Combinations solve tough imaging problems

Off-the-shelf machine-vision and imaging hardware and software are often integrated with related products and technologies to solve demanding visual problems. In some situations, a related technology, such as x-ray, optics, or infrared, is used to obtain initial imaging data. Then, the machine-vision or imaging system takes over and processes, analyzes, and displays the resulting data. In other situations, special software is applied to ordinary imaging data to obtain specific details.

Combinations solve tough imaging problems

George Kotelly, Executive Editor

georgek@pennwell.com

Off-the-shelf machine-vision and imaging hardware and software are often integrated with related products and technologies to solve demanding visual problems. In some situations, a related technology, such as x-ray, optics, or infrared, is used to obtain initial imaging data. Then, the machine-vision or imaging system takes over and processes, analyzes, and displays the resulting data. In other situations, special software is applied to ordinary imaging data to obtain specific details.

In a new approach to three-dimensional (3-D) digitizing, as described by senior engineer Michael Petrov, two companies have combined resources to incorporate scanning control and image-processing hardware and software into a single scanner design. This scanner integrates off-the-shelf cameras, structured lighting, custom image-processing software, and multiline laser scanning to obtain high visual and geometric object quality in its 3-D models (see p. 50).

To protect military facilities from intruders, a PC-based perimeter-security system combines television, IR, and imaging technologies, says contributing editor John Haystead. Cameras are mounted on a remotely controlled pan-and-tilt head that surveys a large security zone for intruder detection and identification. The system automatically classifies and displays the target (see p. 36).

The final nondestructive test of sealed automobile air-bag inflators by a combined x-ray and machine-vision workstation verifies the number, amount, positioning, and packaging of installed components. According to senior controls engineer David A.Wilson, an image intensifier converts the x-rays to digital images for scanning by a machine-vision system to ensure that each inflator is thoroughly checked (see p. 26).

A common deconvolution technique can achieve impressive deblurring results in images obtained by telescope-linked cameras, according to contributing editor Lawrence Curran. He describes a PC-based telescope that can clarify real-time, color-processed, filtered, and enhanced star-type images using a custom CCD camera and maximum-entropy software (see p. 42).

To boost the imaging capabilities of multiprocessing systems, reports editor at large Andy Wilson, the latest DSP boards are supporting both distributed and shared-memory architectures and several operating systems (see p. 56). Imaging-system designers can now implement a variety of topologies for DSP.

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