Components guide system integration

The design and development of vision and imaging systems involve the proper selection of hardware and software components. Fortunately, these components are readily available in all of the major vision/imaging product categories, such as input devices, system boards, image processors, and imaging software, among others.

Feb 1st, 2001
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The design and development of vision and imaging systems involve the proper selection of hardware and software components. Fortunately, these components are readily available in all of the major vision/imaging product categories, such as input devices, system boards, image processors, and imaging software, among others. As described in this month's feature articles, these components are being integrated to structure digital-camera-based systems for detecting eye diseases, robotic harvester machines for cutting field crops, VME-based image-processing boards with multiprocessing interfaces, and CMOS image sensors with high performance at low cost.

High-resolution digital-camera and image-analysis software components are enabling ophthalmologists to identify patients with eye problems. Automated vision/imaging methods can screen patients for signs of eye disease quickly at low cost. What's more, says contributing editor Joe Hallett, a lightweight, portable, digital camera instrument is obtaining rapid evaluation of children and patients in facilities with limited access to health care (see p. 25).

When cutting field crops, a farm worker operating a huge harvester often tires of this monotonous task and makes errors. However, an automatic harvester can run unattended for 24 hours a day/seven days a week if necessary. Reports editor Andy Wilson, this harvester design required a team effort to integrate a host of hardware, software, and directional components (see p. 36).

Although integrated frame-grabber/image-processing components can process video-resolution-sized images at high speeds, they are often not suited to capturing and processing high-resolution images. To meet these needs, systems integrators prefer the added bandwidth, processing power, and software-development tools of VME-based systems. In this month's Product Focus, Andy Wilson explains which components and boards best fit certain applications by offering multiprocessing capability (see p. 41).

A performance examination of the three dominant imager components—CCD, CMOS APS, and CMOS ACS—helps designers make a proper selection for a given application. To help choose the best imaging components for various applications, Terry Zarnowski, director of sales and marketing, and Tom Vogelsong, president and chief executive officer, both of Photon Vision Systems, review imager capabilities and limitations (see p. 29).

For updated listings of vision and imaging hardware and software components and their manufacturers, refer to the fourth annual Vision Systems Design Buyers Guide included in this issue.

George Kotelly,
Editor in Chief
georgek@pennwell.com

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