Tuesday, 25 May 2021

Digitising Agriculture with SICK’s 3D Environment Monitoring Sensors

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SICK’s Visionary 3D snapshot sensors provide users and integrators with universal solutions for 3D environmental monitoring, ideal for mobile agriculture machines.

SICK Automation is leading the agricultural digitisation era (Farming 4.0), with its visual perception solutions for mobile agricultural machines and harvesting robots. Called Visionary Snapshot Cameras, the range is tailored for 3D environment monitoring, allowing mobile equipment to navigate, increase safety and enhance production processes.

Visionary technology from SICK inherent in these cameras make them the ideal solution for a vast range of agricultural applications. They help decrease downtime with their collision avoidance capability when turning, manoeuvring and reversing mobile equipment, and by navigating autonomous agricultural machines during fieldwork. They help facilitate increased and more accurate production by providing gripping reliability for harvesting robots as well as level monitoring on transfer vehicles or determining harvest volumes in storage facilities. They also increase the accuracy of targeted pesticide applications by visually differentiating between crops and weeds.

Digitised agriculture: the norm

SICK’s range of Visionary sensors provide valuable data for fully autonomous work processes, which are increasingly being implemented in IoT precision farming application settings.

 Sensors in agricultural machines are quickly being adapted across agricultural industries. Combine harvesters, for example, and other large agricultural machines, are being fitted with approximately 90 sensors and often have more electronic encoders than cars.

The Visionary range

The portfolio of 3D Snapshot Cameras from SICK boasts the advantage being able solve all currently known detection and measurement applications for mobile agricultural machines and harvesting robots.


The 3D Visionary-B driver assistance system is designed for use in extremely harsh outdoor conditions. This camera offers a wide field vision of up to seven meters for detection applications and up to 15 meters for measuring applications with 3D raw data output.  

Most importantly, Visionary-B displays detected objects on the monitor in the driver's cab and sounds an alarm signal according the degree of relevance for collisions in a specific work environment. If Visionary-B is integrated directly into a complex sensor and visualisation system on a vehicle, or if reliable raw data is required, obstacles and warnings can also be processed and displayed on a central vehicle terminal.


The Visionary-S  offers high precision at close ranges with simultaneous colour detection in any light situation. This 3D environmental monitoring sensor also uses stereo vision, supported by active, structured illumination.

With its sub-millimetre resolution, it delivers up to 30 colour images per second. The Visionary-S can output distance information and capture it as depth values of up to 40 klx in complete darkness as reliably as in brightly lit environments.

 The 3D camera's high recording speed guarantees high efficiency, even during time-critical applications. Applications such as those with harvesting robots, orchard and vineyard tractors, plant sprays or mobile sorting systems can be programmed in the device and is executed independently of the vehicle control system.


The 3D Visionary-T environment sensor uses time-of-flight measurements to provide high-precision distance and size information in long-range applications (up to 60 meters).

 The integrated active lighting system illuminates the surroundings and enables the camera to be used in dark environments. This sensor is suitable as a data supplier for navigation applications in autonomous agricultural and harvesting machines as well as in robot-assisted processing and the storage of agricultural products.

Leading the way in agricultural digitalisation

A technology-neutral consulting process and SICK’s focus on technical and economic application optimisation ensures that the most suitable product from the Visionary range is used for each customer’s unique application.

Leading the way in agricultural digitalisationA technology-neutral consulting process and SICK’s focus on technical and economic application optimisation ensures that the most suitable product from the Visionary range is used for each customer’s unique application.

Additionally, SICK offers ‘plug and play’ solutions for original equipment or for retrofitted mobile machines. There are also product variants for integrators and software specialists looking to integrate the raw data from the Visionary products into their own software solutions. 

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