Features

Machine Vision Advances Benefit Motion Applications

Machine vision systems are playing an increasingly important role in many industrial applications, whether it is counting parts on an assembly line or examining surfaces for defects. Improvements in computing power, optics, connectivity, and software are allowing vision systems to be deployed in a wider range of applications.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Vision Advances Improve Optical Inspection

Recent advances in motion control and machine vision technologies present tremendous opportunities for Automated Optical Inspection (AOI) systems. Thanks to recent developments in these fundamental building block technologies, today’s AOI systems can carry out inspections with a higher resolution and accuracy, and with much faster throughput than before.

Posted in: Articles, Motion Control

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Bill Thigpen, Engineering Branch Chief of NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Division

Ames Research Center As Engineering Branch Chief for NASA’s Advanced Supercomputing Division, Bill Thigpen led the team that built and deployed the 10,240-processor Columbia supercomputer in just 120 days. Listed as one of the world’s fastest and most powerful supercomputers, Columbia is just part of the computing resources currently being managed by Mr. Thigpen.

Posted in: Who's Who

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NASA Probes Gather Solar Information

STEREO observatories and Solar Probe Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory Laurel, MD 240-228-5000 www.jhuapl.edu NASA’s Solar Terrestrial Relations Observatory (STEREO) is comprised of two nearly identical spacecraft that were launched in 2006. They will gather images of the Sun simultaneously from different angles. These images will then be combined to produce three-dimensional pictures of coronal mass ejections. These eruptions can blow 10 billion tons of the Sun’s atmosphere into space, and can trigger severe magnetic storms on Earth that cut off electric power and communications.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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Spacecraft Leak Detection System Uses Ultrasonic Sensors

Spacecraft leak detection system Invocon Conroe, TX 281-292-9903 www.invocon.com NASA has selected a spacecraft leak detection system from Invocon that would sense and locate air leaks in pressurized space stations or lunar habitat modules caused by micrometeoroid and space debris impact events. Low-cost, ultrasonic sensor arrays developed by Iowa State University are used in the system. The spacecraft structure would be monitored for leak-generated, surface- borne ultrasound by means of a flexible and modular electronics package with fully integrated data sensors, data acquisiti

Posted in: Application Briefs

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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.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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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.

Posted in: Application Briefs

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