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Defining the Smart Camera

Smart cameras have been used in industrial applications for roughly two and a half decades, but advances in processor technologies have made the devices much more accessible and popular within the past 7 years, especially in areas such as machine vision and surveillance. However, when the term smart camera is mentioned, a wide variety of ideas still come to mind among individuals because there is no widespread agreement upon the definition of what a smart camera technically is. It is generally agreed upon that the basics of a smart camera include not only the image sensor, but also some type of processing chip: a CPU, DSP, FPGA, or other type of processing device (see Figure 1).

Posted in: Features, Imaging, Articles

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Indoor/Outdoor Cameras Improve School District’s Security

Located in Texarkana, Texas, Liberty-Eylau Independent School District (LEISD) has been serving communities since 1886. Today, the district has more than 2,700 K-12 students across six schools, including a high school, a middle-intermediate school, an elementary school, a primary school, a pre-K center, and a School of Success.

Posted in: Application Briefs, Imaging

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Line-Scan Camera

The 3DPIXA 3D line scan color camera from Chromasens (Burlington, MA) employs factory-calibrated stereo engineering. To output both color images and 3D altitude data in real time, the Chromasens 3DPIXA simultaneously captures two images of the same object. Height and shape are calculated using special algorithms running on the GPU.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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Frame Grabbers

The PIXCI® EB1mini frame grabber from EPIX (Buffalo Grove, IL) captures from any base Camera Link device. The frame grabber includes trigger input, strobe output, shutter control, bit-packing capability, 64 bit memory addressing, and video rate sequence capture. The XCAP-Lite imaging program, provided with the PIXCI® EB1mini, provides control of image capture, as well as all board functions, through the Capture & Adjust Dialog.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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X-Ray CCD Cameras

Andor Technology (Belfast, UK) has announced the iKon-M SY and Newton SY series of CCD cameras. The ‘standalone’ detectors offer -100°C deep cooling, optimized for the soft X-ray region. The 200-micron-thick Beryllium window blocks unwanted lower energies and visible wavelengths, with minimal beam hardening. The detectors are integrated and supported in a range of third-party software using Andor’s SDK, including MAT-Lab, LABView, and EPICs.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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Camera Link Selector

The CLM-602 Camera Link Multiplexer from Vivid Engineering (Shrewsbury, MA) interfaces two Camera Link cameras of any configuration (base, medium, full, 80-bit) to one frame grabber. The CLM-602 incorporates high-speed (85 MHz) interfaces. Multiple camera selection methods are provided, including rear-panel switch settings, Camera Link interface signals (serial or camera control), and an external RS-232 port. The selector is housed in a sturdy, compact aluminum enclosure.

Posted in: Imaging, Products

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New Algorithms Enable Self-Assembling, Printable Robots

In two new papers, MIT researchers demonstrate the promise of printable robotic components that, when heated, automatically fold into prescribed three-dimensional configurations.One paper describes a system that takes a digital specification of a 3-D shape — such as a computer-aided design, or CAD, file — and generates the 2-D patterns that would enable a piece of plastic to reproduce it through self-folding.The other paper explains how to build electrical components from self-folding laser-cut materials. The researchers present designs for resistors, inductors, and capacitors, as well as sensors and actuators — the electromechanical “muscles” that enable robots’ movements.“We have this big dream of the hardware compiler, where you can specify, ‘I want a robot that will play with my cat,’ or ‘I want a robot that will clean the floor,’ and from this high-level specification, you actually generate a working device,” said Daniela Rus, the Andrew and Erna Viterbi Professor of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at MIT.SourceAlso: Learn about Self-Assembling, Flexible, Pre-Ceramic Composite Preforms.

Posted in: Electronics & Computers, Electronic Components, Manufacturing & Prototyping, Rapid Prototyping & Tooling, Motion Control, Motors & Drives, Power Transmission, Sensors, Software, Computer-Aided Design (CAD), Mathematical/Scientific Software, Machinery & Automation, Robotics, News

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