Mar. 27, 2012

The Third Dimension

Factory Inspection Redefined with 3D Smart Vision

What is superior over the other in therms of image processing: 2D or 3D? The answer seems simple. Especially for the engineers of QuantumVision, who introduced a new 3D stereo vision system called Hammerhead. What are the advantages of it? And what can it be used for? You may find the answers in this article.

Simplifying image processing is easy with 3D stereo vision. Even if 3D is not 'needed', it can vastly improve 2D processing. Anywhere that 2D vision is used, 3D vision will be superior. It streamlines and makes more efficient 2D processing. For example, 3D depth information can filter out portions of the image that are not in the target range, ie. foreground and background clutter. All that remains are the pixels of interest, greatly reducing the complexity of object identification and location, speeding up image processing and improving the robustness of the application.

All processing in a single system

Rather than relying on multiple cameras to gain stereo vision, the Hammerhead, by QuantumVision, integrates all processing into a single system. It is a simple to use, robust technology. The Hammerhead is ideal for myriad applications. These include: security and surveillance, robotic pick and place, vehicle guidance, quality assurance, sorting, material handling, and optical gauging. The Hammerhead measures 6 inches x 2.37 inches x 1.4 inches. It includes: two image sensors, integrated environmental control for cold temperature applications, Ethernet , POE, RS-232, RS-422/485, USB, and industrial digital I/O. Synchronization of the left and right image sensors is automatically handled by the hardware. The imagers can be two 1.3 megapixel grayscale imagers, two 3.1 megapixel color imagers, or a custom version with two 5 megapixel color or grayscale imagers. Typically, the system is configured with both imagers using the same focal length lenses, but in some applications, it can be beneficial to use different lenses to obtain better depth of field, or to provide different resolutions for different working distances. For extreme environments, a wash down version is available, including an integrated heater to handle refrigerated and freezer applications.

Linux, ARM and DSP

The Hammerhead runs Linux 2.6 on an ARM CPU and uses a DSP for enhanced image processing performance.

The SDK supports development in C/C++ using the open source GNU tool chain, as well as Python 2.6. Standard communication protocols such as FTP, HTTP, XML-RPC, Telnet and SSH are supported. Systems come with the complete QuantumVision image processing library. Typical 2D algorithms include 1D and 2D barcodes, linear measurement tools, and pattern matching. OEM custom applications are ideally suited to the Hammerhead. 

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