Veo FreeMove Vision System

November 13, 2019
Veo FreeMove Vision System

Veo Robotics announces the launch of Veo FreeMove, a safety-ratable, production-ready vision system for safe human-robot interaction. The Veo FreeMove system gives manufacturing engineers the freedom to combine the strength, precision and speed of standard industrial robots with the ingenuity, judgment and dexterity of humans.

In today’s highly competitive marketplace, manufacturers need to be more responsive and flexible than ever before. Process variations that lead to product quality issues must be addressed immediately. Product cycles are shorter, requiring quicker line design and commissioning. Mass customization means that fully automating manufacturing process steps has become much more costly in engineering time and capital equipment. Often, the costs of fully automating process steps can never be amortized before the process must be changed.

By making it possible for standard industrial robots to respond safely to nearby humans, Veo FreeMove plays to the strengths of both humans and robots. Doing so increases worker productivity, improves ergonomics and reduces engineering and capital equipment costs.

The result is quicker implementation, reduced downtime and greater manufacturing flexibility. These changes can unlock new methods of production.

Veo FreeMove can be used with standard industrial robots from major manufacturers, which can have payloads of hundreds of kilograms and move at many meters per second. To make these types of robots robots truly collaborative, safety has been Veo’s paramount focus since its founding.  

The Veo FreeMove system is compliant with ISO 13849 (Safety of machinery — Safety-related parts of control systems), meets the requirements of PL=d, structure category 3, and consists of:

  • FreeMove Sensors: custom, 3D time-of-flight sensors that are mounted on the workcell periphery to cover the volume of the safeguarded space. 

  • FreeMove Engine: a high-performance, dual-channel architecture computing platform that runs fail-safe software that processes image data from the sensors and implements speed and separation monitoring (per ISO 15066).

  • FreeMove Studio: a software suite for self-service configuration and real-time visualization of the sensors and FreeMove Engine data. 

The sensors and engine run the company's proprietary intelligent vision and control software. Data from the sensors, which have redundant sensing elements with an on-board FPGA for real-time comparison and health monitoring, is fused into a 3D representation of the workcell. That data is redundantly processed by each channel of the engine’s high-performance computing platform and then compared by a safety processor to guarantee correct calculation. The engine maps and classifies the workspace in real time, performing dynamic speed and separation monitoring in accordance with ISO/TS 15066 and ISO 10218. The system can be configured through the user interface, FreeMove Studio.

FreeMove projects all possible future positions of the objects in its environment. It dynamically calculates protective separation distances and signals the robot to slow or stop as necessary for worker safety, and then to resume its program when it can do so safely. 

Because FreeMove will override the robot program as necessary to safely slow and stop, it allows for the design of ISO 10218 SSM-compliant applications and workcells. Additionally, because the sensors and engine have continuous registration and health monitoring systems, any fault will safely stop the robot.

Veo Robotics has been working with third-party certification agencies through the entire FreeMove development process and will submit the Veo FreeMove system for certification in early 2020, with final certification expected at the end of 2020.

Customers who would like to begin designing and evaluating manufacturing process steps incorporating FreeMove today can purchase the FreeMove Application Development Kit, introduced in May 2019. The FreeMove ADK is a version of FreeMove running on non-safety-ratable hardware that must be used with redundant safety systems for development purposes. The resulting designs can be implemented in production with the full Veo FreeMove system.

FreeMove will make manufacturing more flexible and efficient by reducing both capital and operating expenses. It allows manufacturing engineers to build production workcells that include robots (or other automatic machinery) and human production workers. This leads to shorter design times, less custom machinery and shorter lead times before workcells are operational. In production operations, FreeMove provides shorter takt times, higher unit production rates and quicker fault recovery, all with improved ergonomics and safety.

Related Glossary Terms

  • recovery


    Reduction or removal of workhardening effects, without motion of large-angle grain boundaries.

  • robotics


    Discipline involving self-actuating and self-operating devices. Robots frequently imitate human capabilities, including the ability to manipulate physical objects while evaluating and reacting appropriately to various stimuli. See industrial robot; robot.

  • vision system

    vision system

    System in which information is extracted from visual sensors to allow machines to react to changes in the manufacturing process.