2008

Matrox Helps Military Vehicles Get the Robotic Touch

Many Challenges

“The military has an extensive fleet of vehicles,” says Collins. “So we had to design our system to account for a large number of vehicle model types, as well as a large number of variations within a model. That was a major challenge for us.” Collins also understood that for the military to take advantage of the system’s efficiency, rapid creation of 2D and 3D models was essential. “The vision and robot should share a common coordinate frame so that interpretation of data provided by the vision system is obvious and intuitive to the robot programmer. We managed to optimize the calibration step to make it easy, fast and automatic.” With the VisionHub and Matrox Iris smart camera, the calibration process takes only a few minutes, and can be performed without the use of external instrumentation such as theodolites (an optical metrology tool). Before VisionHub, the creation of the 2D and 3D models could take as long as several hours, but after system implementation, the task can be performed in minutes, Collins says.

3-D Capability, Competitive Prices

VSI realized a number of its design goals by choosing the Matrox Iris smart camera platform. First, the company believes that their system provides 3D capability at a very competitive market price. “The Matrox smart cameras are an excellent value proposition,” says Collins. “They provide quality imaging capability, and the ability to add proprietary value-added algorithms in a very straightforward way. And we can have this at a price point much lower than other cameras that we typically work with.” The current plan is to incorporate the vision system into one of the military depot’s proposed automated painting systems. VSI will also be releasing the product for non-military applications.

This article was written by Sarah Sookman of Matrox Imaging, Dorval, Quebec, Canada. For more information, please visit http://info.hotims.com/15132-325.

References:
TC 5-200. Camouflage Pattern Painting.
December 1975.
TM 43-0139. Painting Instructions for Army
Material. Change No. 3. February 29, 1996.