The instructions on Safety related to the rc_viscore stereo camera must be read and understood prior to installation.
The rc_viscore stereo camera is intended to be mounted on a wall or ceiling above the target area. It is not intended to be used in dynamic applications mounted to a robot wrist. It is the customer’s responsibility to provide an adequate mounting bracket.
For mounting, the rc_viscore stereo camera provides an M4 and M5 thread pattern on its top and bottom sides (see Fig. 7). A medium-strength thread-locker or Tuflok® screws must be used to protect against vibrations. M5 screws must be tightened to 4.0 Nm, M4 screws must be tightened to 3.3 Nm.
The rc_viscore stereo camera cannot be mounted on the end-effector of a robot.
Only the surface containing the thread pattern must be in contact with the mounting bracket, all other surfaces must remain free. At least 10 cm clearance must be provided behind the rc_viscore stereo camera to facilitate adequate air flow for cooling.
Always fully connect and tighten all M12 connectors on the rc_viscore stereo camera before turning on the power supply.
After connecting the system to power, the LED on the front of the rc_viscore stereo camera should immediately illuminate.
Do not look into the projector lens in the center of the rc_viscore stereo camera or into the light beam at any point during startup or operation.
The rc_viscore stereo camera can be used together with an rc_cube or as a stand-alone high-resolution RGBD camera with the SGM®producer. The following sections describe connecting the rc_viscore stereo camera in both scenarios.
Connecting to the rc_cube¶
The rc_cube I (Industrial Edge Computer) offers four network ports that are labelled sensors 0-3. The two network cables of the rc_viscore stereo camera must be connected directly to two of those ports. It does not matter which ones. Two stereo cameras can be connected and used at the same time.
The rc_cube S (Edge Computer) offers one 2.5 gigabit sensor port. A switch must be used for connecting an rc_viscore stereo camera. The switch must support 2.5 gigabit for the connection to the rc_cube and 1 gigabit speed for the connection to the rc_viscore stereo camera. The switch is not in the scope of the delivery of the rc_cube S. Roboception can recommend a suitable switch upon request.
By default, the rc_cube is configured to support one rc_visard as sensor. For
supporting one rc_viscore stereo camera, the type of the camera pipeline must be changed in
the Web GUI of the rc_cube under https://doc.rc-cube.com/latest/en/pipelines.html). Clicking on
Configure Camera Pipelines opens a dialog that permits to change
the type of pipeline to
rc_viscore. A reboot is necessary after changing the
For connecting two stereo cameras at the same time, it is additionally necessary to configure a second pipeline, as explained above, and to specify which pipeline should use which rc_viscore stereo camera by setting a filter expression. This is done by clicking on Configure Camera Connection on the Camera Pipelines page, or select the corresponding pipeline in the menu, e.g. under . Clicking Choose Camera opens a dialog to edit the device filter (see also https://doc.rc-cube.com/latest/en/pipelines.html#configuration-of-connected-cameras).
It may take up to one minute until the rc_viscore stereo camera is connected. For each successfully connected sensor, the connection speed and frame rate is shown in theof the Web GUI.
Connecting to the SGM®Producer¶
For using the rc_viscore stereo camera as high-resolution RGBD camera, Roboception offers the SGM®Producer, which is a GenICam compatible transport layer (see https://roboception.com/product/sgmproducer).
The producer can be used with Halcon, with the rc_genicam_api for C++ programmers, with the rc_genicam_driver for ROS and ROS2, as well as with any other GenICam compatible application. It can be downloaded free of charge from https://www.roboception.com/download and installed on Windows and Ubuntu computers with an Nvidia graphics card.
It is strongly recommended to connect both network cables directly to 1 gigabit Ethernet ports of the computer. A network switch can only work if the network link between the switch and the computer has a bandwidth of more than 2 gigabit, e.g. 2.5, 5 or 10 gigabit.
In the default network configuration and according to the GigE Vision® standard, the rc_viscore stereo camera cameras will try to obtain their configuration from a DHCP server and fall back to the Link-Local self-configuration protocol, if no DHCP server can be found. For direct connection without a DHCP server, the Ethernet ports of the computer should be configured for Link-Local network. It is also possible to manually configure IP addresses of the left and right camera.
Options for changing the network settings and IP configuration are:
- any configuration tool compatible with GigE Vision® 2.0, or Roboception’s command-line tool
gc_config. Typically, these tools scan for all available GigE Vision® devices on the network. All rc_viscore stereo camera devices can be uniquely identified by their serial number, which is printed on the device.
- temporarily changing the network configuration via Roboception’s
rcdiscover-guitool. The individual cameras can be seen in the list after unchecking the Only Roboception devices check box.
The command-line tool
gc_config is part of Roboception’s open-source
rc_genicam_api, which can be downloaded free of charge
for Windows and Linux from https://www.roboception.com/download.
For adjusting the focus, checking and calibrating the rc_viscore stereo camera, as explained in the next sections, the SGM®Producer package contains a calibration program, called rc_calib.
It is highly recommended to check and adjust the focus of the rc_viscore stereo camera for the actual working range. Please note that the depth of focus range is limited due to the high resolution of the camera and must be adapted to the working range of the application. At close distance, the depth of focus range is much smaller than at higher distance. Therefore, the minimum distance for focusing should be chosen as far away as useful for the application. Please contact support in case of questions regarding working distance and calibration of the rc_viscore stereo camera.
The rc_cube offers a focus helper as part of camera calibration under Next opens the focus helper. See also https://doc.rc-cube.com/latest/en/camera_calibration.html.. In the first step, the size of the calibration grid has to be specified. Clicking on
For users of the SGM®Producer, the focus helper can be found in the rc_calib calibration program after selecting the rc_viscore stereo camera with, and specifying the grid size.
The bars on the right side of the image report the blur of the calibration grid, thus a minimum is desirable. The grid should be placed in the minimum and maximum working distance for checking the current blur. A value near the lowest dividing line is quite optimal. See also https://doc.rc-cube.com/latest/en/camera_calibration.html#adjust-focus.
If focus adjustment is needed, the lens caps of the left and right cameras must be removed as shown in Fig. 8.
The focus ring and the aperture ring are locked by 3 screws for each ring as shown in Fig. 9. All three screws must be loosened for moving the ring.
For setting the focus correctly, the calibration grid should be placed in the middle of the working range. Then, the focus ring should be turned until the bars in the images become a minimum. After focusing in this way, the grid should be placed at the minimum and maximum working distance. If the blur is unsatisfactory at the minimum and maximum working distance (e.g. near the second dividing line or higher), the aperture can be closed a bit, i.e. choosing a higher aperture number. Please be aware that this increases exposure time and potentially gain, which increases noise in the image. The optimal tradeoff is application dependent.
The same aperture setting must be used for the left and right camera to avoid degraded image processing performance. Please validate that the left and right images appear with the same brightness.
After adjusting focus and aperture, all screws must be tightened and the lens caps re-attached.
To change focus and aperture settings of the projector, loosen the three small fixing Phillips screws on the respective ring of the projector lens, turn the ring to the desired setting and lightly tighten the screws again. For focus adjustments, the projector should be turned on permanently by setting the Out1 mode to High in the Web GUI. For aperture adjustments, Out1 should be set to ExposureAlternateActive and exposure mode should be set to ‚Auto‘ on the Web GUI’s Camera page. Perfectly focusing the projector is not crucial. Slightly blurred projection will not degrade the depth image.
After checking and potentially adjusting the focus, the next step is to check calibration. This step should never be skipped and – as opposed to all rc_visard products – is mandatory. Please note that the working range of the rc_viscore stereo camera is pre-defined and the calibration should be checked for the minimum and maximum working range. Please contact support in case of questions regarding working distance and calibration of the rc_viscore stereo camera.
The rc_cube manual explains checking and re-calibrating in detail (see https://doc.rc-cube.com/latest/en/camera_calibration.html#verify-calibration). The procedure that is described their can be applied in the same way to the SGM®Producer, by using the rc_calib program that is provided with the producer.
It is mandatory to always check calibration after mounting the rc_viscore stereo camera, changing the focus or aperture. After calibration, also a new hand-eye calibration is required.
Roboception will deliver the rc_viscore stereo camera with pre-adjusted focus to make sure it works in the desired depth range. Please contact support and provide your specification to enable us to set up the rc_viscore stereo camera accordingly. An onsite calibration check is still required to make sure that no problem occurred during delivery or mounting.