Application Briefs

Cognex Machine Vision System Helps Meister Reduce Part Defects

The Meister Group, a Belgian industrial group supplying the automobile market, successfully deployed Cognex’s machine vision system to help its robotic assembly cell sort out defective parts. The result has been a significant decline in part defect rates and a six-month payback on investment.

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IDS Camera Automates Inspection

Until now, machine-based surface inspection methods have checked visual quality by means of direct or transmitted light in conjunction with a camera system. When it comes to the automated inspection of reflective and smooth surfaces, however, these methods involve problems. The resulting reflections need to be either eliminated or included in the measuring process. Consequently, complex lighting conditions using polarized light or fringed projection in a darkroom are required, or the objects need to be positioned with high precision and completely shock-free. Whichever solution is employed, neither permits an automated 100% in-process inspection.

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Miniature Control Chip Drives James Webb Telescope Signal

SIDECAR ASIC microprocessor-controlled chip Teledyne Imaging Sensors Camarillo, CA 805-373-4545 www.teledyne-si.com The electronics that will convert analog signals to digital signals on the James Webb Space Telescope (JWST), being built by Northrop Grumman and managed by NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center, have been miniaturized to take up less space and to weigh less. The electronics also will provide better images of objects in space when they are sent back to scientists on Earth.

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NASA Satellite Data Interpreted for Medical and Public Health Use

Laboratory for Global Health Observation University of Alabama at Birmingham, School of Public Health Birmingham, AL 205-934-4993 www.regardsstudy.org A partnership between NASA’s National Space Science and Technology Center (NSSTC) and the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB) is using NASA satellite imagery and data to determine how environmental factors influence diseases such as malaria and childhood asthma.

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Wireless Electronic Patches Improve Medical Data and Patient Mobility

Non-invasive and ambulatory monitoring of body parameters is receiving much interest from the medical, sports and entertainment world. Possible applications are the monitoring of brain waves to detect epilepsy, monitoring of muscle activity during an athlete’s training, and monitoring of heart rate during gaming. The idea is to develop small, low-power, autonomous biomedical monitoring systems that collect and process data from human body sensors and wirelessly transmit the data to a central monitoring system.

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Implementing Thermal Bumps in New Product Designs

Thermal issues are dominating today’s electronic product design landscape as never before. It is easy to see this in Intel’s move to a multi-core architecture as a methodology to manage their thermal problems. Of course, less than optimal solutions lead to less than optimal results. Thermoelectric devices (TECs) have been used in the optoelectronics industry for thermal management, but have not found wide-spread acceptance in electronic product design. Thermal management solutions implemented with these active devices, however, offer a broad potential for implementation including the following:

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Immersive Display System Enables Virtual Reality in NASA Lab

Immersive CAVE™ display system Mechdyne Corp. Marshalltown, IA 641-754-4649 www.mechdyne.com Mechdyne Corporation has installed a CAVE™ display system in the Fossett Laboratory for Virtual Planetary Exploration at Washington University St. Louis (WUSTL). WUSTL is home to the Geosciences Node of the NASA Planetary Data System, with responsibility for managing data related to the study of surfaces and interiors of terrestrial planetary bodies. The Laboratory will provide 3D imaging capability for visualization of data collected by national and international space exploration programs, including the ongoing Mars Exploration Program.

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