Sensors

Sensors are used to detect the presence of parts, measure distances and even determine the type of a part.

sensors

Fine Rotation

All sensors include a gizmo which can be used to rotate around the local up axis (Left-click and drag). Alternatively, you can rotate a sensor or reset the rotation through the Context Menu.

rotation gizmo

Range

Sensor range can be manually set by Left-clicking and dragging the white circle gizmo (Capacitive, Inductive, Diffuse and Retroreflective sensors).

range gizmo

Capacitive Sensor

Proximity sensor used for close detection of any material. It is equipped with an LED, which indicates the presence of an object within its range. The output value can be digital or analog according to the selected configuration.

  • LED: green (detecting)
  • Detectable materials: solids and liquids.
  • Sensing range: 0 - 0.2 m

capacitive sensor

Configurations

Digital

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Capacitive Sensor # Input Bool Detecting.

Analog

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Capacitive Sensor # (V) Input Float [0, 10] V: distance between sensor and detected object.

Diffuse sensor

Diffuse photoelectric sensor which can detect any solid object.

  • LED: red (detecting)
  • Detectable materials: solids
  • Sensing range: 0 - 1.6 m

diffuse sensor

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Diffuse Sensor # Input Bool Detecting.

Inductive Sensor

Proximity sensor used for close detection of conductive materials. It is equipped with an LED, which indicates the presence of an object within its range. The output value can be digital or analog, according to the selected configuration.

  • LED: red (detecting)
  • Detectable materials: conductive
  • Sensing range: 0 - 0.1 m

inductive sensor

Configurations

Digital

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Inductive Sensor # Input Bool Detecting.

Analog

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Inductive Sensor # (V) Input Float [0, 10] V: distance between sensor and detected object.

Light Array (Emitter and Receiver)

A set of parallel light beams used to create a sensing field. To ensure the synchronization of both devices (emitter and receiver), they must by properly aligned and facing each other. Once this alignment is guaranteed (indicated by a green LED), all beams can be interrupted without breaking the synchronization. Can be configured to work in Numerical, Digital or Analog mode.

  • Number of beams: 8
  • Range: 1.5 m
  • Detectable materials: solids
  • Analog value = 10 * number of interrupted beams / 8

light array

Configurations

Numerical

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Light Array Emitter # (Value) Input Integer Each integer bit represents a beam.

Digital

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 1) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 2) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 3) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 4) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 5) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 6) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 7) Input Bool Detecting.
Light Array Emitter # (Beam 8) Input Bool Detecting.

Analog

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Light Array Emitter # (V) Input Float Light Array # (V)

Retroreflective Sensor and Reflector

Unlike the other sensors, the retroreflective sensor requires a reflector. To work properly, it must be aligned with the reflector. It is equipped with two LED which indicate the correct alignment (green) and detection status (yellow).

  • Green LED: aligned with reflector
  • Yellow LED: light beam not interrupted
  • Detectable materials: solids
  • Sensing range: 0 - 6 m

retroreflective sensor

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Retroreflective Sensor # Input Bool Light beam interrupted.

Vision Sensor

The Vision Sensor recognizes Raw Materials, Product Lids and Product Bases, and their respective colors.

  • LED: red (detecting)
  • Detectable materials: Raw Materials, Product Bases, Product Lids
  • Sensing range: 0.3 - 2 m

vision sensor

This sensor can be configured to detect more that one part type by selecting the proper configuration:

  • All Digital: return three digital inputs indicating which item was detected
  • All Numerical: return a value that encodes the detected item
  • All ID: returns a unique value that identifies the detected item. Can be used in a similar way to barcode or RFID readers.

Items Encoding Per Configuration

Item All Digital All Numerical All ID
Bit 0 1 2 3 Value Value
None 0 0 0 0 0 0
Blue Raw Material 1 0 0 0 1 ID
Blue Product Lid 0 1 0 0 2 ID
Blue Product Base 1 1 0 0 3 ID
Green Raw Material 0 0 1 0 4 ID
Green Product Lid 1 0 1 0 5 ID
Green Product Base 0 1 1 0 6 ID
Metal Raw Material 1 1 1 0 7 ID
Metal Product Lid 0 0 0 1 8 ID
Metal Product Base 1 0 0 1 9 ID

Configurations

Blue/Green/Metal Base

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Vision Sensor # Input Bool Detecting.

Blue/Green/Metal Lid

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Vision Sensor # Input Bool Detecting.

Blue/Green/Metal Raw

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Vision Sensor # Input Bool Detecting.

All Digital

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Vision Sensor # (Bit0) Input Bool Item encoding bit.
Vision Sensor # (Bit1) Input Bool Item encoding bit.
Vision Sensor # (Bit2) Input Bool Item encoding bit.
Vision Sensor # (Bit3) Input Bool Item encoding bit.

All Numerical

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Vision Sensor # (Value) Input Int Value representing the detected item.

All ID

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
Vision Sensor # (Value) Input Int Unique integer (ID) that identifies an item, always positive. Note that item ID are not persistent between scene reset and load.

RFID Reader

RFID Tags

Note that, RFID tags should not be confused with parts' tags.

The RFID reader can be used to read/write data of RFID tags. It implements a single trigger communication design where the controller sends a command to the reader and receives a response. Almost all items include an active tag with the exception of raw materials, product lids and bases. RFID tags are detected in a range of 0.5m when in front of the reader. The RFID reader can only detect one tag. If more than one tag is found an error 2 is indicated in the RFID Reader # Status tag - see a list of all status values in the table below.

Operation

Use the RFID Reader # Command to set the command to execute. Next, use RFID Reader # Execute Command to execute the current command. Check the reader status with the tag RFID Reader # Status. A status of 0 indicates success when executing a command, a value greater than 0 indicates an error - see table below. Every time a command is executed, with or without errors, the RFID Reader # Command ID is increased by one. You may use this tag to detect when a command has finished executing.

  • Green LED: Idle
  • Orange LED: Executing command
  • Red LED: Error

rfid reader

RFID Tags

A RFID tag includes 128 DWORD of free memory and an unique serial number. Each DWORD can be accessed by setting the corresponding memory index in the reader (see table below).

transponder

Tag Controller I/O Type Description
RFID Reader # Command Output Int Sets the command to execute:

0 = Is tag available?
1 = Read serial number
2 = Read data
3 = Write data
4 = Clear all data
RFID Reader # Execute Command Output Bool Executes the defined command.
RFID Reader # Memory Index Output Int The tag memory index where to perform a read/write operation.
RFID Reader # Write Data Output Int The data to write into the tag defined by RFID Reader # Memory Index.
RFID Reader # Command ID Input Int The number of executed commands. Can be used to detect if the current command has been already executed.
RFID Reader # Status Input Int Status of the reader after executing a command:

0 = Success
1 = ErrorNoTag
2 = ErrorTooManyTags
3 = ErrorInvalidIndex
4 = InvalidCommand
RFID Reader # Read Data Input Int Data read from a tag.

Incremental Encoder

Several parts include an incremental encoder which you can enable by right clicking on the part and choosing Use Encoder on the Context Menu. This encoder uses two bits (A and B) to produce two wave forms which are 90 degrees out of phase (in quadrature). The encoder resolution is 0.0225 m, which is based on a velocity of 0.45 m/s at 20Hz (roller conveyor default velocity). The frequency of 20Hz has been chosen since it's easily supported by most of I/O drivers.

encoder context menu

encoder

List of parts including an encoder:

  • Loading Conveyor
  • Roller Conveyor (2/4/6 m)
  • Curved Roller Conveyor
  • Belt Conveyor (2/4/6 m)
  • Curved Belt Conveyor
  • Inclined Belt Conveyor

Example of rotation pulses of a roller conveyor in digital configuration.

Phase A B
1 0 0
2 0 1
3 1 1
4 1 0