Industrial sensor manufacturer Sick AG has unveiled a platform that will help users solve new automation tasks by creating individual “SensorApps” on their own, even if they lack technical programming skills.
The Sick AppStudio plan will launch at the end of the year as a part of the German technology provider’s AppSpace ecosystem. By empowering customers to create their own individualized SensorApps to solve individual sensor applications—without having to program anything—Sick says the approach could avoid the costs and delays that often result from unexpected configuration and customization work that can crop up during the installation process.
Until now, basic programming skills were required for users to generate their own SensorApps in Sick's AppStudio. But that is no longer the case with the new AppPool, where programmable sensors and edge devices can be configured for new tasks using SensorApps.
“If a customer wants to differentiate between and count deodorant bottles using the cap color, the customer creates a data flow from function blocks existing in a library. After every step, a preview of the result is generated and the configuration can be adjusted right away,” Timo Mennle, the Sick AppSpace strategic product manager, said in a release.
The system works by relying on a common software platforms across all the company’s types of sensors, from radio frequency identification (RFID) to two dimensional (2D) and three dimensional (3D) vision, LIDAR, and 3D time of flight cameras, Mennle said in a recent webcast press conference. “Some of the best expertise is outside of Sick, not just inside the company. So developers both internal and external can use the platform to make extended sensor applications,” he said.
Users select various sensors from a code library on a computer screen, then drag and drop them into a workflow chart. More advanced users can do a deeper dive to edit the source code if a standard sensor is not able to perform a certain task. “By graphically processing data flows, we create the foundation for a larger target and user group. Then more users can take advantage of this for their applications,” Mennle said.
Missed the Live Training Webinar: Bin Picking with #Robotics? We got you covered! Access our on-demand training webinar that demonstrates a bin picking application solution using the SICK PLB vision system. Click here» https://t.co/kjKeau18HP pic.twitter.com/BjlNjzyw8e— SICK, Inc. (@SICK_USA) June 23, 2020