• Does anyone have experience with using a commercial high speed camera like a go pro to watch robotic actions inside of a press? It seems high speed cameras are becoming better and cheaper, and could easily be mounted near a robot or even on an end of arm tool. I am interested in using this to see any variations that could be happening inside of an IMM with grippers and cylinders but am concerned if 60fps and 5.3k will be enough to see the quick actions robots can make.

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  • It completely depends on the speed things are moving. A 60mm stroke actuator that takes 1sec to actuate would give you a resolution of 1mm/frame assuming a camera running 60fps. A robot moving at 2000mm/sec will me closer to 33mm/frame for a linear move, more (potentially much more) if the robot is moving in an arc.

    Triggering and storage are key issues. The higher the fps, the faster the camera fills its storage (or you hit connection bottlenecks for a "remote" camera). Triggering the camera so you only capture relevant time windows, especially to save on storage, can be important.

    Also, lighting. The higher the FPS, the dimmer the image becomes. If you ever watch videos about people using really high-speed cameras ("Smarter Every Day" or "The Slow-Mo Guys", for example), the higher the FPS they use, the more lights they have to add.

    Having said all that, I've done things like this a few times, with different levels of success. The first issue is finding a way to mount the camera where it can see what you want recorded, and doesn't get hit, robustly enough that it doesn't flop around under high acceleration. In a hostile environment, you may need a camera enclosure to prevent it from taking damage from chemicals, sparks, heat, etc.

    I'd say, buy a cheap camera you won't mind getting destroyed, and try it out. Work out the kinks with the cheap camera (expect to smash one or two), then look at better (more $$$) options if you need to.

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