http://localhost:4503/content/vsd/en/blogs/my-view.html2016-05-26T04:20:23.466ZMy ViewMy View with Andy Wilson Videos – Topics in the machine vision market,” and then “Editorial perspective on machine vision systems, technology, design, cameras and componentsAdobe Experience ManagerMy View - Vision pioneersnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: By designing and integrating their own unique, low-cost components for machine-vision systems, system integrators may not necessarily best serve their customers...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-7/departments/my-view/vision-pioneers.html">as seen in the July issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="310" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=1067813347001&amp;playerID=1163895114001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC_JDi277FFrnjC8JwWCwiPq&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=1067813347001&amp;playerID=1163895114001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC_JDi277FFrnjC8JwWCwiPq&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="310" height="250"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-5337653991829981949?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-53376539918299819492011-09-16T21:12:00.000Z2011-10-17T21:39:41.934ZVSD My View - Psychometric theorynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: Image-processing techniques may someday reveal much about our professional capabilities and potential&mdash;then again, some things are best left unsaid...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-6/departments/my-view/psychometric-theory.html">as seen in the June issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="310" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=1070938966001&amp;playerID=1081964175001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC9SUJxB1cUIKgF5tIUS0XMN&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=1070938966001&amp;playerID=1081964175001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC9SUJxB1cUIKgF5tIUS0XMN&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="310" height="250"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-661394933413270908?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-6613949334132709082011-07-27T19:59:00.000Z2011-08-05T18:47:22.573ZVIDEO BLOG - Psychometric theorynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: Image-processing techniques may someday reveal much about our professional capabilities and potential--then again, some things are best left unsaid... <br /> <br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-6/departments/my-view/psychometric-theory.html">as seen in the June issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div> <br /> <br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="310" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=1070938966001&amp;playerID=1081964175001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC9SUJxB1cUIKgF5tIUS0XMN&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=1070938966001&amp;playerID=1081964175001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC9SUJxB1cUIKgF5tIUS0XMN&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="310" height="250"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-661394933413270908?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-6613949334132709082011-07-27T19:59:00.000Z2011-08-24T18:51:27.069ZVSD My View - Smaller on the insidenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: The space-time continuum distorts perception of size -- a rule in physics that could as well be applied to the machine-vision industry...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-5/departments/my-view/smaller-on-the-inside.html">as seen in the May issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="300" height="237"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=1030948701001&amp;playerID=1030965787001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC_myAzz1LgQk8jMBlZMY_uF&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=1030948701001&amp;playerID=1030965787001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC_myAzz1LgQk8jMBlZMY_uF&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="300" height="237"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7361039847407835069?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-73610398474078350692011-06-29T20:28:00.000Z2011-06-29T20:40:45.553ZVIDEO BLOG - Smaller on the insidenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: The space-time continuum distorts perception of size -- a rule in physics that could as well be applied to the machine-vision industry... <br /> <br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-5/departments/my-view/smaller-on-the-inside.html">as seen in the May issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div> <br /> <br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="300" height="237"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=1030948701001&amp;playerID=1030965787001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC_myAzz1LgQk8jMBlZMY_uF&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=1030948701001&amp;playerID=1030965787001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC_myAzz1LgQk8jMBlZMY_uF&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="300" height="237"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7361039847407835069?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-73610398474078350692011-06-29T20:28:00.000Z2011-08-24T18:51:27.553ZVSD My View - Trains and drainsnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: The interiors of drains, train tunnels, and arteries are not so dissimilar, and designers of machine-vision systems should bring 3-D imaging to this frontier...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-1/departments/my-view/trains-and-drains.html">as seen in the January issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" width="310" height="250" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=819060460001&playerID=819919051001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-H3OOd5c2Kk8bxeIrKrBh_&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="@videoPlayer=819060460001&playerID=819919051001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-H3OOd5c2Kk8bxeIrKrBh_&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" swLiveConnect="true" allowScriptAccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-8043132587917500352?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-80431325879175003522011-03-09T20:45:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:20.751ZVIDEO BLOG - Trains and drainsnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: The interiors of drains, train tunnels, and arteries are not so dissimilar, and designers of machine-vision systems should bring 3-D imaging to this frontier... <br /> <br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-16/issue-1/departments/my-view/trains-and-drains.html">as seen in the January issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.</div> <br /> <br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="310" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=819060460001&amp;playerID=819919051001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-H3OOd5c2Kk8bxeIrKrBh_&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=819060460001&amp;playerID=819919051001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-H3OOd5c2Kk8bxeIrKrBh_&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="310" height="250"></embed></object><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-8043132587917500352?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-80431325879175003522011-03-09T20:45:00.000Z2011-08-24T18:51:28.255ZVSD My View - Volume discounts do not applynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: System integrators face enough headaches trying to find and test components&mdash;could they get a little help from the OEMs?...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-15/issue-120/Departments/My_View/volume-discounts-do-not-apply.html">as seen in the December issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.<br /><br /><object id="flashObj" width="310" height="250" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=742256330001&playerID=777057034001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-pVCI1lwDi8BLvgRfZM7fC&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="@videoPlayer=742256330001&playerID=777057034001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-pVCI1lwDi8BLvgRfZM7fC&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" swLiveConnect="true" allowScriptAccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-103835360826997963?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-1038353608269979632011-02-04T16:17:00.000Z2011-08-05T18:47:22.916ZVIDEO BLOG - Volume discounts do not applynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: System integrators face enough headaches trying to find and test components&mdash;could they get a little help from the OEMs?... <br /> <br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/articles/print/volume-15/issue-120/Departments/My_View/volume-discounts-do-not-apply.html">as seen in the December issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>. <br /> <br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="310" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=742256330001&amp;playerID=777057034001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-pVCI1lwDi8BLvgRfZM7fC&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=742256330001&amp;playerID=777057034001&amp;playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC-pVCI1lwDi8BLvgRfZM7fC&amp;domain=embed&amp;dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="310" height="250"></embed></object></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-103835360826997963?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-1038353608269979632011-02-04T16:17:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:24.604ZSleeps with the fishesnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="TEXT-ALIGN: left">VIDEO: Dreadful things may happen to vision systems designers who fail to find components that stand the test of time...<br /><br /><span style="FONT-STYLE: italic; FONT-WEIGHT: bold">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/6811742985/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/issue-11/Departments/My_View/sleeps-with-the-fishes.html">as seen in the November issue</a> of <span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Vision Systems Design</span>.<br /><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" width="310" height="250" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=659433715001&playerID=701933626001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC8bX69tqkd_W3TJwGVznQoG&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="@videoPlayer=659433715001&playerID=701933626001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC8bX69tqkd_W3TJwGVznQoG&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" swLiveConnect="true" allowScriptAccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-6615737268260392503?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-66157372682603925032010-12-07T22:15:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:21.047ZArms Traffickingnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="TEXT-ALIGN: left">VIDEO: Beware, system integrators--you may run afoul of regulations that limit the export of frequently used machine-vision components...<br /><br /><span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold; FONT-STYLE: italic">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/8798916292/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/issue-10/Departments/My_View/arms-trafficking.html">as seen in the October issue</a> of <span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Vision Systems Design</span>.<br /><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" width="310" height="250" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=659394353001&playerID=684418757001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC9t-FzMokESFmnFJfOB86Lk&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="@videoPlayer=659394353001&playerID=684418757001&playerKey=AQ~~,AAAAAEheacc~,POub7blnBC9t-FzMokESFmnFJfOB86Lk&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" swLiveConnect="true" allowScriptAccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-2741621392109551107?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-27416213921095511072010-11-22T19:46:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:21.187ZInformation is powernoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: Better online search tools will help system integrators explore the often fog-bound world of machine-vision products, trends, and market opportunities...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/5547039282/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/Issue-9/Departments/My_View/Information-is-power.html">as seen in the September issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.<br /><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0" width="310" height="250"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1"><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF"><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=659307258001&playerID=659334610001&playerKey=AQ%2E%2E,AAAAAEheacc%2E,POub7blnBC8sShgkjJS5WRYTQ5bXFFbW&amp;domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true"><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com"><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false"><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true"><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true"><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always"><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashvars="@videoPlayer=659307258001&playerID=659334610001&amp;playerKey=AQ%2E%2E,AAAAAEheacc%2E,POub7blnBC8sShgkjJS5WRYTQ5bXFFbW&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowfullscreen="true" swliveconnect="true" allowscriptaccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash" width="310" height="250"></embed></object></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-6437511096332137698?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-64375110963321376982010-11-03T22:04:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:21.281ZMen at Worknoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div style="text-align: left;">VIDEO: Rather than wasting energy battling over code, machine-vision software makers would do better to take a lesson in sampling from the music industry...<br /><br /><span style="font-weight: bold; font-style: italic;">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/2652212851/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/Issue-8/Departments/My_View/Men-at-Work.html">as seen in the August issue</a> of <span style="font-style: italic;">Vision Systems Design</span>.<br /><br /><br /><object id="flashObj" width="310" height="250" classid="clsid:D27CDB6E-AE6D-11cf-96B8-444553540000" codebase="http://download.macromedia.com/pub/shockwave/cabs/flash/swflash.cab#version=9,0,47,0"><param name="movie" value="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" /><param name="bgcolor" value="#FFFFFF" /><param name="flashVars" value="@videoPlayer=612254435001&playerID=614825289001&playerKey=AQ%2E%2E,AAAAAEheacc%2E,POub7blnBC-bf4FdFkmQNYNQl7-qNQcb&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" /><param name="base" value="http://admin.brightcove.com" /><param name="seamlesstabbing" value="false" /><param name="allowFullScreen" value="true" /><param name="swLiveConnect" value="true" /><param name="allowScriptAccess" value="always" /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f9?isVid=1" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="@videoPlayer=612254435001&playerID=614825289001&playerKey=AQ%2E%2E,AAAAAEheacc%2E,POub7blnBC-bf4FdFkmQNYNQl7-qNQcb&domain=embed&dynamicStreaming=true" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" allowFullScreen="true" swLiveConnect="true" allowScriptAccess="always" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></object></div><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-3232820780205366041?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-32328207802053660412010-09-22T14:09:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:21.531ZPushing buttonsnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p>VIDEO: Describing the technology behind a product will do more to win customers than selling based on simplistic marketing techniques</p><p><br><br><em>Editor's Note:</em> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/4459846366/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/Issue_6/Departments/My_View/Pushing_buttons.html">as seen in the June issue</a> of <em>Vision Systems Design</em>.</p><p><br />In developing new products, many software vendors leverage simple point, neighborhood, and global algorithms such as histogram equalization and Fourier analysis in their products&mdash;functions that are now commonplace and well documented, having been developed and used extensively over the past 50 years.</p><p><br />Newer and more novel algorithms dealing with image transformation, mapping, pattern matching, and image classification are also well-documented in journals such as the IEEE Transactions on Pattern Analysis and Machine Intelligence (PAMI).</p><p><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/110125561001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=110125561001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-677542704945072130?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-6775427049450721302010-07-07T14:44:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:25.712ZEmpty gardennoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p>VIDEO: Managing a machine-vision company can require the skills of a good gardener, notably one who nourishes new growth</p><p><strong>Editor's Note:</strong> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" as seen in the <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/0414045756/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/Issue_5/Features/Simplifying_Automotive_Assembly.html">May issue</a> of <em>Vision Systems Design</em>.</p><p>As many of our readers are well aware, I was not born in the United States. In fact, I was born in a sleepy village in the county of Bedfordshire, England. To check the ties that bind, I often visit my wayward twin brother Dave. Being the potential management type, I duly inspect how my brother is keeping his house and his half-an-acre garden.</p><p>Since I only visit a few times a year, it always appears that the garden is little changed.</p><p> </p><p> </p><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/89768268001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=89768268001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-2388112712819703975?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-23881127128197039752010-06-03T21:12:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:22.108ZBad shoesnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p>VIDEO: With the aid of machine vision, long-term product testing strategies are essential to ensure that only the highest quality goods reach the market.</p><p><br /><strong>Editor's Note:</strong> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/0491828478/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/Issue_4/departments/my-view/Bad_shoes.html">as seen in the April issue</a> of <em>Vision Systems Design</em>.</p><p><br />Hobbling around trade shows is very wearying, especially on the feet and connecting appendages. I should know. I have attended many such events and due to a lack of exercise -- coupled with my love of Dunhill International cigarettes -- have often been laid up in bed for days afterward. After one event my boss, Conard Holton, noticed that it was perhaps my poor choice of footwear that may be contributing to my condition. After months of procrastinating, I went to my local shoe store and found a rather nice pair of very inexpensive shoes. Even my boss had to admire how smart I looked.</p><p><br />This year, I realized that the early recognition of a potential problem was not confined just to my shoes but to the shoes of one of the world&rsquo;s greatest car manufacturers.</p><br /><p></p><br /><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/79271247001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=79271247001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-8908539816926921485?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-89085398169269214852010-04-21T18:35:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:26.180ZA little knowledgenoemail@noemail.orgAndy WilsonVIDEO: By adding intelligence to their products, vendors will reduce the need for software development by their customers while opening a path to even more sophisticated systems.<br /><br /><strong><em>Editor's Note:</em></strong> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/0680664096/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/issue-2/departments/my-view/a-little_knowledge.html">as seen in the February issue</a> of <em>Vision Systems Design</em>.<br /><br />Anyone who has been involved with computer vision for a number of years will testify that much work needs to be done before machine-vision systems can emulate the power of the human visual system. Despite hardware advances in multicore CPUs, DSPs, GPUs, and FPGAs, researchers are still far from modeling how the human brain perceives and understands the visual world.<br /><br />Yet many machine-vision systems require only simple measurement tasks to be performed. It is often not necessary to perform sophisticated image-processing functions to analyze image features. In these cases, simpler algorithms such as edge detection, histogram analysis, thresholding, and blob analysis can be used to perform a desired image-analysis function.<br /><br /><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/73754524001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=73754524001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7287666775165991458?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-72876667751659914582010-03-25T19:10:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:22.357ZA possible inconveniencenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span style="FONT-WEIGHT: bold">VIDEO: Innovative 'new economy' ideas for marketing machine-vision products may have an unexpected cost--time</span><br /><br /><span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Editor's Note:</span> Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also read Andy's "My View" as seen in the <a href="http://www.optoiq.com/index/machine-vision-imaging-processing/display/vsd-article-display/9678295663/articles/vision-systems-design/volume-15/issue-1/departments/my-view/a-possible_inconvenience.html">January issue</a> of <span style="FONT-STYLE: italic">Vision Systems Design</span>.<br /><br />Several years ago, I had the pleasure of attending a talk presented by Chris Anderson, the author of The Long Tail (<a href="http://www.thelongtail.com/">http://www.thelongtail.com/</a>). If you have read this book, you will be aware of its simple but powerful message.<br /><br />In essence, Anderson points out that the economy is shifting away from a focus on a relative small number of mainstream products and markets at the head of the demand curve and toward a huge number of niches in the tail.<br /><br /><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/64380935001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=64380935001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-115878329572658285?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-1158783295726582852010-02-04T15:36:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:22.482ZTake a bownoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<i>Editor's Note: Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/display_article/371811/19/none/none/Depar/Take-a-bow" class="article_link">read Andy's "My View"</a> as seen in the December issue of Vision Systems Design.</i><br /><br />America's Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) encompasses radio and television stations that transmit some of the finest programming in the country. Before tuning in to the Fox News channel to hear biased right-wing reporting (while at the same time having a few laughs), I always check whether my local public station is broadcasting something more important.<br /><br />One night, I tuned into a concert by Hector Berlioz called the Symphonie Fantastique being broadcast on WGBH in Boston. Conducting the orchestra was a certain Michael Tilson Thomas, an American conductor, pianist, and composer who is currently musical director of the San Francisco Symphony. (Watch the <a href="#videoplayer" class="article_link">video</a> below.)<br /><br /><a name="videoplayer"><br /><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/60234600001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=60234600001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="320" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center></a><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-8895514437848425736?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-88955144378484257362010-01-04T15:12:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:22.716ZAn invasion of privacynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<i>Editor's Note: Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/display_article/370768/19/none/none/Depar/An-invasion-of-privacy" class="article_link">read Andy's "My View"</a> as seen in the November issue of Vision Systems Design.</i><br /><br />Once or twice a year I have the pleasure of traveling to Germany to visit companies and trade shows. To take full advantage of the trip, I often fly to England to visit my brother and bring him duty-free cigarettes. Since smoking is now banned on most international flights from the United States, the six-hour trip often reduces my nails to a fraction of the length they were on boarding the aircraft. (Watch <a href="#videoplayer" class="article_link">video</a> below.)<br /><br /><a name="videoplayer"><br /><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/54950674001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=54950674001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center></a><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-1270421859532132517?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-12704218595321325172009-12-07T15:44:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.044ZBitter about Twitternoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span style="font-weight: bold;">Editor's Note:</span> <span style="font-style: italic;">Watch the video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately. You can also <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/display_article/369792/19/none/none/Depar/Bitter-about-Twitter" class="article_link">read Andy's "My View"</a> as seen in the current issue of</span> Vision Systems Design.<br /><br />Before the age of information technology, the employees of many companies drove to work and, upon arriving, often spent half an hour gathered around the water cooler to hear the latest company gossip and scandal before retiring into separate walled offices to work. That is where socializing ended. (watch <a href="#videoplayer" class="article_link">video</a> below.)<br /><br /><a name="videoplayer"><br /><center><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/44841552001" bgcolor="#99cc33" flashVars="playerId=44841552001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center></a><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-4751709791254098314?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-47517097912540983142009-10-15T14:43:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.184ZThe royal 'we'noemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<i>Editor's Note: This month we launch a video version of editor Andy Wilson's "My View" blog, where you'll get Andy's unique take on what's buzzing through the machine-vision marketplace or just what's been buzzing through his mind lately.</i><br /><br /><br />Last month, I again had the pleasure of attending a very large trade show. There, as every year before, hordes of engineers demonstrated the latest machine-vision products. What makes this conference and trade show unique, however, was the fact that a large number of young engineers are present, many of whom have recently graduated from university (watch <a href="#videoplayer">video</a> below.)</p><p> </p><p> </p><br /><br /><br /><a name="videoplayer"><br /><center><br /><embed src="http://c.brightcove.com/services/viewer/federated_f8/35625858001" bgcolor="#FFFFFF" flashVars="playerId=35625858001&viewerSecureGatewayURL=https://console.brightcove.com/services/amfgateway&servicesURL=http://services.brightcove.com/services&cdnURL=http://admin.brightcove.com&domain=embed&autoStart=false&" base="http://admin.brightcove.com" name="flashObj" width="310" height="250" seamlesstabbing="false" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" swLiveConnect="true" pluginspage="http://www.macromedia.com/shockwave/download/index.cgi?P1_Prod_Version=ShockwaveFlash"></embed></center></a><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-6074206841216246635?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-60742068412162466352009-08-28T01:49:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.340ZA glowing futurenoemail@noemail.orgAndy WilsonEver since I was young, I have always liked taking things apart, and my father, being a mechanical engineer, was only too willing to encourage me in my endeavors. And so in 1979 when his expensive, wooden cabinet-sized tube-based stereo system failed, I decided to attempt to repair it.</p><p><br />After my brother and I lifted the cabinet to the center of the living room, I unscrewed the stiff card backing of the machine and peered inside. There, in a large metal chassis was an array of valves that stood proudly in shiny round sockets.</p><p><br />I instructed my brother to turn the equipment on while I watched to see what happened. During the next few moments, theglass valves began to warm up and emit their eerie orange glow. That is, of course, all but one. This, I thought must be the culprit so, after turning off the stereo system and letting it cool down for ten minutes, I removed the valve in question.</p><p><br />Being a member of the press, I then tried to leverage my contacts at Philips to obtain a free sample of the Mullard valve in question. After being informed that Philips had not made the product for more than ten years, I was told that they could be obtained from a small company in India. My contact generously offered to obtain the product for me and ship it to my dad's house. I was delighted.</p><p><br />Several weeks later, a package arrived at the door from Philips. Excitedly, I opened the package and gazed upon the shiny newdevice. Following the same procedure as before, I located the socket of the defunct tube and placed in the new one.</p><p><br />To my delight, after switching the stereo system on, the voice of a BBC newscaster sprang from the speakers. Without engineering drawings, signal generators, or oscilloscopes, I had brought the stereo back from the dead. Even my old man could not believe it. In the decades that followed, valves were replaced by discrete transistors, transistors by TTL logic, and TTL logic by microprocessors, VLSI devices, and gate arrays. And, of course, everything is now smaller. In the machine-vision industry, for example, system integrators can now purchase a smart camera replete with sensor, CPU/DSP, memory, interface, and on-board software for less than $2,500.</p><p><br /><strong>System integration <em>par excellence</em></strong><br />Nowhere, however, has this level of integration been more significant than in the development of consumer products. To develop products such as mobile telephones, MP3 players, and portable televisions, engineers use sophisticated electronic and mechanical CAD packages rather than data sheets and drawing boards.</p><p><br />Using these packages, it is possible to cram more technology into a single square inch than ever before. And, if well designed, these products are less expensive, more reliable, and longer lasting than any valve-based system could ever expect to be. For those tasked with repairing such devices the task is more complex. More than likely, should the devices fail under warranty, they are replaced free of charge by the manufacturer.</p><p><br />Today, it has become more expensive to repair these devices than replace them with new ones. Although this is not yet the case in much of the machine-vision industry, those developing products for this market are also concerned with reducing cost and size.</p><p><br />To gain an advantage in this area, inquisitive engineers may want to take a look at what their counterparts have accomplished in the consumer market. Although purchasing every latest miniature device, tearing it apart, and characterizing each design may not be a wise idea, companies such as Portelligent (Austin, TX, USA; <a href="http://www.teardown.com/">www.teardown.com</a>) have emerged that can provide this data for you.</p><p><br />Replete with external and internal photographs, parts lists, component counts, and a manufacturing cost analysis, the reportscould provide you with just the edge you need when developing your next product. And you will not need a screwdriver, signal generator, or an oscilloscope -- just a check or credit card.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-8599203676714382719?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-85992036767143827192009-07-30T16:51:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.465ZReady for prime timenoemail@noemail.orgAndy WilsonIt has been 36 years since I last watched a motion picture in three dimensions. That particular motion picture, Andy Warhol's <i>Frankenstein</i>, as most critics would agree, featured the highest camp this side of the Appalachian Trail. Although the movie itself was awful, the 3-D effects that were produced were as I recall rather impressive.<br /><br />So, when the prospect of watching another motion picture in 3-D arose last month, I was eager to see the progress that had been made in 3-D cinema over the last three decades.<br /><br />Early one Saturday morning my son and I drove to the nearest 3-D cinema to view Pixar Animation Studio's latest masterwork <i>Up</i>. Duly equipped with digital cinema servers from Doremi Cinema, the state-of-the-art cinema we attended featured more comfortable seats than can be found in the first-class cabin of a Boeing 787 Dreamliner.<br /><br />Upon entering, every audience member was handed the latest X101 Series 3-D active glasses from Pasadena, CA-based XpanD. Unlike the polarized 3-D glasses of the past, these digital glasses use the company's patented "pi-cell" liquid- crystal cell to deliver alternate right- and left-eye images and thus the perception of depth.<br />This, the company claims, produces the brightest, flicker-free stereoscopic image possible. Unfortunately, as the company should have mentioned, only the brightest image possible with this particular technology. Because despite the all-digital cinema, the loss of luminance caused by donning the all-digital glasses rendered the image somewhat dark.<br /><br />Sadly, I must report that, despite the advent of all-digital cinemas, the progress made in 3-D projection technology in the past 30 years has been minimal. However, the advances in computer animation techniques have proved just the opposite, making <i>Up</i> the best motion picture Pixar has ever produced.<br /><br /><b>Up, up, and away</b><br />For those involved in machine vision, the advent of 3-D systems has resulted in a number of different technologies being deployed in an increasingly larger variety of applications. However, rather than advancing the way images are displayed, these technologies use a variety of methods to capture and process 3-D image data.<br /><br />Using single and multiple camera-based systems, time-of-flight measurement sensors, and structured light-based cameras, system integrators are now deploying these technologies in applications for bin picking, robotic-guidance systems, and depth perception. Last month, many of these different technologies and applications were on show at the International Robots, Vision &amp; Motion Control Show held near Chicago, IL. As well as highlighting these technologies, a system integrator pavilion allowed attendees to interact with system developers who proudly showed what they had accomplished.<br /><br />Just as the machine-vision industry has evolved to embrace these new technologies, so too has the business of trade publishing. For those of you who could not attend the show, <i>Vision Systems Design</i> magazine decided to enter the motion picture business, producing a number of "shorts" that allowed vendors, system integrators, and manufacturers to broadcast their messages.<br /><br />Although not quite as well produced, directed, or written as Pixar's <i>Up</i>, these videos do reflect the progress made by automation companies using 3-D technologies. And, rather than pay a $12 fee to view these videos, we have made them freely available on our web site at <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com">www.vision-systems.com</a>.<br /><br />In the coming months we will be adding more of these videos. Then, later this year, our trusty film crew will also be in Stuttgart, Germany, to bring you the latest news from VISION -- the world's largest machine vision and image processing show. We are sure you will find these videos informative and hopefully entertaining.<br /><br />Although embracing new technology may not be a wise choice in certain consumer industries, it is certainly applicable to boththe machine-vision and publishing fields. And, for those of our readers who might be wondering, our videos can be viewed without the use of 3-D glasses.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7044363991818235458?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-70443639918182354582009-06-24T21:10:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.605ZSomething old, something newnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p><br />Many years ago, before the advent of personal computers, journalists used typewriters to compose their musings. After an article was typed, it was proof-read and then sent to be typeset on a typesetting machine that produced long strips of type known as galleys.</p><p><br />The galleys were returned to the publishing company, where they were pasted onto boards, photographed, and the negative images stripped into pages along with negative images of any pictures that accompanied the article. These were then sent to the printer, made into forms that consisted of multiple pages, and set on a print drum for final printing.</p><p><br />With the introduction of the personal computer and direct-to-plate printing systems, this process has been automated, making typesetting companies, prepress houses, and film technology obsolete. But the journey from there to here was not as easy as some may think.</p><p><br />For a number of years the typewriter coexisted with the personal computer as users found it difficult, if not impossible, to print labels using dot-matrix printers, for one thing. With the introduction of graphical user interfaces, a plethora of software standards, and hardware products such as laser writers, these problems no longer exist in today's business world.</p><p><br />Unfortunately, the same cannot be said for the machine-vision industry. Like the publishing days of old, the machine-vision industry is replete with products ranging from lighting and illumination sources, cameras, and software that provide single-point solutions for specific machine-vision applications.</p><p><br />While researching this month's article on machine-vision lighting (see <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/display_article/364156/19/none/none/Feat/Spanning-the-Spectrum" target="_blank" class="article_link">"Spanning the Spectrum"</a>, <i>Vision Systems Design</i>, June 2009), for example, I discovered a number of companies who have produced LED light sources that claim to replace older products that use halogen lamps. In their literature these manufacturers promote the products' long lifetimes, high luminous intensity, and reduced running costs.</p><p><br /><b>Peaceful coexistence</b></p><p>Take one look at the spectral characteristics of these illumination systems, however, and you realize that the spectral output and linearity (light output vs. light intensity) of LED light sources is far different from those that use halogen lamps. Thus, microscopy users, who have for a number of years used halogen illumination to capture their images, will not obtain comparable images by simply replacing the halogen light source with one based on LED technology.</p><p><br />Before deploying an LED system, the user may need to optically filter the light source in an attempt to spectrally match the light output obtained by the older halogen lamp. Still, increasing the light intensity of the LED source may not provide the same results as the halogen lamp.</p><p><br />System integrators facing these tasks are also challenged in every other aspect of machine vision. Every year, new camera standards are being introduced, each of which offers its own unique benefits. For example, while Camera Link is fast and deterministic, GigE Vision products can extend camera-to-computer distances by up to 100 m.</p><p><br />Once again, the system integrator must determine which camera interface best suits the application, as well as factors such as the type of sensor used, the lens mount options, and the published specifications of the camera.</p><p><br />In developing new systems, of course, the problem of accommodating older technologies may not matter. If a problem can be solved using new products or technologies, then they will obviously be adopted. However, where backward-compatibility with existing installed systems is important, a complete understanding of the specifications of OEM product replacements is especially important.</p><p><br />Indeed, just as the typewriter and dot-matrix peacefully coexisted for a number of years in every publisher's office, so too will older and newer technologies continue to coexist in the next generation of machine-vision systems on the factory floor. This prospect is likely to continue until future hardware and software standards are developed to unify the choice of components for any specific machine-vision application.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7663405209166195787?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-76634052091661957872009-06-09T15:42:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.683ZIt's not easy being greennoemail@noemail.orgAndy WilsonOne of the benefits of being a journalist is that one occasionally is treated to very expensive meals by companies looking to gain some exposure. Such food tastes especially good since, as my father used to say, it doesn't taste of copper. Sometimes, however, meeting a number of companies in a single day means that the potential of a meal must be forfeited for the sake of a story.<br /><br />This was the case last month when I visited Xcitex, a company that makes image-analysis software, in the pursuit of a feature on high-speed imaging. Luckily, the folks at Xcitex had placed a rather large bowl of chocolate mints in the foyer of their building and, while waiting for the interview, I decided to scoff a few to ward off hunger.<br /><br />Being a rather nervous type, I unfolded the chocolates from their green wrapper and rolled the wrapper of each backwards and forwards between my hands. After our host emerged, I decided to question him on the demonstration of image analysis that was being projected from a rather expensive flat-panel display, also located in the foyer.<br /><br />As the demonstration continued I nervously rubbed by neck in an attempt to concentrate more fully on the explanation. To capture the essence of the story I then proceeded to extract a pen from my suit pocket. In doing so, I noticed that both my hands had turned dark green.<br /><br />As a fan of the Fox TV show "House," I immediately recalled an episode where Gregory House made an incorrect diagnosis and cut off a man's foot due to what he perceived was gangrene. I panicked.<br /><br />Luckily, my host escorted me to the nearest washroom rather than operating theater. There, to my horror, I saw that my hands, my neck, and part of my face had turned dark green. After splashing copious amounts of water on myself I returned to the conference room where I was greeted with looks of bemusement.<br /><br /><strong>The color of money</strong><br />When the interview was over, I contemplated the effects of "being green" during the drive home. Although advances in solar and wind power will certainly benefit developers of machine-vision systems, all is not well on the green front. For example, the current worldwide initiative to reduce the use of potentially hazardous materials such as lead is driving the electronics industry to consider alternatives to the widely used tin-lead alloys found in plating.<br /><br />The European Union already has enacted legislation known as the Restriction of Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives to eliminate most uses of lead from their products. Promoted as easing manufacturing and compatible with existing assembly methods, pure tin plating is seen as an effective alternative.<br />So much so that many manufacturers have offered pure tin-plated components as standard commercial products. But most have never heard of "tin whiskers"--a metallurgical phenomenon involving the spontaneous growth of tiny hairs from a metallic surface such as ICs bonded to circuit boards.<br /><br />This growth can cause catastrophic effects in mission-critical systems such as aircraft, satellites, and defense-related equipment. Indeed, the effect of tin whiskers has already been blamed for satellite failures such as the Galaxy IV. Anyone who wishes to visit NASA's Tin Whisker web site at <a href="http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker">http://nepp.nasa.gov/whisker</a> can see the detrimental effects of this phenomenon.<br /><br />So, while you hear much written in the press about "going green" and the benefits of RoHS, remember there is always another side of the story. After your tightly bonded FPGA fails on your frame grabber within the next ten years, it may not be the fault of the board manufacturer but the processes that were mandated to make the world safer. While you might be enjoying the benefits of such green thoughts now, it may only rub off on you in the end.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7793104598305845701?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-77931045983058457012009-05-04T21:26:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:23.824ZThe Magical Mystery Tournoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p><br />Stuart Singer, vice president of Schneider Optics, is one of the most knowledgeable and passionate people you could ever meet. He knows light, optics, and lenses and can tell you exactly what you need to understand when choosing a lens for your machine-vision or image-processing application. </p><p><br />Unfortunately, that's where his talent ends. </p><p><br />Last year, at his company's Christmas party, Singer decided to practice his talents at magic. Rather than perform simple card tricks, Singer decided to impress his colleagues with a more sophisticated performance. </p><p><br />In his first attempt at magic, Singer revealed a "magic hat" from a trunk of props. Promising that his audience would be amazed at these cunning stunts, Singer poured a cupful of water into the hat, waved his magic wand, and placed the hat upon his head. Sadly, the capillary tubes within the hat failed to absorb this water, with the result that Mr. Singer drenched himself in water.</p><p><br />Not to be deterred, our indefatigable vice president moved on to his next trick, placing three eggs in the hat and beat them with his magic wand. But again, these eggs were not properly placed within the secret reinforced compartment inside the hat, a fact unrecognized by Singer. Placing the hat on his head resulted in our would-be magician being drenched in both water and<br />beaten eggs.</p><p><br />At this point, less determined folk may have quit and walked offstage in shame. But Stuart Singer is not a man to surrender easily. Instead, he proceeded to enlist a member of the audience in what would become his final trick -- thrusting a sword through the neck of the volunteer.</p><p><br />To perform this trick, as experienced magicians realize, a yoke to be placed over the head of the assistant is first shown to the audience. Passing the sword through an opening in the yoke gives the illusion that the sword will enter the subject's neck.</p><p><br />When the trick is performed, another opening in the yoke is used, so that the sword passes around the yoke bypassing the person's neck. Singer, feeling rather nervous about his first two dismal failures, did manage to show the audience how the sword would pass through the empty yoke and through the neck of the entrapped person.</p><p><br />After he heaved the yoke on the hapless audience member's neck, he thrust the sword through the yoke. </p><p><br />Unfortunately for the volunteer, Singer chose the wrong slot to insert the sword. Rather than pass around the yoke, the sword rammed into the subject, resulting in yelps of howling pain as the intrepid volunteer ran around, repeatedly screaming, "Take it out of my neck." </p><p><br />Worried hotel employees called the police as Singer packed his fat trunk and surreptitiously crept out of the back door. A "back door man" is not exactly the way a vice president wants to be remembered at a Christmas party. </p><p><br />Luckily, Singer does not perform magic tricks for his company at trade shows. Others that do, such as Edmund Optics, employ professional magicians to attract crowds. Thankfully for clients of Schneider Optics, Singer knows much more about lenses, lighting, and optics than magic. Indeed, in the March 2009 issue, he co-authored an article with Greg Hollows of Edmund Optics describing what you really need to know about choosing a machine-vision lens.</p><p><br />Unfortunately, some machine-vision component manufacturers still prefer to perform marketing tricks with their data sheets -- for example, describing lenses as "megapixel-compatible" without describing the measured features that show the performance of their products. Such measured features could include modulation transfer function curves, whether any alignment tools are provided, the lens performance at a given working distance, and how such lenses are used with specific image sensors. Only then will system integrators be provided a complete picture of the lens products they are purchasing. </p><p><br />Singer learned his lesson about "magic" last Christmas. Isn't it about time other manufacturers learned their lesson about magical marketing techniques? </p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-1304327498841201577?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-13043274988412015772009-04-07T22:40:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:24.058ZDrive my carnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p>I have always been a fan of Toyota Motor Corporation. So much so, in fact, that I am the proud owner of a Toyota Corolla, an outstanding motor vehicle that has presented me with very few problems since I purchased it nine years ago. My enthusiasm for the company's products, however, diminished considerably after a recent road trip to Canada.</p><p><br />After disembarking from a rather hairy ride on a twin prop Bombardier Dash 8, my trusty traveling companion and intrepid sales rep Judy Leger and I fought our way through a snowstorm to the counter of Budget Rent A Car System. There, to our dismay, we were offered two choices: a Chrysler PT Cruiser or a Toyota Yaris. I chose the Yaris.</p><p><br />It was not until the next day that we began to realize the limitations of this particular carriage. Having the car parked outside during a blizzard did not help matters. There was no means of turning the engine on remotely and, since the car was buried under an inch of ice and six inches of snow, a creative method of gaining access was required. This involved carrying copious amounts of hot water from my room in the Hilton Montreal Airport Hotel through the snowstorm and pouring it onto the Yaris's door lock.</p><p><br />After half an hour, I started the engine and waited another half an hour for the car to warm up. Finally, it was time to leave. Not being a fan of my particular type of driving, Judy took the wheel of the Yaris and we sledded off to our first appointment.</p><p><br />Being an automatic transmission, the particular Yaris we drove had five different lever positions for first gear, second gear, one marked "3-D", and those for reverse and parking. Driving along the highway, Judy put the car into the 3-D position and throttled the machine to 100 km/hr. After driving for ten minutes, we noticed that the tachometer was registering nearly 4000 rpm. It was all rather strange. Did the car have another overdrive gear? I read the manual. It did not.</p><p><br />Surely, I mused, the Toyota Motor Corporation could not have designed a car in such a manner. Perhaps, I dared to suggest, the "3-D" slot the gearstick was in should be moved over to the right hand position. I did not for a moment think that my traveling companion would take such a suggestion seriously.</p><p><br />But she did and, after moving the gearstick to the right "D" position, the tachometer registered a more reasonable 2500 rpm. I was flabbergasted. Unlike any other automatic car I have ever driven, the third and overdrive gears were located at opposite horizontal positions on the gear change.</p><p><br />In his December 2008 webcast, Robert Tait of the GE Global Research Center spoke of the need for design for manufacturing. Inthat webcast, which you can view at <a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/">http://www.vision-systems.com/</a>, Tait spoke of the need for machine-vision system integrators to understand the type of product being manufactured and how inspection tasks can improve the quality control process. To ensure that automobile parts can be easily inspected, he described CAD models that can help system developers visualize manufacturing systems.</p><p><br />Even better, by consulting with manufacturers before such products are designed, machine-vision system developers might suggest ways of ensuring that these parts can be more easily inspected, using tools such as barcodes, fluorescent dyes, and pre-engineered part location fiducials.</p><p><br />While CAD models can help designers of automotive products as well as machine-vision developers, they can also be used to simulate the experience of potential customers of the end-user product. In the case of the Yaris, for example, a properly engineered CAD model would have allowed a virtual customer to sit behind the wheel and drive a CAD model of the car as if he or she were present.</p><p><br />In such a way, automotive manufacturers could automatically test a virtual design before any vehicle design was completed or any car manufactured. Manufacturers such as Toyota Motor Corporation could thus attain immediate user feedback and design-out any confusing modes of operation that their customers might experience.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-3148938915072449536?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-31489389150724495362009-02-13T20:24:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:24.245ZRoll your ownnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p>Personally, I have never rolled my own cigarettes. Being on a jet plane for half my life I am privy to the wonders of duty-free stores, where I spend my hard-earned pay on Dunhill International cigarettes. These fine English tobacco products are perfectly rolled, inexpensive, and meet the requirements of my not-so-sociable habit.</p><p><br />But there are others who do not have the luxury of purchasing these cigarettes at duty-free prices. In England, where cigarettes cost upwards of $100 per carton, the population is forced to "roll their own." Although this habit died out somewhat in the United States in the late 1970s, there are those in England who still perform the miraculous act of purchasing a packet of Woodbine tobacco and their own roll-up papers, and manufacturing their own unfiltered cigarettes.</p><p><br />A friend of mine in England swears that this process results in a much more satisfying smoke and one that costs far less than paying $10 for a pack of 20 Dunhills. Although the intentions of such addicts may be dubious, the potential cost savings are enormous.</p><p>After smuggling five cartons of Dunhill cigarettes through customs on my recent visit to VISION 2008 in Stuttgart for my wayward twin brother, I began to ponder the situation further. However, it was not until I visited the largest machine-vision and image-processing tradeshow in the world that I realized the potential of the "roll your own" phenomenon.</p><p>Rather than purchase fine ready-made camera products from a host of vendors, certain companies at Stuttgart seemed to thinkthat offering developers the potential to develop their own camera products -- albeit with a little help -- was a much better idea. Indeed, this year's Vision Award prize winner, Supercomputing Systems (Zurich, Switzerland; <a href="http://www.scsvision.ch/">http://www.scsvision.ch/</a>), proposed a model for its leanXcam intelligent color camera based on the concept of open source computing for intelligent cameras that would offer developers a means to develop their own camera systems for very little cost.</p><p>Supercomputing Systems, however, was not alone in the idea of "roll your own" cameras. At the Kamiera booth (Hod Hasaron, Israel; <a href="http://www.kamiera.com/">http://www.kamiera.com/</a>), Yuval Nahum, vice president of sales and marketing, was also making a pitch for the concept. As a spin-off of GigaLinx, the company plans to offer what it calls Open-Cam, a business approach that allows customers to cut costs and increase flexibility by manufacturing cameras on their own rather than purchasing them off-the-shelf.</p><p>All this talk of lowering costs and offering manufacturers a way to develop their own specialized camera products certainlycaused a stir, especially among established camera vendors offering high-performance Camera Link cameras. A number of thesecommented on the validity of this business model and wondered how such companies could profit from these offerings.</p><p>Others, however -- most notably Kerry Van Iseghem of Imaging Solutions Group (Rochester, NY, USA; <a href="http://www.isgchips.com/">http://www.isgchips.com/</a>) -- were less skeptical. Although the company doesn't offer business models such as those from Supercomputing Systems and Kamiera, the company does tailor its cameras for the needs of specialized applications.</p><p>According to Van Iseghem, the level of interest in tailoring cameras for specific industrial, medical, and military applications at VISION was very high, possibly endorsing the "roll your own" model. What may prove to be an initially successful business model, however, may or may not play out in the long term. Although the concept of open systems is good, one must question how companies that offer this type of product can compete in the long term, not just on price alone.</p><p>By endorsing such approaches, camera customers must then be forced to consider the availability of OEM components and product life cycles that may need to be supported for a number of years.</p><p>Although off-the-shelf cameras may seem more expensive and not completely tailored to a specific purpose, the "roll your own" approach may, although initially less expensive, prove a little riskier.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-4607260880870235891?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-46072608808702358912009-01-20T15:34:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:24.370ZA bad case of the bluesnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p>After leaving my trusty Canon digital camera in the back of a cab while attending a tradeshow in Las Vegas, I was forced to purchase another. Upon visiting the local Best Buy with the name and model number of the camera that I had inadvertently mislaid, I was informed by the salesman that the camera I had previously purchased was no longer in production. My lost 6-Mpixel camera had been replaced by another, less expensive model, with a lot more features and an 8-Mpixel sensor.</p><p><br />Since I hoped my publishing company would pay for the camera, I decided to purchase said 8-Mpixel product and surprise them with the savings I had made. After using the camera to take numerous images of my son's recent graduation, however, I developed a bad case of the blues. Actually, it was a bad case of the lack of blues. Specifically, the blue response of the sensor was not comparable to that of the previous camera. Luckily for consumers like me, such effects can be compensated by some digital trickery embedded in Adobe Photoshop.</p><p><br />While some planned obsolescence by camera manufacturers may be good for the consumer, for system integrators, theseeffects on industrial cameras, frame grabbers, lighting, and other types of automation products can be much more serious. Imagine, for example, you have developed a machine-vision system designed to examine the color of potato chips and then automatically sort them as either good or bad. From the numerous types of camera vendors, you choose an RGB camera with a simple FireWire interface, interface it to a PC, and write some code to perform the color analysis. Based on this analysis, the PC then initiates a PLC and a remote actuator to sort the chips.</p><p><br />After a year of the machine working perfectly, vibration effects cause the camera to break, requiring a replacement. To yourhorror, you find that the upgraded, lower-cost replacement you install rejects every chip as bad. Needless to say, capturing each image and adjusting it manually in Adobe Photoshop is simply out of the question!</p><p><br />After hours of frustration and wasted production, it's time to call the camera company, where you are informed that it reallyisn't their fault at all. Rather, the blame lies with the CCD vendor that has upgraded its CCD line, making obsolete the original CCD and thus the camera vendor's original camera line.</p><p><br />To shift everyone's share of the blame, the camera vendor suggests that you remap your color space model to compensate for the new RGB spectral curves of the camera and everything should work as before. Not knowing anything about what software you originally used in the application, however, this is all the advice that you receive. What then follows can then only be mitigated by copious amounts of Vicodin and hair pulling.</p><p><br />Unfortunately, this sad state of affairs is not simply the problem of camera vendors. Similar problems can also occur when lenses, lighting, frame grabbers, CPUs, and software need to be replaced. Worse, when smaller manufacturers go out of business, their product lines are often no longer available, making any comparable replacement parts more difficult to find.</p><p><br />Often, I have heard stories from system integrators who have been tasked to replace complete machine-vision systems because many of the components and software of older installed systems can no longer be upgraded. In the mechanical automation industry, mechanical engineers can often replace parts such as CPUs, PLCs, and pneumatic actuators with a number of comparable parts from a host of well-known suppliers. Adding machine vision to such systems, however, is often fraught with danger since machine-vision standards and standard-compatible products still need to be developed.</p><p><br />Perhaps the only solution to this problem will lie in the development of a number of plug-compatible smart cameras from numerous vendors. With integrated optics, sensors, software, and I/O, products like these may become as commonplace as the PLC and just as easy to interface and replace.<br /></p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7464559159020129653?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-74645591590201296532008-12-11T02:53:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:24.573ZWill history repeat itself?noemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<p><br />Years ago, our publishing company produced a magazine entitled <em>Computer Graphics World</em>. Its premise was rather simple. Editors wrote about a number of different graphics components -- display controllers, monitors, software -- that were used in a number of different markets ranging from architectural and mechanical CAD to 3-D graphics rendering for motion pictures and desktop publishing.</p><p><br />Back then, there were lots of companies that produced different hardware and software. Because of this, there were numerous display controller manufacturers and monitor vendors that were only too willing to spend their advertising dollars to support the magazine.</p><p><br />One thing happened, however, that caused both the downfall of a number of companies in this industry and eventually the magazine. Although part of this was due to market consolidation, technology itself played a larger role.</p><p><br />Years ago, only fixed-frequency monitors were available and to get them to synchronize with a specific horizontal and vertical frequency, a specialized display controller was needed. To meet this demand, companies developed display controllers that supported other companies&rsquo; frequency-specific monitors.</p><p><br />In the 1990s, with the development of multisync monitors and multisync circuitry on the PC motherboard, nearly every monitor manufactured could be supported without the need of a specialized display controller. What happed after that is history.</p><p><br />Today, only gamers purchase graphics boards, while many industrial systems simply drive their displays from the PC. The graphics &ldquo;market&rdquo; is primarily a software industry replete with companies making games and architectural, mechanical, and electrical CAD and animation packages. While all of these packages together represent a large total market, the industries they serve are radically different.</p><p><br />Like the computer graphics market of the late 1980s, the machine-vision market is still evolving. It will only take time before a combination of technological innovation and consolidation reduces the number of companies that currently participate. For this to happen, a technological change will first need to occur.</p><p><br />At present, thousands of cameras and hundreds of frame grabbers exist that use interfaces such as Camera Link, GigE, USB, and FireWire. Because only two or three of these standards are currently supported on most motherboards, system developers need to purchase specialized frame grabbers to support many of the others. To process images as they are captured from digital cameras, many of these boards incorporate FPGAs that allow image processing functions to be processed in a pipelined fashion before the images are stored in the host PC memory.</p><p><br />Now imagine, however, a high-speed interface that can support a range of different camera clocks, one that is fully deterministic like Camera Link, features all the benefits of PC-based software such as FireWire, and one that is incorporated onto the system&rsquo;s motherboard. Couple this innovation with the power of multicore CPUs and a graphics processor on the motherboard and the need for multiple cameras supporting different camera interfaces and frame grabbers with on-board processing capability will rapidly diminish.</p><p><br />While the jury remains undecided on what the type of camera interface will be, one thing is for certain. When it is finally developed and accepted, it will herald the demise of a number of smaller companies currently offering both camera and frame grabber products. While this will provide a boon for system developers whose time to integrate machine-vision systems will rapidly diminish, it will also provide an opportunity for vendors of machine-vision software.</p><p><br />Rather than support multiple camera standards, drivers, and frame grabbers, they will be able to concentrate more fully on developing higher-level machine-vision algorithms that run rapidly on multicore hosts. History will repeat itself -- the only question is when. If the computer graphics industry is any benchmark, such advances are at least a decade away.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7240850582672048529?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-72408505826720485292008-11-12T17:13:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:27.880ZTalking about my generationnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<div class="blogmeta">Talking about my generation</div><p><span class="blogpreview">Innovations in machine-vision hardware and software may best be found in unexpected sources and partnerships</span></p><p><br />On a recent trip to England I was fortunate enough to stay with my brother Dave and his son Paul, who is studying how to program FPGAs at the University of Bristol. As usual, I needed to know about all the books, courses, software programming tools, and development tools he was using in the pursuit of his degree.</p><p><br />During the course of the conversation, Paul mentioned that "on the side" he had coded-up a video game "for a laugh." As I had performed the same task over 30 years earlier (albeit on an Apple Macintosh II), I was intrigued. The game, it transpired, was a first-level rendition of the popular 30-year-old "Space Invaders" game.</p><p><br />While the idea certainly wasn&rsquo;t original, the way Paul had coded the game certainly was. In fact, he demonstrated to me "his" version running on a mobile phone. It was a marriage of technologies that surely could not fail to win him many fans (and make lots of money). Unfortunately, being 20 years old, Paul had no idea how to go about licensing, marketing, or selling his idea to the likes of Apple, Nokia, or Motorola.</p><p><br />On my return to the United States, I pondered his conundrum and discovered that this was not a phenomenon faced only by the English. During several Web searches, I discovered a piece of code written by Bradley Ward to generate pseudo 3-D images using a webcam. Those of you interested can view a video of the software running at <a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdeymMz_8HA">http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jdeymMz_8HA</a>.</p><p><br />Being intrigued, I e-mailed Bradley and asked him how he planned to offer the code. To my horror, the reply was rather simple. It seems that Bradley will supply the code to "anyone interested." Once again, no licensing, marketing, or sales plan seemed to be in place.</p><p><br /><strong>They have an idea</strong></p><p>As if things couldn't get much worse, my recent trip to NI Week drove the final nail into this coffin. At National Instruments' own booth, Benjamin Cook, an undergraduate student at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology and part-time NI intern, had developed an FPGA-based software package that emulated a number of different guitar pedal effects such as distortion, ring modulation, and tremolo effects. With the massive sales of Activision's Guitar Hero on my mind, I asked him if he had thought about plans to embed these effects into such products. He had not, although he was amenable to discussing any ideas with those who approached him.</p><p><br />With so many talented young people and so many good ideas, it is a mighty shame that there is no online brokerage to offer such ideas to manufacturers. So how are poor starving students supposed to make money from their efforts? Some companies involved in machine vision have an idea. Last year, for example, Aqsense, using ideas originally developed at the University of Girona, developed an improved method of determining the center point of reflected laser Gaussian profiles that is more accurate than center-of-gravity-based methods (see "<a href="http://www.vision-systems.com/display_article/324290/19/none/none/Feat/Reading-the-Shapes">Reading the Shapes</a>," Vision Systems Design, March 2008.).</p><p><br />To market, promote, and sell this concept, the company did not embark on a large-scale marketing, advertising, and public relations campaign. Rather, the software was licensed to other camera and software companies with prior experience in structured lighting and machine vision. By tying together with such companies as Photonfocus and Stemmer Imaging, the company can concentrate on product development while at the same time offering its products to many companies worldwide.</p><p><br />At the November VISION 2008 show in Stuttgart, many of these third-party companies will be demonstrating their products with Aqsense software. Other small companies with a good hardware or software product would do well to follow the example set by Aqsense. By leveraging an installed base of products, software and hardware developers--students included--can add value to existing systems while at the same time making money and funding future machine-vision research. Tapping into the next generation of researchers and students will provide a great boon for the machine-vision industry.</p><div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-6444741626280227531?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-64447416262802275312008-10-16T19:19:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:28.301ZA singularity in timenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">The future may be an extension of the past, except with androids hard at work</span><p><br /><br />Several years ago, when both my son and I were a lot younger, we decided to watch Tim Holland's movie "The Langoliers" (<a href="http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112040">http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0112040</a>). This made-for-TV movie's basic premise is that people on an aircraft can go back in time. Having arrived in the past, the intrepid heroes discover that time itself--in the shape of the airport at which they have landed--is being eaten away by big teethed balls whose only task is to devour the future. My son and I watched it as New Hampshire storm clouds brought horrendous thunder and lightning to our living room.<br /><br />After the movie, it was time for bed, and I bid goodnight to my son. As the thundering and lightning increased, I heard a knock on my door. It seems my son did not want to sleep alone during a thunderstorm--especially after watching that movie. Being the wonderful parent that I am, I tucked him safely next to me in a king-sized bed, and we watched the storm rage outside.<br /><br />He was nearly half-asleep when the next lightning strike occurred, and, trying to be funny, I shouted, "The Langoliers are coming." My son was startled and scared. Unfortunately, with a quick elbow reaction to my face, my son rendered me with a nose that poured so much blood that I had to retreat to the bathroom for half an hour to recover. It was my fault, of course.<br /><br />But the singularity in time brought by that event and others brings me to the subject of this editorial. Every once in a while a certain singularity in the development of technology brings us to a new point in time. In the 1960s, for example, this was the invention of the transistor and replacement of old tube-based (that is, valve, for our European readers) technology that drastically changed everything from computer science and health care to automation and automotive systems.<br /><br />Today, there is a new singularity on the horizon. And anyone who has watched the "Terminator" movies will know what I mean. It is not in itself a singular development but a conglomeration of singular developments that will bring about this change. It is an exponential-exponential effect of Moore's Law!<br /><br />To develop fully functional robots that can speak, hear, listen, touch, lift, and walk in a human manner is a gargantuan task and invokes far more than machine vision. To create such systems demands a certain culture that is, it seems, prevalent in the both the USA and Japan. Leveraging mechanical, electromechanical, electronic, and computer-based systems, developers here and in Japan are looking to develop fully automated robots that will prove beneficial to mankind in a number of ways.<br /><br /><strong>Living proof</strong><br />In the USA, Vecna Technologies is already working on its Battlefield Extraction-Assist Robot (BEAR), designed to replace the role of the medic on the battlefield. Researchers at Honda in Japan are working on their next generation of Asimo robots that are designed to replace the drudgery currently associated with certain types of work being performed by human beings. In fewer than 20 years, you may be able to purchase an android that looks and feels like a human being.<br /><br />If you need proof of my argument, go no further than<a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY8-sJS0W1I&amp;feature=related"> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MY8-sJS0W1I&amp;feature=related</a>. There, a researcher demonstrates his female android capable of reading and of face and object recognition. If you don't like the scenario that follows, you are not alone. At the end of the interview, the US interviewer asks, "What happens after the point of the singularity--everything will then change?" And it is there the video ends.<br /><br />What does indeed happen to mankind after I employ two US or Japanese robots to write my articles, cook for me, and perform my every whim? I only hope that their batteries don't run out halfway through.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-3180069894403582441?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-31800698944035824412008-09-05T18:22:00.000Z2011-03-09T21:35:25.181ZSix of the bestnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">Not only are rules made to be broken, but breaking them is a good idea for developers of machine-vision products</span> <p><br />As my beleaguered colleagues at <em>Vision Systems Design</em> will tell you, I have never really been a person who likes to follow rules. I discovered this when I was just 16 years old and attending a most distinguished public school in England. Before playing football one day, we were all informed that the changing rooms had been locked because someone had stolen some money from one of the other boys. These changing rooms would all be opened at 4:00 PM by one of the teachers to ensure this did not happen again.<br /><br />On the football field, I purposely scored an &ldquo;own goal&rdquo; to get sent home early, and so at 3:00 PM I decided to creep in through one of the open windows of the changing rooms, put on my blue suit (yes, it was a public school, folks!), and go home. Unfortunately, just as I was prepared to leave, the doors were opened and a teacher, with a look of complete disbelief, approached me and told me to report to the headmaster&rsquo;s office the next day.<br /><br />Back then, of course, punishments were a little more capital than they are today. After waiting 10 minutes outside the headmaster&rsquo;s office, I was informed that a good caning was in order and was duly struck very harshly six times on my backside. To this day, I have never understood why this is referred to as receiving &ldquo;Six of the Best.&rdquo; Once it was over, I walked back to classes in a rather duck-like manner!<br /><br />After such a punishment, one would have thought I would have learned a lesson. Unfortunately, later in life the same anarchistic spirit lost me a few jobs. One I remember most particularly. In my 20s, I informed the managing director of a small publishing company that my immediate supervisor was a lazy no-good so-and-so and it was either him or me that had to go. Unfortunately, it was me. But is anarchy such a bad thing? In the machine-vision industry, this doesn&rsquo;t seem to be the case. Indeed, many of the companies we write about often in this publication are headed and staffed by characters who obviously feel the same way I do about following rules.<br /><br /><strong>Independent thinking<br /></strong>Rather than work for large corporations, these free-spirited independent thinkers have developed their own innovative products, starting companies and selling these products worldwide. Rather than work 9 AM to 5 PM in closeted grey-neon dreamlike cubicles, these people write their own rules, turn up in their &ldquo;offices&rdquo; in T-shirts and jeans, and reward their employees with stock options, pension plans, and free medical and dental coverage. While the fruits of their labor may rightfully have bought them private aircraft and second homes in the Caribbean, they are always willing to discuss new products, trends, and technologies. Several books have been written on what makes a good manager.<br /><br />I should know. In his later years my Dad taught engineering management, after a 30-year stint at designing rolling mills. Many books list the qualities of a good manager as a series of As: one must have A sense of humor and be Approachable, Actionoriented, Able to Plan and Organize, and Able to deal with Ambiguity. I have known many great company directors, editors, and publishers who possess all of these attributes. However, the ones who have developed some of the most outstanding technologies and products have sprinkled these five attributes with a sixth&mdash;a little bit of Anarchy.<br /><br />These folks are not willing to develop me-too products, even though the market for them may be massive. Rather, they look to extend today&rsquo;s technology to develop more innovative products and systems with unique selling points. But, while a little anarchy may be good, too much can be detrimental to your health and your position. I remember at one publishing company sitting in a meeting that went on for eight hours where we &ldquo;discussed,&rdquo; for example, where certain editors should appear on the masthead of the magazine. At the end of the meeting, nothing had been decided, and the subject was conveniently forgotten the next day. For such anarchists, as my boss will heartily agree, six of the best, even verbally, is perhaps the only recourse.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-8948863882493014339?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-89488638824930143392008-07-30T13:46:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:29.049ZA little knowledgenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">Asking the right question of a search engine can bring rewarding results, but humans still have an inside track on some important queries</span><br />It has been more than a decade since Larry Page and Sergey Brin founded Google. Since that time, the Web search engine has become the company&rsquo;s most widely known product, and the company itself has become a major American corporation. Google has been used by millions of people worldwide to find information relating to subjects from semiconductors to soybeans. <br /><br />Google indexes billions of Web pages using keywords and operators that link keywords so that users can search for information. Given a little knowledge of what one is looking for, the search engine can be a powerful tool. If you know that you need to perform an FFT on an FPGA, for example, simply typing &ldquo;FPGA FFT&rdquo; into the search engine will return many relevant results. Although a more formal structure such as &ldquo;field programmable gate array fast Fourier transform&rdquo; may be more meaningful, such an expression will not return as relevant a list of results. In such cases, a little knowledge about the subject and acronyms may be the fastest way to find the information you need. <br /><br />For the Google search engine to crawl the billions of pages now available relies on the ability of programmers to encode the data currently on Web sites in a hypertext markup language (HTML). Because this task is time-consuming, Web sites such as Wikipedia (www.wikipedia.org) have developed their own markup language. This so-called &ldquo;wiki markup&rdquo; offers a simplified alternative to HTML and is used to describe pages within wiki Web sites. Because it is easy to use, this markup language has attracted great interest from researchers and students. <br /><br />Perhaps Wikipedia&rsquo;s most interesting feature is that the details described on each page are intimately linked to other Wikipedia sites. Typing a keyword such as &ldquo;color&rdquo; into the site brings you a page on the perceptual property of color, along with links to other Wikipedia pages such as color theory, the spectrum of light, and electromagnetic radiation. Despite offering such a wonderful resource, Wikipedia is still limited. <br /><br />What is required is a more semantic representation of knowledge such as the Resource Description Framework (RDF) from the World Wide Web Consortium (www.w3.org). This can be used to represent both knowledge and facts contained in a document or resource to alleviate any potential subjectual misconceptions, a fact not overlooked by Powerset (www.powerset.com), a company that has introduced a search tool that uses semantic language representation to present the user with a more natural way of quizzing the Wikipedia database. <br /><br />Rather than typing selected words such as &ldquo;FFT&rdquo; or &ldquo;field programmable gate array&rdquo; into the tool, more natural expressions such as &ldquo;How do I implement an FFT in an FPGA?&rdquo; returns results that are more pertinent&mdash; although limited to the Wikipedia site. Currently, two of Powerset&rsquo;s competitors in the race toward semantic-based search&mdash;Haki (www.hakia.com) and Twine (www.twine. com)&mdash;also offer such semantic-based search tools that are not limited to Wikipedia&rsquo;s site. <br /><br />Despite these innovations, mining information in an intelligent fashion requires the information database to be well constructed. A visit to the &ldquo;Ask the Experts&rdquo; section of the Automated Imaging Association (www.machinevisiononline. org) Web site, for example, revealed that one reader had enquired about the difference between a machine-vision camera and a conventional photographic camera. A simple question, but even when asked, a result specifically answering the question was not returned by Powerset&mdash;merely another list of Web sites more relevant than those returned by Google. Luckily, the reader&rsquo;s question had been answered very accurately by a human being! <br /><br />While those envious of Google&rsquo;s success are trying to better the company&rsquo;s search engine with knowledge-based data-representation tools, only relatively few information databases currently use either the RDF format or RDF query languages such as SPARQL. And, even when such standards are fully adopted, it will be many years before any computerbased program can answer your questions directly. Until then, a little knowledge may not be as dangerous as you think.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-332462809419853842?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-3324628094198538422008-06-23T13:36:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:29.330ZGeisterbahn nach Berlinnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">Travel can be a bit scary these days, but mixing technology and marketing can be far more frightening </span><br />When I was young, my parents took my brother and me on holiday every year. Because my Dad was an engineer and underpaid, my parents could not afford the Hilton or visits to Paris. Instead, we stayed in bed-andbreakfasts located in crumbling Victorian seaside towns such as Clacton, Bournemouth, and Plymouth. Every year, my Dad would sit in a deck chair on beaches at one of these resorts and burn his flesh until he turned pink. <br /><br />Looking back, it was all rather amusing. But the highlight for my brother and me was a visit to the fun-fair (or local carnival) intimately associated with having fun on holiday in England. Unlike America, where public gambling is limited, we could spend hours pouring pennies into numerous slot machines. Often, if my memory serves me correctly, we came back with a profit, which my brother and I greedily stashed away under our beds at the bed-and-breakfast. <br /><br />At the fun-fair, there were also numerous rides including ghost trains, bumper cars, and a wonderful machine known as a Waltzer. Sitting in a small car, you were spun around chairs situated on a circular platform that added more centripetal force to your turning chair. If you have seen Claude Whatham&rsquo;s motion picture That&rsquo;ll be the day (www.imdb.com/title/ tt0070788/), you will know what I mean. <br /><br />However, it was not this motion picture that reminded me of my ill-spent past at Victorian seaside towns in England. Instead, it was a recent trip to Germany with our illustrious sales representative Johann Bylek. Rather than providing yours truly with an easy walking tour of a German city, Johann decided to set up numerous meetings in cities as far apart as Munich, Radeburg, Jena, Bremen, Hamburg, Dresden, and Berlin. <br /><br /><b>Company visits</b> <br />During this time, we visited some interesting companies, including Allied Vision Technologies, Basler, Baumer Optronic, The Imaging Source, and KameraWerk Dresden. Many of these companies described interesting technical developments that you can read about in the pages of this issue. After five train journeys and two airplane trips, exhaustion set in. <br /><br />Between company visits we did find time to discover what makes a city tick. In Hamburg, Johann insisted on dragging me to the Reeperbahn, where a few young ladies seemed so desperate for company they actually grabbed hold of me! Everything was going well until Johann explained that my health might be in danger. <br /><br />Feeling disenfranchised, I decided that perhaps the Reeperbahn was not the place to be. But I did notice that a couple of blocks over there was a carnival, reminiscent of those from my youth. It was indeed a place to celebrate. <br /><br />There was a ghost train (Geisterbahn), dodgems (auto scooters), candy floss (Sucker Wasse), and even penny machines! I immediately bullied Johann onto the Geisterbahn, where I paid four euros for the funniest ghost train ride ever. After disembarking, Johann remarked that it was not that frightening. Do Austrian&rsquo;s have any humor? Despite his lack of enthusiasm, I rode the dodgems and bought some candy floss to celebrate.<br /><br />Then we were off to Berlin for the annual European Machine Vision Association business conference. There, I sat motionless for two days listening to talks about the glowing machine-vision markets in Germany, Italy, and Israel. Marketing presentations are really not my cup of tea, I must admit, but it did present an opportunity to meet some very smart people involved in technical aspects of the machine-vision industry.<br /><br />To defray the cost of the conference, many of those who attended had also combined their trip to Berlin with company visits such as mine. On the way home, however, I was left to wonder whether any of these technical people thought that, like Geisterbahns, marketing presentations never really seem to deliver what they initially promise.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-5064042389454614134?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-50640423894546141342008-05-19T18:23:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:29.720ZWorking for other peoplenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">Designers of embedded-vision systems practice an often unrecognized and valuable art--and one they should capitalize on <br /></span><br /><br /> In <i>Vision Systems Design</i>, we present articles describing how system integrators have developed products using off-the-shelf components. While a variety of lenses, frame grabbers, embedded processors, and machine-vision software are available to build these systems, many applications in medical, military, and industrial applications require the use of custom, embedded designs. Like consumer-based CCD cameras, these imaging systems are designed so that specific tasks can be easily performed by an end user. <br /><br />While trade shows such as The Vision Show (Boston, MA, USA; June 10&ndash;12) allow vendors to exhibit OEM components, these products may not prove useful in small, embedded applications, and the system may have to be designed from scratch. For the designer of these products, it is not easy to identify the components or subassemblies needed. <br /><br />Specialty embedded events such as the Embedded Systems Conference focus more on components and operating systems; other shows such as Medical Design & Manufacturing aim to bring together both the components and production equipment used in medical applications. Unfortunately, attending every trade show that pertains peripherally to machine vision and image processing is not possible for most engineers or engineering managers. <br /><br />Despite the power of search engines such as Google, the variety of options or companies that assist in the design of embedded imaging or machine-vision systems is not immediately apparent. On a recent trip to New York, for example, I uncovered two companies involved in embedded system design. One, D3 Engineering (Rochester, NY, USA; www. d3engineering.com), provides DSP engineering services based on the Texas Instruments range of DSPs to companies involved in machine-vision, automotive, and medical markets. With a camera-development kit and SDK, the company currently supports more than 20 different imager types for embedded imaging applications. The other, Imaging Solutions Group (ISG; Fairport, NY, USA; www.isgchips.com) had designed a portable arthroscope based on a custom CMOS color imager that you can read about on page 20 of the May issue of <i>Vision Systems Design</i>.<br /><br /><b>Unsung heroes</b> <br />Products such as those from D3 Engineering and ISG thus appear as specialized cameras or products from companies in the medical market. However, there remains a general lack of awareness of these engineering companies by those who may require their services. The reason is twofold: these companies are relatively small and do not have the time or money to spend on self-promotion, and, because no trade show specifically targets embedded imaging, their full capabilities cannot be readily displayed. The very nature of trade shows and the limited budgets of most embedded-systems-design companies means an embedded vision show may not be viable. <br /><br />To promote their services, these specialized design houses often join partner programs created by vendors of imagers, DSPs, and software. By word of mouth, customers are referred to the custom embedded-design houses. However, those looking for help with their embedded designs are more likely to find resources from press releases, advertising, and trade-show presence from more established vendors. The reason, perhaps, is that companies involved in developing cameras, for example, are more likely to understand how to tailor their product for an embedded application. <br /><br />While contract work by developers of embedded imaging systems may provide revenue for a few embedded-design companies, their end-user products may prove more lucrative for companies that have commissioned projects. To ensure the future of their companies, many have chosen to spin out the technology developed for others into new products. By doing so, companies previously thought of as specialized design houses will achieve the engineering recognition and financial rewards they deserve.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7882640676431955696?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-78826406764319556962008-04-28T15:06:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:30.016ZThat joke isn't funny anymorenoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">Machine-vision-system integrators are more than consultants--they actually have to know something about integration <br /></span><br /><br />There&rsquo;s an old joke about consultants that reads something like, "Ask a consultant what time it is and they will borrow your watch and tell you the time." When I first heard the joke, I thought it was quite funny, especially since I have personally been asked questions about how to design machine-vision systems for various applications. <br /><br />Unfortunately, while the joke may ring true to many considering deploying a machinevision system, it is not as amusing when one considers the disparate disciplines of optics, illumination, image processing, computer science, and mechanical engineering needed to develop such an application. Indeed, this is the main reason that the development of these systems is so challenging and at the same time so frustrating. <br /><br />Since very few universities and colleges bundle these subjects into a single degree, it is difficult for developers to hire technical staff. Instead, they must rely on pooled knowledge from those with experiences in individual subjects. <br /><br />At the outset, system development may seem easy. Light the product to be inspected, capture an image of it, and then trigger a reject mechanism should the part fail the inspection. When looked at from 30,000 ft, system development may seem trivial and&mdash;to those in management&mdash;inexpensive. <br /><br />When examined from a microscopic level, however, the problem of designing a system becomes more complex. Just choosing a lens to image the subject may result in hours of NRE (nonrecurring engineering) time. Deciding on the type of lens required, optical mount, focal length, and resolution may appear easy, but, because of the lack of detailed specifications offered by many suppliers, an evaluation of a number of lenses may be required&mdash;a process that could take days. <br /><br /><b>Additional complications </b><br />This situation is further compounded by the fact that coupling a lens to several different cameras may result in very different images being obtained. As David Dechow, president of Aptúra Machine Vision Systems (Lansing, MI, USA; www.aptura.com) pointed out in our February Webcast, the different formats of imagers employed by camera vendors may result in varying levels of illumination rolloff or vignetting. <br /><br />With the move to larger-format imagers, this problem is further exacerbated. Worse, if the digital camera you select does not have dead-pixel correction or flat-field correction, the resulting image may not be usable. As can be seen, simply selecting the correct optics and cameras is challenging. But system integrators face other tasks relating to lighting, choosing the correct software package and operating system, and how these are integrated into an industrial automation system controlled by PLCs. While college textbooks may help students understand the basic principles of all of these subjects, deploying machine-vision systems requires more. Luckily, most integrators are fully aware of this situation. <br /><br />For those considering deploying a machine-vision system, a visit to an engineering facility may be most valuable. If you are led into a conference room and given a sales pitch, beware! Instead, ask for a tour of the engineering department, where you should expect to see workbenches strewn with optics, lighting, cameras, and half-complete computers. If people there appear busy and frustrated, take this as a very positive sign. <br /><br />Often, however, potential customers visiting these facilities arrive unprepared, handing the company management a few questions and a part that they would like automatically inspected. Hence, the integrator must probe more deeply into exactly what needs to be inspected, the nature of the production line, the type of lighting used in the facility, and the previously installed computer systems&mdash; essentially borrowing the potential customer&rsquo;s &ldquo;watch&rdquo; to ascertain the time. In such situations, having your &ldquo;watch borrowed&rdquo; is obviously quite a good idea, since it will only lead to the development of a more effective and efficient vision system.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7597221937003334246?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-75972219370033342462008-03-31T14:37:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:30.282ZThe Needs of the Manynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview"> Parallel-processor-based systems offer system developers a path to real-time, high-speed image capture and analysis--but only in certain applications</span> As many a Star Trek fan will tell you, one of the most memorable quotes from <i>Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn</i> (1982) is uttered by Mr. Spock. When asked whether Captain Kirk should assume command, Spock replies that &ldquo;logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.&rdquo; This same concept was obviously on the minds of developers of the World Community Grid (WCG; www.worldcommunitygrid.org), an organization intent on creating the largest public computing grid to benefit humanity. <br /><br />The idea of the network is very simple. Researchers sign up with highly parallel computational tasks such x-ray crystallography and protein analysis. To perform this analysis requires large numbers of data sets to be analyzed, a procedure that can easily be accomplished on a distributed network of computers. Luckily, with more tahn 340,000 members and 840,000 processors networked online, the WCG is providing much of the computing power required. <br /><br />But even with this number of distributed processors, the research tasks that need to be accomplished require an even larger number of computers. With this in mind, WCG developers are asking for donations&mdash;but not in the form of money. WCG wants to harness the power of your computer at home or at work to help speed this research. Basically, the idea is rather simple and resembles a peer-to-peer network. <br /><br />To become a member of WCG, simply download a small program from the WCG Web site onto your computer. When your computer is idle, it requests data on a specific project from the WCG server. Your computer then performs computations on these data, sends the results back to the server, and asks the server for a new piece of work. Since each data set is only approximately 50 Mbytes, all of today&rsquo;s PCs can easily handle the task. <br /><br />The software also allows you to configure your system so that it can be set to perform these tasks during midnight hours or at weekends. To make this more interesting, you can set up your own &ldquo;team&rdquo;&mdash;get your friends and colleagues to join and accumulate &ldquo;points&rdquo; that, to be honest, are worth about as much as my frequent-flyer miles! So, instead of turning your computer in the office off when you leave for home you can leave it on knowing that you are contributing to invaluable research on cancer, climate change, and human proteome folding. <br /><br /><b>Avoiding gridlock </b><br />While many research projects such as these lend themselves naturally to parallel distributed processing, so do many machine-vision and image-processing tasks. In stereo image processing, for example, two processors can be used to simultaneously process image data from two independent cameras. <br /><br />Indeed, in this issue, Homer Liu of QuantaView (Tokyo, Japan) describes how two Intel Xeon processors have been used for this very task (see &ldquo;Vision-based robot plays ping-pong against human opponent,&rdquo; p. xx). With the advent of dual- and quad-core processors, this trend is likely to continue as software vendors rework their code to take advantage of parallel-processing concepts. <br /><br />To achieve the optimum performance for parallel-processor-based systems, however, developers will need to closely match the I/O, processing, and storage capabilities of such systems. Today&rsquo;s Camera Link-based systems, for example, can be used to transfer data from a single camera to a host-based frame grabber at rates of up to 850 Mbytes/s using 85-MHz transceivers. <br /><br />However, there is no single or multiprocessor von Neumann-based CPU commercially available that at present could possibly process individual images at this data rate, relegating such camera-based systems to high-speed image analysis where image data are captured and then later played back for image analysis. Because of this, it is likely that for the foreseeable future, heterogeneous networks of distributed computers may remain useful only for large-scale algorithmic research projects such as those currently running on the World Computing Grid.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7110528863130788934?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-71105288631307889342008-03-18T13:49:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:31.046ZSickonoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview"> VISION 2007 and its new venue reveal the perils and the glory of machine-vision exhibitions </span> <br />VISION 2007, held in Stuttgart, Germany, 6&ndash;8 November 2007, will be remembered as the largest, most impressive machine-vision show in the world by most attendees. Certainly, the nearly 300 exhibitors, a record visitor turnout, and a brand new location were cause for celebration. But not by all those who attended the show. One man fell head first down one of the escalators that linked the two halls where exhibitors demonstrated the latest hardware and software products. Another performed a rather large incision on his leg while attempting to open one of the packages he had shipped to the show. He was hospitalized. <br /><br />And then, of course, there was yours truly. After the first day of the show, pounding along the uncarpeted concrete of the show halls, my right leg decided it had had enough. Back at the hotel, my right knee became rather large, probably due to an injury sustained while running after a young lady outside a fish-and-chip shop in England when I was 18 years old. After a 3 a.m. (0300 h) visit to the local &ldquo;Krankenhaus&rdquo; to see Dr. Schnuck, I was prescribed Ibuprofin. The doctor also thought that a certain amount of &ldquo;foot tapping&rdquo; exercise might be beneficial. It wasn&rsquo;t quite what I had expected after paying out &#8364;137.94. <br /><br />Michael Moore, of <i>Sicko</i> fame, is no longer one of my favorite film directors. For the next two days, I was confined to a wheelchair where I discovered the benefits and short falls of being temporarily handicapped in a foreign country. These benefits included high-speed traversing of the trade show, the lack of a need for excuses for being tardy for appointments, and the large amount of sympathy heaped upon me by my associates in the machine-vision community. <br /><br />Unfortunately, especially for those in wheelchairs, the handicapped bathrooms on all the floors of the &ldquo;Neue Messe&rdquo; were locked. As you can imagine, a 50-something journalist hobbling into a bathroom in Germany and performing &ldquo;foot-tapping&rdquo; exercises was out of the question. <br /><br />Despite my condition, I did manage to visit a large number of companies that exhibited in the two vast halls that comprised VISION 2007. For those of you that could not attend, let me describe the show. <br /><br />The first hall was replete with rather smaller booths and newer, less-established companies that exhibited some very interesting technologies and applications. Many of these you can read about in this issue. <br /><br />In the larger hall, many established companies seemed to be playing a booth game of &ldquo;mine is bigger than yours.&rdquo; Some, with really nothing new to introduce, had purchased voluminous booths with which to impress the attendees. In fact, some of these booths were so large that one felt lost in a &ldquo;booth canyon&rdquo; trying to see any other companies exhibiting. According to a spokesperson for the Messe, this will change next year when the show is moved into another hall the size of five baseball fields. <br /><br />On the last day of the show, after receiving a rather long lecture about caring for myself from my publisher, Kathy Bush, it was time to leave. To do so, the trusty chariot that I had ridden for two days needed to be returned to the organizers. Before securing my wheelchair, my boss, Conard Holton, had left his American driving license as a &ldquo;deposit.&rdquo; Unfortunately, upon returning the chair, he found that the organizers had assumed that since it had not been returned on the first day, it had been stolen. Luckily, other members of our organization speak German. Otherwise, it seems, my boss would have been imprisoned for theft. Although some of you may think that hospital or prison is the best place for editors of trade magazines such as this, my publisher, like Queen Victoria, was not amused. <br /><br />Hopefully, next year VISION 2008 will feature lushly carpeted hallways, bathrooms that open, and less bureaucratic staff. Other than that, VISION 2007 can only be rated 10/10 by this reviewer.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7322494358727613392?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-73224943587276133922008-01-21T14:19:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:31.514ZThe Needs of the Manynoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview"> Parallel-processor-based systems offer system developers a path to real-time, high-speed image capture and analysis--but only in certain applications</span> As many a Star Trek fan will tell you, one of the most memorable quotes from <i>Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn</i> (1982) is uttered by Mr. Spock. When asked whether Captain Kirk should assume command, Spock replies that &ldquo;logic clearly dictates that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few.&rdquo; This same concept was obviously on the minds of developers of the World Community Grid (WCG; www.worldcommunitygrid.org), an organization intent on creating the largest public computing grid to benefit humanity. <br /><br />The idea of the network is very simple. Researchers sign up with highly parallel computational tasks such x-ray crystallography and protein analysis. To perform this analysis requires large numbers of data sets to be analyzed, a procedure that can easily be accomplished on a distributed network of computers. Luckily, with more tahn 340,000 members and 840,000 processors networked online, the WCG is providing much of the computing power required. <br /><br />But even with this number of distributed processors, the research tasks that need to be accomplished require an even larger number of computers. With this in mind, WCG developers are asking for donations&mdash;but not in the form of money. WCG wants to harness the power of your computer at home or at work to help speed this research. Basically, the idea is rather simple and resembles a peer-to-peer network. <br /><br />To become a member of WCG, simply download a small program from the WCG Web site onto your computer. When your computer is idle, it requests data on a specific project from the WCG server. Your computer then performs computations on these data, sends the results back to the server, and asks the server for a new piece of work. Since each data set is only approximately 50 Mbytes, all of today&rsquo;s PCs can easily handle the task. <br /><br />The software also allows you to configure your system so that it can be set to perform these tasks during midnight hours or at weekends. To make this more interesting, you can set up your own &ldquo;team&rdquo;&mdash;get your friends and colleagues to join and accumulate &ldquo;points&rdquo; that, to be honest, are worth about as much as my frequent-flyer miles! So, instead of turning your computer in the office off when you leave for home you can leave it on knowing that you are contributing to invaluable research on cancer, climate change, and human proteome folding. <br /><br /><b>Avoiding gridlock </b><br />While many research projects such as these lend themselves naturally to parallel distributed processing, so do many machine-vision and image-processing tasks. In stereo image processing, for example, two processors can be used to simultaneously process image data from two independent cameras. <br /><br />Indeed, in this issue, Homer Liu of QuantaView (Tokyo, Japan) describes how two Intel Xeon processors have been used for this very task (see &ldquo;Vision-based robot plays ping-pong against human opponent,&rdquo; p. xx). With the advent of dual- and quad-core processors, this trend is likely to continue as software vendors rework their code to take advantage of parallel-processing concepts. <br /><br />To achieve the optimum performance for parallel-processor-based systems, however, developers will need to closely match the I/O, processing, and storage capabilities of such systems. Today&rsquo;s Camera Link-based systems, for example, can be used to transfer data from a single camera to a host-based frame grabber at rates of up to 850 Mbytes/s using 85-MHz transceivers. <br /><br />However, there is no single or multiprocessor von Neumann-based CPU commercially available that at present could possibly process individual images at this data rate, relegating such camera-based systems to high-speed image analysis where image data are captured and then later played back for image analysis. Because of this, it is likely that for the foreseeable future, heterogeneous networks of distributed computers may remain useful only for large-scale algorithmic research projects such as those currently running on the World Computing Grid.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-7204650072657860102?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-72046500726578601022008-01-18T20:53:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:31.888ZBlue rinse groupnoemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview"> Machine vision looks more like a bargain when it's viewed as another helping hand...</span> It's always good to save money. And with this in mind, I decided that I would fly to October's Pack Expo show in Las Vegas, NV, using a &ldquo;vacation package&rdquo; from Southwest Airlines. For a cost of less than $600, the airline flew me from Manchester, NH, and back, booked me three nights in the Circus Circus hotel/casino/resort, and gave me complimentary passes to a day trip to the Hoover Dam. Upon boarding the aircraft, I discovered that &ldquo;Blue Man Group&rdquo; was playing at the Venetian Resort for a price of just $70. Along with the Hoover Dam trip, this was an event I would never attend. <br /><br />Looking around the aircraft passengers, it appeared many of them were of the &ldquo;blue rinse&rdquo; group&mdash;people aged 65 and older who were on a similar low-cost trip destined for Las Vegas. Why anyone would want to go to a town reputed to have been founded by gangsters in the middle of the desert still amazes me, but I was later to find out. After interviewing several passengers on the aircraft and at the hotel I discovered the reason. It was very inexpensive. While some companies attending Pack Expo had booked their employees into $200/night hotels (some taking hundreds of their customers to Las Vegas entertainment), I was stuck in Circus Circus with the blue rinse group, where the average cost of a room is $60. On reflection, perhaps this was not one of my wisest decisions. After battling though a myriad of slot machines, I went to bed. <br /><br />The next day, I decided to take a cab to Pack Expo. In more than five halls, most the size of two baseball fields, nearly every packaging company in North America displayed products and machines that produce, fill, label, wrap, and inspect bottles, paper packages, and plastic containers. With more than 2000 exhibitors and more than 20,000 attendees, the show was, like Las Vegas itself, over-the-top, outrageous, and extreme. <br /><br />Although my trusty companion, Judy Leger, could not attend the trip, she had supplied me with a list of companies to visit. Without it, I would have been lost. In the space of three days, I managed to visit about 20 companies that incorporate or produce machine-vision products used in the packaging and production industries. Many of these systems can be found in this issue of Vision Systems Design. Traversing the show floor, I also had the opportunity to visit companies that simply had not embraced the concept of adding machine vision to their production equipment. While many produce machinery that manufactures, wraps, and fills specific products, very few&mdash;in fact fewer than 20&mdash;were exhibiting machines that provide any kind of inspection of the finished product. It all seemed rather odd. <br /><br />On the last day of the show, I sat at our tiny booth contemplating the subject. I was then approached by an engineer who needed to perform web inspection of wrapped film traveling at 400 ft/min. He had been quoted a price by a system integrator of $20,000 for a system that could accomplish the task. He felt that the price was far too high. He wanted something for less than $15,000. <br /><br />After I explained that the cost of linescan cameras, Camera Link frame grabbers, lighting, and software would probably be about $15,000, and nonrecurring engineering costs would be at least $15,000 for his application, he left our booth rather amazed. I could not help wondering, however, whether the bill for his trip to Pack Expo would be more than $2000. Perhaps those who need to expense machine-vision systems need a different model. <br /><br />As Preben Hjornet, chief technology officer at InMoTx (Sacramento, CA, USA), suggested to me, &ldquo;Engineering managers should perhaps regard any automated system, whether it uses a robot or other automated equipment, as an employee rather than a machine. That way, the machine would not be regarded as a capital expense.&rdquo; Until that happens, however, many in the packaging industry will still regard machine vision as an expense they cannot afford.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-1394503424410650285?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-13945034244106502852007-12-05T20:29:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:32.247ZEngineering in 2010noemail@noemail.orgAndy Wilson<span class="blogpreview">Every engineer likes block diagrams. Not only do they encapsulate the concept of a system design at a high level...</span>Every engineer likes block diagrams. Not only do they encapsulate the concept of a system design at a high level, but they are easily understood and form the basis for the design of nearly every machine-vision system. Over the past ten years, the many authors that have contributed to Vision Systems Design have supplied these diagrams to allow you, the reader, to rapidly understand the hardware concepts behind system design. <br /><br />But of course, these block diagrams can only tell part of the story of any design. The diagrams are, by their nature, static objects that only provide a conceptualized nature of any design. Engineering, on the other hand, is a dynamic process that involves interfacing numerous hardware components, overcoming timing issues, properly configuring software, perhaps on multiple processors, and then debugging the system to ensure correct operation. <br /><br />In developing a machine-vision system, this task is more complex because of the nature of the parts that need to be inspected and the defects or parameters that need to be measured. What is, in fact, required is an integrated software-development environment that can be used to describe, simulate, test, and build a system in software alone. <br /><br />While this may appear challenging, it will probably form the basis of all engineering design within the next ten years. Indeed, software developers are already blazing a path toward this goal with graphical development tools that allow the user to develop and test image-processing software before deployment. However, for the concept to become a reality, tests on individual parts will need to be simulated in CAD environments. <br /><br />Electronic components such as cameras, lighting, frame grabbers, I/O controls, switches, and PLCs will need to be simulated as virtual objects within a graphical user interface. Timing and control data from the electrical CAD models of these products will need to be stored in databases. Host CPU operating systems and image-processing software will need to be modeled as objects that control this virtual environment. <br /><br />At present, many of these ideas exist in isolation. CAD packages can be used to simulate the mechanical motion of systems. Electrical specifications for the components used may exist on data sheets. Machine-vision software must be developed on realtime or Windows-based computers in isolation from the hardware that will be used when the system is deployed. <br /><br />Imagine, however, using an integrated graphical system environment to develop a machine-vision system. The supplier sends you a CAD model of an ideal part and CAD models of parts with defects. By using simulation software, a complete machine-vision system is developed as a mechanical abstraction in which lighting, illumination, and lens parameters can be controlled. These images are used as a model with which to develop machine-vision software. Simultaneously CAD and electrical models of the hardware are described in a CAD model. <br /><br />At the highest level, the engineer can visualize the design as a block diagram. As he or she probes deeper into the design, the mechanical, electrical, and software models are revealed so they can be tailored for a specific application. <br /><br /><strong>FROM STATIC TO DYNAMIC</strong> <br /><br />This, in essence, transforms the static block diagram into a dynamic software model. Engineers that endorse this concept will reap the benefits in numerous ways. By sharing such &ldquo;block diagrams&rdquo; with other engineers, systems will be able to be developed more rapidly without having to re-invent the wheel every time a new system needs to be developed. <br /><br />These concepts are already being explored by a number of companies worldwide. When realized, the simple block diagrams of the past, published electronically, will set a new standard for system design. When published electronically, such sophisticated diagrams will also benefit the less noble art of electronic trade publishing.<div class="blogger-post-footer"><img width='1' height='1' src='https://blogger.googleusercontent.com/tracker/3469842699018459440-5417589524719652155?l=viewandywilson.blogspot.com' alt='' /></div>tag:blogger.com,1999:blog-3469842699018459440.post-54175895247196521552007-10-24T15:58:00.000Z2011-12-05T21:06:32.590Z 500

Cannot serve request to /content/vsd/en/blogs/my-view/_jcr_content.feed on this server


ApacheSling/2.2 (Day-Servlet-Engine/4.1.52, Java HotSpot(TM) 64-Bit Server VM 1.7.0_51, Windows Server 2012 6.2 amd64)