy R. Beasley, Kenneth J. Pikus
  • Publication number: 20030101692
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for flattening cover tape prior to the cover tape being sealed to a carrier tape. The apparatus includes a cover tape flattener with a leading edge angled in the direction of the moving carrier tape and cover tape. The method and apparatus provide for smoothing the cover tape and sealing the cover tape to the carrier tape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Publication date: June 5, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Merlin E. Behnke
  • Patent number: 6573987
    Abstract: An LCC inspecting device includes a mirror having non-parallel front and rear surfaces, and reflective coatings on the front and rear surfaces. The reflective coatings reflect light of frequencies different from each other such that light of a first frequency reflects off the front surface of the mirror and light of a second, different frequency reflects off the rear surface. The LCC device may therefore be inspected from different angles by selectively using light of the first and second frequencies.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 2, 2002
    Date of Patent: June 3, 2003
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark R. Shires
  • Publication number: 20030094235
    Abstract: The present invention provides a multiple output reel module (“MROM”) for use with a taper machine or any other machine outputting flexible media. The MROM includes an upper spindle shaft supporting a plurality of output reels, a lower spindle shaft supporting a plurality of output reels, a tape insertion assembly that positions the flexible media adjacent a hub of one of the output reels along a loading plane, a finger assembly that holds the flexible media against the hub, a cutting assembly for cutting the flexible media, and a reel moving mechanism operable to move the output reels into and out of alignment with the loading plane. The MROM also includes a reel support structure along which the upper and lower spindle shafts are moveable in a linear direction. The flexible media may be held against the hub of the output reels with a finger assembly or a length of adhesive tape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 6, 2002
    Publication date: May 22, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Merlin E. Behnke
  • Publication number: 20030079444
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for flattening cover tape prior to the cover tape being sealed to a carrier tape. The apparatus includes a cover tape flattener with a leading edge angled in the direction of the moving carrier tape and cover tape. The method and apparatus provide for smoothing the cover tape and sealing the cover tape to the carrier tape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Publication date: May 1, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Merlin E. Behnke
  • Publication number: 20030079842
    Abstract: Method and apparatus for sealing cover tape. A sealing mechanism is connected to an actuator that moves the mechanism toward an adhesively backed cover tape and a carrier tape. The sealing mechanism applies heat and/or pressure to the cover tape to activate and bond the cover tape to the carrier tape. A biasing member biases the mechanism away from the cover and carrier tapes. The actuator is actuable to overcome the biasing force of the biasing member and to initiate contact between the sealing mechanism and the cover tape. When the actuator is disengaged, the biasing member moves the sealing mechanism away from the cover tape.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 30, 2002
    Publication date: May 1, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Merlin E. Behnke
  • Publication number: 20030079446
    Abstract: A method and apparatus for packaging parts in compartments of a carrier tape and affixing a cover tape over the carrier tape to trap the parts in the compartments. The method and apparatus provide for deflecting a flange of the carrier tape and sealing the cover tape to the deflected flange. The cover tape is tightened across the carrier tape when the carrier tape flange returns to its undeflected condition.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 29, 2002
    Publication date: May 1, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Merlin E. Behnke
  • Publication number: 20030044056
    Abstract: A method for inspecting composite tape including cover tape bonded to carrier tape comprises capturing a digital image of the composite tape, dividing the seal tracks within the image into a plurality of fragments or segments. The method also provides for analyzing each segment of the seal track for the presence or absence of the seal and for the width of the seal, and assigning a failing grade to the segment if the seal is not continuous within the segment or if the seal has a width less than a minimum width within the segment. The method further provides for notifying a machine operator of a defective seal if the number consecutively-failed segments in the seal track exceeds a defect tolerance. The method also provides for measuring the spacings of the carrier tape edge, cover tape edge, and seal tracks from each other and comparing those spacings to acceptable values.
    Type: Application
    Filed: June 13, 2002
    Publication date: March 6, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Dallin Katt, Mark R. Shires, Robert G. Bertz, Michael Reilly, Merlin Behnke
  • Patent number: 6525827
    Abstract: A diffracting beam splitter splits an optical beam. The resulting beams are swept over an object by a beam deflector. The beams are mechanically scanned transverse to the beam deflection direction. A position sensitive device receives light reflected from the incident beams and a three dimensional profile of the object is produced.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: January 16, 2001
    Date of Patent: February 25, 2003
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Kuo-Ching Liu
  • Publication number: 20030035577
    Abstract: Methods and systems for monitoring the delivery of workpieces to a position by: storing a digital reference image of the position prior to the delivery of workpieces; storing a digital operating image of the position during delivery of workpieces; performing image arithmetic on the reference image and the operating image to produce a digital evaluation image comprised of a plurality of pixels; establishing a threshold image condition for the evaluation image that correlates to the existence of an operating condition relevant to the control of the delivery of workpieces; and examining the pixels in the evaluation image to determine whether the threshold image condition is met.
    Type: Application
    Filed: August 14, 2001
    Publication date: February 20, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Don A. Tran, Kevin E. Duffey
  • Publication number: 20030024216
    Abstract: A drive for a carrier tape used in conjunction with a pick and place module of a machine for inspecting and handling advances the carrier tape to its desired position in two steps. Using the number of sprocket holes between compartments in the tape (n holes), the first step is n−1 sprocket holes. The second step takes the carrier tape the remaining distance to complete the advance to the distance equal to n sprocket holes. The tape is driven by friction rollers not by means of the sprocket holes. The presence of a device in a compartment and its proper positioning in the compartment is also inspected.
    Type: Application
    Filed: October 1, 2002
    Publication date: February 6, 2003
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Merlin E. Behnke, Steven J. Alexander, Donald P. McGee, Todd K. Pichler, John Novak
  • Patent number: 6481187
    Abstract: A carrier tape drive used in conjunction with a pick and place module. The drive advances carrier tape to a desired position in two steps. The first step includes substantially stopping a carrier tape compartment short of a loading position, and the second step includes moving the compartment into the loading position.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: April 7, 2000
    Date of Patent: November 19, 2002
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Merlin E. Behnke, Steven J. Alexander, Donald P. McGee, Todd K. Pichler, John Novak
  • Publication number: 20020135757
    Abstract: The invention provides an apparatus for inspecting an LCC device. The apparatus can detect a variety of surface defects including small cracks, exposed copper, and peripheral deformities on the LCC device. The apparatus includes an LCC support mechanism adapted to support the LCC device, a camera positioned to view the LCC device, and a plurality of light sources that emit light to illuminate the LCC device.
    Type: Application
    Filed: May 7, 2002
    Publication date: September 26, 2002
    Applicant: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventor: Mark R. Shires
  • Patent number: RE38880
    Abstract: An apparatus for processing electronic circuit devices includes an infeed station, a first inspection station, an inverter station, a second inspection station, a sorting station, and an outfeed station. A linear transport mechanism having side edges transports a first work piece containing a plurality of electronic circuit devices through the stations along a linear path. The inverter station holds an empty second work piece above the transport mechanism in an inverted orientation. The inverter station also includes an elevator for lifting the first work piece vertically into an abutting relationship with the second work piece, and an inverting mechanism for inverting the first and second work pieces while maintaining them in the abutting relationship to position the electronic devices in the second work piece in the inverted orientation.
    Type: Grant
    Filed: July 15, 1998
    Date of Patent: November 22, 2005
    Assignee: Robotic Vision Systems, Inc.
    Inventors: Merlin E. Behnke, Michael L. Schneider, Donald P. McGee, Robert G. Bertz, William Fusco, Jr., Todd K. Pichler, Jon P. Ubert, Steven J. Bilodeau, Frank L. Jacovino