3D cameras have revolutionised the field of automation and robotics. These advanced imaging devices enable machines to perceive depth, creating a more accurate and efficient way to interact with their environment. In this article, we’ll explore the different types of 3D cameras used in automation and robotics, including 3D stereo, 3D pointcloud, and laser triangulation technologies. We’ll also introduce you to the Scorpion 3D Stinger and Mech-Mind cameras, which are leading the way in this rapidly evolving field.

Improved Accuracy and Precision

One of the primary advantages of 3D cameras in automation systems is their enhanced depth perception. Traditional 2D cameras can only capture images in two dimensions, limiting their ability to accurately measure distances and recognise objects. 3D cameras, on the other hand, can perceive depth and capture images in three dimensions, providing a more precise and accurate representation of the environment.

As a result, 3D cameras minimize errors in object recognition and manipulation. With a better understanding of the spatial relationships between objects, automation systems can more accurately and efficiently perform tasks such as object picking, sorting, and inspection. This increased precision has a direct impact on productivity, reducing the risk of errors and the need for human intervention.

For example, a leading automotive manufacturer implemented a 3D camera system for engine block inspection. The system uses 3D pointcloud technology to capture detailed images of the engine blocks and identify any defects or inconsistencies. This has significantly improved the accuracy of the inspection process, reducing the number of errors and increasing overall production efficiency.

Increased Efficiency and Productivity

3D cameras contribute to higher efficiency and productivity in automation and robotics systems. Faster and more reliable object detection is a significant factor in this improvement. Traditional 2D cameras may struggle to distinguish between objects with similar shapes or colors, leading to slower processing times and potential errors. By capturing images in three dimensions, 3D cameras can more accurately identify and locate objects, speeding up the overall process.

Streamlined processes in manufacturing and logistics are another benefit of 3D cameras. By providing more accurate information about the environment and objects within it, these cameras enable automation systems to optimize their operations, reducing the time and effort required to complete tasks. This can lead to significant gains in productivity and cost savings for businesses in various industries.

For instance, a logistics company implemented 3D cameras in their barcode and OCR reading system, enabling it to read up to 180,000 codes per hour. This increase in processing speed has had a substantial impact on the company’s productivity, allowing them to handle a higher volume of packages and reduce the need for manual intervention. Similarly, a food processing plant used 3D cameras to automate the inspection and trimming of vegetables, achieving higher throughput and more consistent product quality.

Enhanced Adaptability and Flexibility

3D cameras offer increased adaptability and flexibility in automation and robotics systems. These advanced imaging devices can handle a variety of tasks and applications, from object recognition and tracking to precise measurements and quality control. This versatility makes them an ideal solution for many industries, including manufacturing, logistics, food processing, and horticulture.

Easier integration with existing automation systems is another benefit of 3D cameras. Many of these cameras are designed to work seamlessly with popular automation software and hardware, simplifying the process of adding advanced imaging capabilities to a system. This compatibility helps businesses to easily upgrade their systems and take advantage of the latest innovations in 3D imaging technology.

3D cameras have been successfully used in diverse industries to improve productivity and efficiency. In horticulture, for example, a company implemented a 3D camera system to automate the trimming of swede vegetables, resulting in a more consistent and accurate process. In the logistics sector, 3D cameras have been used to develop pallet sorting systems and automated coat hanger recycling solutions, streamlining operations and reducing labour costs. These examples showcase the wide range of applications and industries that can benefit from the adaptability and flexibility offered by 3D cameras.

Improved Safety and Quality Control

3D cameras play a crucial role in enhancing safety and quality control in automation and robotics systems. Their increased accuracy in defect detection allows for more reliable identification of issues in products and processes, reducing the risk of substandard products reaching the market and minimising potential hazards in the production environment.

Better monitoring of production processes is another advantage offered by 3D cameras. By providing a more detailed and accurate view of the production environment, these cameras enable businesses to closely monitor operations and identify potential issues before they escalate. This helps to maintain high standards of safety and quality throughout the manufacturing process.

An example of 3D cameras improving safety and quality can be seen in the food industry. A company that produces cheese wedges implemented a 3D robotic labeller, which uses Scorpion Vision 3D cameras to accurately apply labels to the cheese products. This system not only ensures that the labels are correctly placed but also helps to prevent potential safety hazards, such as mislabelled allergen information. Another case study involves a high-speed carbon fibre measurement and inspection system in the manufacturing sector. By using 3D cameras, the system can accurately detect defects in the material, ensuring that only high-quality products are produced and reducing the risk of product failures.


In summary, 3D cameras offer numerous advantages in automation and robotics applications. They improve accuracy and precision, enhance efficiency and productivity, and provide greater adaptability and flexibility across a wide range of industries. Additionally, 3D cameras play a vital role in ensuring safety and quality control, making them an invaluable addition to modern automation systems.

As the world of automation continues to evolve, businesses should consider incorporating 3D cameras into their projects to reap these benefits and stay competitive in the marketplace. With 25 years of experience in imaging, Scorpion Vision is well-positioned to provide expert guidance and high-quality 3D cameras, helping businesses succeed in their automation endeavors.

To learn more about Scorpion Vision’s expertise and offerings in the field of machine vision, visit their website and explore their extensive range of imaging components and solutions.