It's no secret many leading automotive manufacturers are designing, developing, and testing autonomously operated vehicles. Some automotive manufacturers project to have a fully function, self-driving car, by 2020. But for one major car manufacturer in particular, Cyth has brought the realities of autonomously operated vehicles that much closer. Familiar with Cyth's extensive background and success in Automated Testing, Machine Vision, and LabVIEW Consulting, this well-known automaker reached out to Cyth with a goal.
For an autonomous car to operate properly, it needs 360-degree vision powered by cameras and sensors. The purpose of these sensors is to obtain accurate information of the car's environment and to evaluate real world operation data. Thus, sensors (more specifically, the FOV of the sensors) are very important and necessary throughout the car. This leading automaker was specifically concerned with the sensors pertaining to the back of the car. One aspect (of the many aspects) of the autonomous car they're creating is the bumper. In regards to traditional cars, bumpers aren't given much thought. But when it comes to cars that drive themselves, bumpers become more important because sensors are now embedded within.
Their goal was for Cyth to create an Automated Assembly Inspection Machine, using Machine Vision, that would inspect four aspects of their bumper:
1. The adhesive bond of the bumper
2. The angle of the bumper's sensor port
3. The placement of the bumper's sensor port, and
4. The shape of the bumper's sensor port
1. Bonding Verification (Thickness)
Their bumper consists of two components bonded together. This automaker wanted assurance on the amount of adhesive being applied, and that nothing would be between the two pieces that shouldn't be there. It was extremely crucial the sensor seat plane is in correct orientation on the car to ensure all sensors across all cars see the same FOV. To make sure this was the case, Cyth used three eye-safe measurement devices, and two machine vision sensors, to calculate the thickness of the bumper.
To obtain the thickness of the Golden Part, Cyth calculated the height from the top minus the height from the bottom. Cyth was then able to calculate the difference by obtaining the Golden Part's thickness and subtracting it from the Unit Under Test's thickness. This was done through the senor's position - from the sensor's perspective - on both sides of the bumper being tested.
2. Angle Inspection
By lighting the enclosure with two sets of lights, Cyth was able to create a Darkfield Illumination that allowed them to see the sensor port clearly. From that image, they were able to calculate the angle of the major axis of the bumper being tested and compare that to the Golden Part's major axis angle.
3. Optical Inspection
Similar to the 'Angle Inspection', Cyth was able to calculate the centroid of the bumper's sensor port being tested, and compare it to the Golden Part's sensor port centroid. And from that, be able to indicate whether or not the bumper passed or failed.
4. Shape Inspection
By taking the difference image of the Golden Part's sensor port, and the sensor port of the bumper being tested, Cyth was able to calculate if there were any obstructions.
After designing, building, and calibrating the Automated Assembly Inspection Machine, Cyth was able to calculate and measure everything the customer wanted within 125 microns (the thickness of one sheet of paper!) To summarize, the system was a complete success, measured consistently, and was well within the given parameters as expected.
This was the first project Cyth and this automaker have completed together and both parties were extremely happy with the partnership. Excited to help companies similar to this one, and aid the global advancement of autonomously operated vehicles, Cyth is eager to see what the future has in store. As skill set increases so does the advancement of - and their presence in the field of - autonomously operated vehicles. A reality that makes Cyth engineers excited each morning as they go to work.