This final report from the Automate 2024 show encompasses some unique technology applications along with other technologies. Featured are Vention, Zebra, LexxPluss, Orbbec, Ericsson and Dassault.


I have written about Vention a few times. I first met them as an innovative component designer. They told me they’ve recently combined five business. Their unique take on technology is that you can Design and Build your machine from their CAD and components on the Web. You go to their CAD and find amenu of components they offer. You design your machine and price BOM, all on Web. It’s sort of like assembling Legos. You can check it out—the CAD part is free to use. You can also add code including Python and C, then simulate machine, and purchase system. You deploy the system with their controller, which can track analytics. Service is prompt and efficient.

Zebra Technologies Advancing the Connected Factory

Zebra’s latest fixed industrial scanner, the Zebra FS42 is designed for resource-intensive tasks like deep learning-based optical character recognition (OCR) applications and high-throughput scanning requiring speed. Its increased onboard memory and neural processing unit (NPU) enable faster scanning and more complex artificial intelligence (AI)-based deep learning machine vision applications. 

Zebra’s Aurora Software Suite is ideal for addressing the track-and-trace and vision inspection needs of users at all experience levels. It supports barcode reading and additional inspection tasks like OCR, dimensioning, and defect detection. The FS42 features Zebra’sAurora Focus which makes it easy to set up, deploy, and run the device, eliminating the need for other tools and reducing training time. 

Zebra’s new 3S Series 3D sensors will also be introduced at Automate. Using patented parallel structured light, the industrial-grade 3S series enables 3D sensing for static and moving items – including those that are high-gloss, translucent, or transparent – with sub-millimeter resolution and accuracy. 

Zebra’s 3S series captures various sizes and is “plug-and-play” ready with a Power over Ethernet (PoE) connection. They will be bundled with Zebra’s Aurora Design Assistant or Aurora Vision Studio which speeds up development and brings 3D vision applications online quicker. 

The 3S40 sensor is designed to scan static objects, integrating them into manufacturing operations to resolve inspection and dimensioning applications with a scanning range of up to 7 t./2.1 meters. The 3S80 sensor is built to capture dynamic scenes and create 3D point color clouds in real time, expanding the range of advanced automation applications. It has a scan range of up to 10 ft./3 meters. 

Zebra Symmetry Fulfillment comprises a comprehensive solution that helps workers and robots be more productive, optimizing the path of a picker with a team of robots for a directed workflow.  Zebra Symmetry Fulfillment uses the power of autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), wearable technologies, software, and analytics to maintain high-quality standards while improving performance and reducing costs per unit.

LexxPluss launches scalable, interoperable mobile conveying

The Japanese intralogistics and mobile robotics company featured the Lexx500 autonomous mobile robot, the LexxTug towing interface, the LexxFleet management system and its IoT LexxHub, which facilitates the collective automation of existing systems with Lexx500 AMRs for enhanced safety and interoperability.

Lexx500 next-generation automated transfer robots with multi-sensor safety features can be deployed from just a single unit and easily increased to a multi-AMR fleet, providing market-leading scalability. The Lexx500 requires no fixed equipment and can automatically transfer heavy loads/objects up to 300kg (660 lbs) with minor modifications, or 500kg (1100 lbs) as is with LexxTug attached.

The LexxTug towing interface allows manufacturers to use general-purpose carts such as cage carts and 6-wheel carts without modification to automatically transfer loads of up to 500kg (1100 lbs). It has an automatic detachment function to enable it to fit into existing operations without major changes.

The LexxFleet management system delivers task management, group control management of multiple units, and system integration. The fleet management system provides users with Lexx500 transport status management, map display, multiple task execution/reservation, RESTful API integration, and remote emergency stop function for the safe, efficient management of AMR fleets.

LexxHub is an IoT solution that enables collective automation of existing systems by allowing existing equipment to connect to the network and work with a fleet of Lexx500 AMRs, creating an autonomous worksite through equipment cooperation. Collaborative tasks such as calling an elevator, production equipment lines, or fire prevention functions such as shutters and alarms can be performed in time with AMRs to enhance productivity and safety.

Orbbec Gemini 330 Series of Stereo Vision 3D Cameras

Orbbec, an industry leader dedicated to 3D vision systems, introduced its Gemini 330 series, featuring the Gemini 335 and Gemini 335L Stereo Vision 3D cameras. Engineered as universal solutions for diverse 3D application scenarios, these cameras boast Orbbec’s latest depth engine chip MX6800, a purpose-built ASIC and patented hybrid stereo imaging technology that ensures stable, high-quality depth data output even in challenging lighting conditions.

Key Features of the Gemini 335 and 335L:

  • Stable, high-quality depth images under various lighting conditions, from direct sunlight to darkroom.
  • Diagonal field of view over 100°, working range beyond 0.2 – 10 meters, global shutter image sensors, high frame rate, low latency, comprehensive and precise sensor synchronization ideal for mobile robotics applications
  • Compact form factor, low power consumption for flexible integration into customer product designs

Ericsson and Dassault

I began this section with an innovative way to design and price a machine. I end with another cool innovation.

Ericsson is known for wireless, 5G cellular private networks and the like. It has partnered with Dassault Systemmes to construct a Digital Twin with Delmia of the network coverage in a plant. They do a LiDar scan of plant to map the plant and its potential steel barriers to signals. They find antennas in the plant with strength of signals and generate a visual map of the plant with colors that show strength of signal. Managers can make better decisions about where they need coverage in a weak spot and do things such as move equipment or racks to provide adequate wireless coverage. The system is also useful for large events.

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