Tazza! A 3D-Based Robot Pick-and-Place Vision System

A luxury porcelain manufacturer based outside Florence, Italy has been a leader in handcrafted, elegantly designed tableware going back to the 18th century. Porcelain, otherwise referred to as fine china, it is renowned for its strength, durability, and pristine white color.
Yet, it is precisely that immaculate white color which poses numerous manufacturing challenges. For a robot arm to accurately locate raw white teacups on the production line and accurately place them in rows, a 2D vision system was not up to the task of distinguishing the different sizes, shapes, and positioning of the product.