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Feature Articles

International Robots & Vision Show 2003

by Nello Zuech, Contributing Editor - AIA

Nello Zuech, a leading machine vision industry consultant, recently attended the International Robots & Vision Show and shared his personal observations. This article is not intended to provide a complete description of every exhibitor.

This year’s show was conveniently designed. There were essentially three distinct groupings of exhibitors: robot suppliers and integrators, vision component suppliers and integrators and metrology automation companies.  Among the exhibitors were:

Cedes Corporation of America – ExhibitedtheirEspros/QA-100,low-cost(<$1K), color-based vision sensor with a 100,000-pixel resolution and integrated infrared illumination.

Evolution Robotics – Have developed object recognition technology that is invariant to rotation and affine transformations, robust to changes in scale and lighting and handles occlusions of up to 90% (function of object size, distance and camera). Claim 95-100% recognition rates in controlled settings. Suggest techniques for color segmentation as well as motion tracking based on optical flow analysis.

PFU Systems, a Fujitsu company, Showed its NomadFire carrier board reference design for embedded vision systems. It uses their Plug-N-Run and Plug-N-Run Server Edition System-on Modules (SOM) for embedded x86 host functionality. Their Blazor offers OEMS 64-bit, 66 MHz PCI modules with current CPU speeds of 933 MHz. Firewire-based cameras can be connected directly.

Braintech – Demonstrated their 3D vision system for robot guided pick-and-place applications associated with somewhat nested parts. System actually uses a single camera inferring 3D offsets based on geometric differences associated with features of the object stemming from translation, rotation, skew scene feature changes from those captured in a referenced image. Real product differentiator could be their integrated calibration routine that can perform calibration in minutes as well as their man-machine interface, which is designed to establish a standard interface for all vision-guided robot applications: sealing, assembly, handling, finishing, inspection, etc.

Leuze Electronic – Exhibited their rotoscan ROD-4 a laser time-of-flight range sensor they developed for safety/intrusion detection adapted to medium to large envelope metrology. The field is divided into 528 sectors of 0.36 degrees and scanned at 25 Hz. Suggest accuracies in 3D measurements of 15 – 25 mm over 50 m.

In the metrology pavilion one found Brown & Sharpe demonstrating the Krypton system for medium envelope non-contact metrology. System uses an active lighting arrangement and triangulation techniques as the basis of the measurement so it does require human intervention. While Perceptron was not at the show, their products were exhibited by Fanuc Robotics integrated with a robot to perform 3D measurements on parts and on the Romer articulating, portable CMM arm.

Getting back to the Vision Pavilion, one of the more interesting observations was the presence of four companies offering thermal imaging cameras as well as solutions: Flir Systems, Ircon, Mikron and Raytheon. All acknowledged that actual machine vision applications have been slow to come by because the costs of the thermal imager have been so high. Today, however, the price of the thermal imaging cameras has come down to the $5K range, making it possible for process and quality control applications to be considered.

Active Imaging exhibited three new versions to their Phoenix line supporting CameraLink including CompactPCI board that supports simultaneous capture of two Base cameras or a single Medium camera using 64-bit/66 MHz bus. Also introduced new versions of their LFG analog frame grabbers including the LFG-4 that can accept 16 video inputs and capture the full resolution and frame rate from up to four simultaneously supporting 64-bit/66 MHZ bus.

AccuSentry demonstrated the latest version of their Sentry 9000 system with a high-resolution imager. Applied Vision demonstrated Genius IC portable color inspection technology suitable for making near absolute color measurements in printing, packaging, proofing and ink formulation applications.

Cognex introduced a number of products: MVS-8500 series of frame grabbers whose 8504 version offers four completely independent channels supporting up to four cameras, in either synchronous, asynchronous or dual tap mode. Unit offers users with capability to mix-and-match camera formats, clock rates, partial and full scan as well as color and monochrome acquisition. Also introduced their CDC-200, digital CMOS camera with global shutter, selectable resolutions up to 1280 x 1024 with ability to change resolution on the fly. Also announced now offer In-Sight vision sensor for reading Composite Symbology and Reduced Space Symbology.

DVT announced their new SpectroCam using a built in spectrograph to split the incoming light into its constituent wavelengths along the x-axis and spatially along the y-axis. Learning the complete spectrum of the sample, small changes can be detected. Also introduced their $2995 IntelligentScanner for OCR, bar code and DataMatrix reading.

ISRA VISION SYSTEMS was demonstrating their latest Adhesive and Sealant Inspection System as well as 3D-based vision guided robot that also performs post-placement metrology to assure gap and flushness and a system that detects defects on painted surfaces. All these were targeted at applications in the auto industry. In addition they were featuring their auto glass inspection technology as well as their web scanners for both patterned and unpatterned sheet products.

Matrox announced the addition of a digital frame grabber to support LVDS/RS-422 formats for its Odyssey Xpro vision processor. The plug-in modules supports up to 4 independent inputs, frame and line scan cameras and inputs can be combined for component RGB, or 2-, 4- or 8- tap monochrome video sources. Also announced that their Matrox 4Sight II embedded vision computer is now available pre-installed and pre-configured with Windows XP Embedded operating system. Also exhibited their Morphis frame grabber, featuring a dual decoder design supporting ultra-fast channel switching  between multiple video inputs, making it suitable for video surveillance applications.

MicroScan introduced their Quadrus EZ smart camera capable of reading reduced space symbology and composite codes as well as DataMatrix codes allowing one to read multiple code types on a variety of products on the same line with the same reader.

Point Gray Research launched their 3D Stereo Visualization Kit, a low cost add-on for their Bumblebee stereo camera arrangement that enables stereo visualization.

Vision Components featured their VC2048/E smart camera offering 110-frames/second progressive scan imager with Ethernet and TCP/IP interfacing. A website can be hosted inside the camera that can be displayed using a standard web browser anywhere on the worldwide web. Also announced their Pictor smart cameras with processor speed of 1200 MIPS offering ability to process 640 x 480 to 1280 x 1024 pixel images up to 54 FPS and their ECC 200 DataMatrix code reader.

Other companies showcasing machine vision engine products of one type or another but not apparently announcing anything new for the show included American Video Technology, Bitflow, Epix, Euresys, FastVision, Imperx, Integral Technologies, Leutrek Vision, Microview Technologies, National Instruments, Phoenix Imaging, PPT Vision, RVSI Acuity CiMatrix and SICK, Inc.

On the camera front –

Atmel Grenoble Corporation announced availability of the AVIIVATM M4, a new member of the AVIIVA range of Line scan CCD Cameras targeted at demanding applications such as parcel and postal sorting, document scanning and semiconductor inspection. This version provides increased speed providing 2 additional outputs and featuring integration of flat field correction and the provision of greater contrast expansion. The AVIIVA M4 family offers three different camera solutions. A high-speed, high-resolution version incorporates a 6k or 8k sensor with 7-micron square pixels, and four outputs delivering up to 160 MHz.

Cohu rolled out three new cameras targeted at the machine vision market: 7700 Series –progressive scan, color or monochrome, megapixel, 10-bit, 30 FPS, with either CameraLink or Firewire format; 7900 series – with 2048 x 2048, 10-bit, 16 Hz progressive scan with T-style lens and CameraLink format; 3600 series a family of  1’‘ x 1’‘ x 2.5’‘ camera featuring signal, control and power in one connector and DSP control.

Hamamatsu Photonic Systems introduced their C8484-05 camera series featuring 1344 x 1024 resolution, 70% peak quantum efficiency, 12-bit A/D, 65 db, 12 FPS and 1394, RS-644 or CameraLink formats.

HanVision, a newcomer to the vision show scene out of Korea, introduced their HVSOLO digital line scan family (512 – 8192 pixels in three tap arrangements). Output rates as high as 80 MHz are achieved. Either L:VDS or CameraLink formats are offered. They also exhibited their HVDUO-F7 digital color camera using the Foveon X3 Pro 10M CMOS color image sensor featuring 24-bit digital color output, 2268 x 1152 x 3 photo detectors and 3 FPS output in CameraLink format.

Hitachi suggested new products included KP-F100ACL, KP-F100BCL and KP-F120CL megapixel cameras in CameraLink format and KP-F100UV a megapixel UV camera and the KP-M3R an IR camera.

For JAI and PULNiX it was a ‘‘coming out’‘ party for their merged companies. In addition to their full line of mostly complementary products featuring properties important to many machine vision applications, they were exhibiting their respective smart cameras: ZiCam ZI-640 based on neural net pattern recognition and ThinkEye using Common Vision Blox imaging library.

Redlake demonstrated their latest MotionXtra HG-100K camera featuring 1504 x 1128 pixels and 1000 FPS at full resolution with 5-microsecond electronic shutter and Ethernet compatibility.

A newcomer out of Germany was SVS-Vistek featuring a family of digital cameras for machine vision including their SVS282Color using a 2580 x 1944 imager with 10-bit output in LVDS format, interlaced or 2580 x 972 progressive scan mode operating at 10 FPS. Properties are adjustable via RS-232 interface.

Toshiba’s new products included their ‘‘ice-cube’‘ sized progressive scan 1K-52V and 1K-53V, specifically targeted at the machine vision market.

Other camera companies showcasing their products included ADIMEC, Basler Vision Technologies, DALSA, Imperx, Narragansett Imaging, NET USA and Photonfocus

On the lighting front –

One newcomer to the machine vision scene was Spectrum Illumination . They introduced their line of LED lighting arrangements claiming some with the highest output available. Versions offered include ring, back, linear and spotlights.

Advanced Illumination expanded its LED product line to include BL4401 surface mount backlights, CL 174 high output line lights, AL4424 updated 100 mm line of Broad Area Linear Array lights.

SCHOTT-FOSTEC  introduced their SC-2100, a microprocessor-based LED controller utilizing the light feedback and temperature measuring built into their standard products. The controller automatically recognizes the type of LED head and then controls the light to user-defined settings. Also demonstrated a line of LED light lines.

StockerYale introduced their new CLAR an LED low angle ring light only 39 mm high and available in wavelengths from near UV to IR. Also introduced their Lasiris green lasers offered as spot or patterned projectors and their Model 12 HemiLite Spherical Fluorescent Vision Illuminator in 6’‘ or 16’‘ diameters and Model 10XI circular fluorescent illuminator, and its Model 21 DC fiber optic illuminator delivering regulated light output stable to +/- 0.1% with 0 – 100% intensity control and an indicator light to note when it is time to change the halogen bulb and SL series of fluorescent linears.

Other lighting companies showcasing their products included Fiberoptics Technology, Inc., Metaphase Technologies, Phoenix Imaging, RVSI/NER, Volpi and Waldmann Lighting .

While no apparent new product announcements were made by those companies offering optics for machine vision applications, those companies showcasing their products included Edmund Industrial Optics, Goyo Optical, LINOS Photonics, Melles Griot, Midwest Optical, Olympus Industrial America, Schneider Optics and Tamron .

Over on the robotics side a couple of observations – Adept was showing off its ‘‘vision on the fly’‘ – a totally integrated vision system with its robot providing visual guidance on the fly. Fanuc Robotics introduced their visLoci machine vision package – software that provides 2D and 3D robot guidance tools for their line of robots. Servo Robot was aggressively promoting the adaptation of their welding seam guiding vision systems for process control applications based on measuring dimensions. They also introduced their latest WireLess robotic weldment inspection system together with their handheld WISC weld inspection product line and MX joint locator with Servo-Robot Anti Optical Reflection Technology suited for aluminum welding applications.













Balaji Microtechnologies   (March 4, 2016 11:47 PM)

Thanks for sharing this nice article. I read it completely and get some interesting knowledge from this. I again thanks for sharing such a nice blog.


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