Imaging

Gigabit Ethernet Cameras

The uEye® Gigabit Ethernet (GigE) USB camera from IDS Imaging Development Systems, Cambridge, MA, is designed for machine vision and image processing applications. Cable lengths of up to 100 meters are possible. The cameras are equipped with a C-mount lens connector with adjustable mounting dimensions. A symmetrical housing allows mounting at 90/180 degrees without creating new holders.

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Wide-VGA Cameras

PixeLINK, Ottawa, ON, Canada, has introduced the PL-B761 monochrome and PL-B762 color wide-VGA cameras that feature a global shutter CMOS sensor providing 60 frames per second at a resolution of 752 × 480 pixels. The 1⁄3" optical format sensor has a 6.0 μm pixel pitch, and a 50 μs minimum exposure time. The sensor also features high quantum efficiency in the near infrared. Both models are available with a choice of FireWire, Gigabit Ethernet, or USB 2.0 interfaces, eliminating the need for a frame grabber.

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Image Processing Software

The NI Vision Development Module from National Instruments, Austin, TX, consists of image processing and machine vision functions for various programming languages. It lets users enhance images, check for presence, locate features, identify objects, and measure parts. It includes NI Vision Assistant and NI Vision Acquisition software, and provides driver software for GigE Vision and IEEE 1394 cameras. The software is designed for engineers and designers developing machine vision and scientific imaging applications, and offers accuracy to 1/10 of a pixel and 1/10 of a degree.

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Thermal Imaging Camera

The M7816 Dual Vision thermal imaging camera from Mikron Infrared, Oakland, NJ, is designed for radiometric thermal imaging and features a 160 × 120 pixel resolution, 3.5" display, temperature ranges from -40 to 500°C, resolution of 0.1°C, and MikroSpec 4.0 software. The camera features the company’s Dual Vision capabilities, which allows it to be used with Mikron FusionTM and Mikron Blender® technology. It is also compatible with the company’s SpyGlass® lens and Viewport solution for inspection of energized electrical equipment located in switchgears and electrical panels.

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Linear Arrays

Sensors Unlimited, Goodrich Corp., Princeton, NJ, offers the LC Series shortwave infrared linear photodiode array for imaging applications from 0.9 microns to 2.6 microns. The device features no moving parts, integration into existing systems, fast signal readout, and real-time measurement results. The arrays are suitable for applications such as industrial process control, biomedical analysis, plastics recycling, and NIR spectroscopy. The arrays are vibration-resistant, and have a 50 × 250 micron pixel size. The package design includes a two-stage TEC and thermally optimized materials for multi-channel spectrometers that require high sensitivity.

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Camera Electronics

BAP Image Systems, Fort Worth, TX, offers 100-MHz digital grayscale camera electronics that provide up to 600 dpi resolution, 12-bit processing and image output, adjustable line length, selectable working frequency, and curve-based contrast and brightness enhancement through LUT. Interfaces include RS-232 for camera set-up, RS-644 for image data, and CameraLInk for image data. The board features built-in test patterns for debugging and verification, horizontal and vertical image re-scaling, and image pre-processing.

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Machine Vision Cameras

Sony Electronics, Park Ridge, NJ, has released the XCI Series Smart Cameras for machine vision applications that include color capabilities. The four new cameras are offered in VGA and SXGA resolutions, in color or monochrome. Other features include support for C and CS mounts, additional SDRAM memory, and ×86 CPU performance. The digital I/O includes two USB 2.0 ports and Gigabit Ethernet. The Windows® XPe models have an open architecture.

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CMOS USB Camera

Lumenera Corp., Ottawa, ON, Canada, offers the Lm085 mini CMOS USB 2.0 camera for industrial applications with high-contrast-light scenes, tight space constraints, and rugged environmental conditions. The camera can be used in areas with variable lighting conditions and provides a dynamic range of 100 dB. It features a form factor of 44 × 44 × 56 mm, an electronic global shutter that eliminates the smear effect generated by moving objects, and a locking mini USB and RJ45 GPIO connectors that keep cables attached to the camera back plate.

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Using Vision to Enable Robotic Random Bin Picking

The development of a robotic random bin picking system that translates to a real-world factory application has received attention for more than 30 years, and has been called by some the “Search for the Holy Grail.” Random bin picking refers to a system where vision-enabled robots locate, grasp, and move single parts from a bin of jumbled or randomly piled parts. In recent years, advances in processing speed, new algorithms, and significant engineering have combined to solve limited versions of the problem, but the more general problem remained.

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Creating an Automated Brake Inspection System with Machine Vision

A Tier 1 automotive supplier of brake drum assemblies with customers here and abroad has tried a number of different vision systems for brake drum assembly inspection, but have had very limited success. The main problem with the previous systems was their dependence on using pattern matching, which proved inadequate in handling the wide variations and complexities in the assemblies.

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