Photoneo develops robotic vision and AI-powered automation solutions for industrial applications. The company’s mission is to equip robots with perfect 3D vision and intelligence to help automate monotonous and physically demanding tasks. They also help companies optimize their processes, increase productivity and efficiency, and ensure reliability and precision in inspection applications and other tasks. Photoneo is headquartered in Bratislava, Slovakia, with branch offices in Boston, USA, and Shanghai, China. Interview with Andrea Pufflerova, PR Specialist at Photoneo. Easy Engineering: What are the main areas of activity of the company? A.P: The main areas of our activities include the development and manufacturing of industry-leading 3D sensors, robotic intelligence software, and AI solutions for robot guidance in bin picking and pick & place applications, singulation and sorting of products, object manipulation, depalletization, inspection and quality control, 3D model creation, and many other applications. The main industries that deploy our solutions include manufacturing, logistics, e-commerce, automotive, grocery, medicine, and agriculture. E.E: What are the news about new products? A.P: In summer 2022, we announced a new product – the color 3D camera MotionCam-3D Color. We see the camera as a game-changer as it combines three crucial properties – 3D data (depth), motion, and color. The fusion of these elements in a single device is truly unique and makes the camera the only device on the market that enables real-time colorful 3D point cloud creation of moving scenes in high resolution and accuracy. E.E: What are the ranges of products? A.P: Photoneo provides standalone products as well as complete automation solutions for industrial applications. The product portfolio consists of 3D sensors (robotic eyes) on the one hand and software (robotic intelligence) on the other hand. Our 3D sensors comprise structured light PhoXi 3D Scanners for high-precision scanning of static scenes, MotionCam-3D for high-quality capture of dynamic scenes, and MotionCam-3D Color for real-time colorful 3D point cloud creation of moving scenes. Both cameras are based on Photoneo’s novel, patented technology of Parallel Structured Light. The robotic intelligence software includes Bin Picking Studio for bin picking applications, PhoXi 3D Meshing for 3D model creation, and Locator Studio for fast picking of objects in collision-free environments. Our complete automation solutions enable robotic picking of items, depalletization, sorting, packaging, machine loading, and many other applications. E.E: At what stage is the market where you are currently active? A.P: There is a strong demand for automation solutions in all kinds of sectors. Vision-guided and intelligent robots are extremely important for smart automation and this drives the development of new, innovative technologies that extend automation possibilities ever further. There was a gap in the machine vision market for a long time – a technology that would enable 3D scanning of dynamic scenes without motion artifacts. This meant that 3D machine vision and applications requiring 3D data and robot navigation in the Z dimension were limited to static scenes. We filled this gap with our Parallel Structured Light technology, which gives robots the ultimate vision – they can recognize objects that are in motion in perfect quality and now also in color. E.E: What can you tell us about market trends? A.P: One prominent trend that is gaining more and more popularity is the deployment of AI in machine vision. In this respect, the Parallel Structured Light technology is extremely powerful for AI applications as it provides high-quality real-time 3D data – which is absolutely essential for AI algorithms. Another trend is the effort to integrate AI into 3D vision devices, so called edge computing. This will minimize the need for additional components and simplify the deployment for integrators. E.E: What are the most innovative products marketed? A.P: We can say with confidence that one of the most innovative technologies that have been introduced to the 3D vision market in recent years is the Parallel Structured Light technology. The new MotionCam-3D Color opens up a whole new range of possibilities in recognition and visualization applications. These include demanding AI applications, processes that rely on 3D data, color, as well as perfect quality of the point cloud of objects in motion, then VR and AR, the creation of 3D models for the Metaverse and digital twins, or data streaming for distant teleoperation of industrial applications. There is no other 3D vision device that combines 3D data, motion, and color and enables the creation of real-time, colorful 3D point clouds of dynamic scenes in perfect quality without motion artifacts. E.E: What estimations do you have for the rest of 2022? A.P: In the upcoming months, we will definitely continue in our R&D activities, which are always directed by our customers’ needs. We will also focus on expanding automation and making it even more available to anyone who wants to bring their projects to new frontiers.