Based on the impartial ratings assigned by our panel of judges, awards were assigned in four different levels—Bronze, Silver, Gold, and Platinum, to companies or organizations that demonstrated excellence in a or technology, an application, or in and development.
Categories to distinguish our honorees include four different camera categories (visible, non-visible, 3D, specialty); machine vision lighting, lenses, and optics; frame grabbers and board; image ; machine vision software; ; robotics and unmanned systems; and connectivity, including cables, connectors, extenders, and interfaces.
Submissions were judged on originality; innovation; their impact on designers, systems integrators or users; whether they fulfilled a new market need; leveraged a novel technology and/or increased productivity.
To celebrate our fifth annual Innovators Awards Program, Vision Systems Design held a reception on the show floor of Automate on April 8, 2019 at McCormick Place in Chicago, where many representatives from companies at the show were on hand to accept their awards from James Carroll, Editor, and Alan Bergstein, Group Publisher of Vision Systems Design.
John Lewis, Editor in Chief, commented on this year’s recipients: “Each year, the types of products we see being honored grow and evolve alongside the machine vision market. This is an exciting snapshot of the current and future state of machine vision and imaging.”
Our panel of expert judges consists of systems integrators, consultants, and academics with years of experience in specifying, designing, and configuring image processing and machine vision systems.
Tom Brennan President, Artemis Vision (Denver, CO, USA; )
David Dechow Principal Vision Systems Architect, Integro Technologies (Salisbury, NC, USA; )
Dr. Daniel L. Lau, Kentucky Utilities Professor and Certified Professional Engineer, Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, University of Kentucky (Lexington, KY, USA; ).
Rex Lee, Ph.D., President and CEO, Pyramid Imaging (Tampa, FL, USA;
Bhaskar Ramakrishnan, Technical Sales Engineer, DWFritz Automation, Inc. (Wilsonville, OR, USA; ).
Nate Lim, Lead Vision Engineer,
PVI Systems, Inc (Niantic, CT, USA;
Robert Tait, Partner at Optical Metrology Solutions LLC (Niskayuna, NY, USA; ).
Rick van de Zedde, Senior researcher / business developer Computer Vision, Wageningen UR Food & Biobased
Research (Wageningen, Netherlands;
Steve Varga, Principal Scientist, Imaging and Instrumentation R&D, Procter & Gamble USA (Cincinnati, OH, USA; ).
Prof. Dr.-Ing. Stefan Werling, Baden-Wuerttemberg Cooperative State University Mannheim Mechatronik (Stuttgart, Germany; )
Perry West, President, Automated
Vision Systems, Inc. (San Jose, CA, USA; ).
Yury Yakubovich, Founder and President, NSIX Vision Inc. (Markham, ON, Canada; )
Earl Yardley, Director, Industrial Vision Systems Ltd (Didcot, Oxfordshire, UK;
Andy Wilson, Founding Editor of Vision
Systems Design, European Editor for Vision Systems Design, Chiltern Editorial Services
Bronze honorees: 2019 Innovators Awards
Embedded vision | MitySOM-A10S Image Processing Board
The MitySOM-A10S-DSC is a production-suitable image processing board developed around the Intel/Altera Arria 10 SoC with dual core ARM, up to 480KLE user-programmable FPGA fabric, and 12 high-speed transceiver pairs. The board is commonly referred to as a System on Module (SOM) and features dual-side connectors for use in stack-through configurations.
Cameras-specialty | i-SPEED high-speed camera
The i-SPEED 5 Series is a mid-range, high-speed camera solution offering a custom sensor and sealed cooling system at a reasonable price. The i-SPEED 5 Series include three models: i-SPEED 508 (3,980 fps at 1920 x 1080), i-SPEED 510 (4,980 fps at 1920 x 1080), and i-SPEED 513 (6,382 fps at 1920 x 1080).
Camera accessories/connectivity | FireNEX-10G, USB 3.1 Gen 2 Optical Repeater
FireNEX-10G is—according to Newnex—the world’s first USB 3.1 Gen 2 optical repeater that breaks the 1-meter length limit of USB 3.1 Gen 2 passive cable and provides an extension solution for 10 Gbp/s SuperSpeed USB data transfer up to 300 m.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | SWIR H.O.P. Technology – Novel Light Source for High-Power SWIR Illumination
EFFILUX, a new member of the CCS Group, has adapted a technology from the laser world to develop the H.O.P. Technology (High Optical Power) LED SWIR source for machine vision applications. One “chip” of the H.O.P. technology emits a luminous flux comparable to a 50 W halogen source.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | Varifocal LED Illuminator
These lights feature patented Varifocal Illumination System (VIS) technology, which incorporates a continuously variable field of illumination angle over a wide range and is motorized for both remote and local control. The following illumination angles are offered: Continuous adjustment from 7° to 90° (Infrared), continuous adjustment from 6° to 70° (white lights).
Vision systems | Mobile Glass Cover Inspection System
Shenzhen Nanovision Corporation (Nanovision) has developed a mobile glass cover appearance defect detection device (NANO-CGI-4070RC) utilizing the latest algorithms and a specialized light source and line scan camera. The device is currently capable of detecting white patches as well as silk screen covers and is compatible with 3D technology.
Cameras, visible | Iron camera
KAYA’s Iron camera transfers images at 12 Gbp/s using the CoaXPress 2.0 interface, 12 Gbp/s over a Serial Digital Interface (SDI) or 10 Gbp/s over a fiber-optic interface. This allows 4096 x 2160 x 8-bit images to be captured at speeds of 93 fps by a host computer.
Embedded vision | Tensilica Vision Q6 DSP and DNA 100 Processor IP
Tensilica Vision DSPs and AI processors are a suitable pairing for vision pre-processing and AI processing. The Vision Q6 DSP IP’s processor pipeline and system architecture enable it to achieve 1.5 GHz peak frequency at 16 nm for vision pre-processing while the DNA 100 processor IP for AI delivers high-end performance and power efficiency across a full range of compute from 0.5 TeraMAC (TMAC) to 100s of TMACs.
Software | Neural Vision
Neural Vision is a machine vision platform at the forefront of deep learning and artificial intelligence with abilities applied to the industrial inspection space. The software offers a single cloud-based user interface to allow anyone secure access to their images and the management of their solutions.
Cameras, specialty | Photron FASTCAM Nova High-Speed Camera System
The FASTCAM Nova features unique CMOS image sensor technologies and is available in three different models. The NOVA offers 12-bit image recording rates up to 12,800 frames per second (fps) at megapixel image resolution, and shutter speeds to 0.2 µs. Recording rates to 1,000,000 fps are available at reduced image resolutions.
Cameras, specialty | OWL 1280
Featuring a spectral response of 0.4 to 1.7 µm, the OWL 1280 visible-SWIR camera is based on a cooled 1280 x 1024 InGaAs sensor from SCD that has a 10 µm pixel size and can reach a frame rate of up to 60 fps. The camera also offers 2 x 2 binning to become 640 x 512, 20 µm pitch, and a 14-bit Camera Link interface.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | Justaddfeatures
TPL Vision’s new JustAddFeatures range is an external illumination system with patented optical trigger technology which couples its optical sensors to the smart camera/reader’s embedded LEDs to drive the desired illumination output for use in inspection applications. Each optical sensor is independent, meaning a certain camera input can be programmed (via the “Teach” button) to trigger the desired external illumination output.
Cameras, non-visiblE | IRSX Series
IRSX smart infrared cameras—which are designed for industrial use—are based on an uncooled microbolometer detector available in 336 x 256 (IRS336) or 640 x 512 (IRS640) formats. Both models feature a 7.5 to 13 µm spectral range, a 17 µm pixel size, and IP67 full-metal housing, as well as a computing unit, a web-based configuration interface and result display, while offering GigE Vision and OPC-UA compliance.
Cameras, 3D | cirrus3D conveyor
The cirrus3D conveyor is a 3D sensor enabling the inspection of moving parts on a conveyor. The plug-and-play system —which features an integrated computer—offers an accuracy of up to 0.02 in, working volumes of up to 5.25 ft. width, and is compatible with all major robot brands in tracking mode.
Image sensors | PROdigii Digital Laser Module
PROdigii has been designed to deliver wavelength stability and thermal management in even the most challenging operating environments. The RS485 intelligent control and monitoring interface provides ease of integration and in-service system function monitoring. The new PROdigii digital laser is available in a range of wavelengths from 405 nm to 850 nm with user-defined output power profiles at up to 500 mW continuous wave or 1 W pulsed.
Cameras, visible | Atlas camera series
Atlas features 5GBase-T, an Ethernet interface standard that provides up to 5 Gbit/s (over 600 MB/s) while supporting power over Ethernet (PoE). When each Atlas camera is manufactured, it undergoes an Active Sensor Alignment process developed by LUCID, which minimizes variations and ensures image quality is uniform and consistent between all units produced. The cameras are available with CMOS image sensors ranging in size from 5 to 31.4 MPixels.
Cameras, 3D | Scorpion 3D Venom Camera
The global shutter Scorpion 3D Venom Camera is designed to be used in cutting edge 3D stereo vision systems. It excels in short-to-medium size baseline using a single color or monochrome camera with resolution from VGA to 29 MPixels. Two virtual 3D cameras are created by a clever mirror design focused at a user-specified working distance.
Frame grabbers and boards | Xtium2 frame grabber
Xtium2 CLHS boards feature high-efficiency data-transfer protocol (97%). When acquiring data at rates of about 8 GBytes/sec, processing and storing this data poses a challenge. Xtium2 boards offer built-in ability to re-transmit in real-time incoming data to multiple PCs for processing and storage. As the incoming data is transferred unaltered, each PC is able to treat it as needed without impacting other PCs.
Cameras, visible | Genie Nano 5GigE
Genie Nano 5GigE is a 5 Gigabit (5Gbp/s), GigE Vision area camera with frame rates equivalent to 985 MB/sec, with TurboDrive for fast, high-resolution imaging over long cable distances. The inclusion of TurboDrive also means that the cameras can operate at data rates matching that of 10Gbp/s GigE Vision, yet they have none of the heat dissipation requirements associated with that technology.
Cameras, non-visible | Calibir DXM640
The Calibir DXM640 uncooled long wave infrared camera, which offers shutterless imaging in a frontal form factor of 29mm x 32mm, can be integrated in tight spaces for compact solutions. The microbolometer-based platform covers wavelengths from 8-14 µm and offers a variety of lenses. With VGA resolution, standard GigE interface, and on-board processing features, the cameras serve a wide range of uncooled industrial imaging applications.
Vision systems | TST Straw Inspection
TST Engineering & Vision developed TST Straw Inspection (TST SI), an advanced vision system that inspects several types of defects in flexible drinking straws, at high-speed. The system can inspect up to 100,000 units per hour. At these production speeds, the solution inspects 28 units per second. In practice, the image acquisition, image processing, and decision takes less than 40 ms.
Cameras, 3D | Z-Trak
Z-Trak 3D laser profilers offer a wide selection of measurement ranges that span from 10 mm to 1000 mm in combinations of red and blue lasers in various power output configurations with industry standard GenICam data output formats. Z-Trak comes bundled with Teledyne Imaging’s field-proven Sapera Processing and Sherlock 8.0 3D options.
Silver-level honorees: 2019 Innovators Awards
Lighting, lenses, and optics | Gardasoft Industrial
The OC-G-5646-2-ET OLED Controller allows the generation of fast, accurate, and stable light pulses at the limit of OLED operation. Two independently configurable channels provide an output current from 100 µA to 10 A (pulsed). Pulse delay and pulse width are fully controllable in 1 µs increments with timing repeatability of +/- 1 µs.
Embedded vision | IDS NXT rio & rome
IDS NXT rio and rome (IP65/67) cameras are offered with a range of CMOS image sensors, as well as industrial M12 connectors, C-Mount lens mount, GigE interface, Power over Ethernet, dual core CPU for onboard 1.3 GHz processing, FPGA, and a runtime license for HALCON software from MVTec. Additionally, a specially-developed artificial intelligence vision app turns the cameras into inference cameras with an integrated artificial neural network accelerator based on an FPGA.
Robotics | Epson Force Guide
Force Guide is a force control system that is opening possibilities for robot automation in areas that were not possible before. Powered by proprietary Epson Quartz Technology, it enables Epson robots to detect six axes of force with precision down to 0.1 N. Driven by real-time servo system integration, Force Guide delivers fast, tactile feedback to guide robots for high-precision parts placement.
Vision systems | Surf.Finder
Surf.Finder is a surface inspection sensor that utilizes proprietary lighting and inspection algorithms to “measure” three surface characteristics that are key to identifying surface defects (inclination, roughness, and reflectivity). By acquiring and utilizing these acquired data, Surf.Finder detects a diverse range of defects. Surf.Finder is also able to classify/differentiate types of defects and materials using the acquired data.
Cameras, visible AND embedded vision | Alvium Camera Series
Alvium cameras utilize Allied Vision’s own SoC (system-on-chip), ALVIUM Technology, which allows for image processing to be conducted in the camera and enables low power consumption, only using power for functions actively being used. Alvium offers three configurations: single board, partially enclosed/open housing, or fully enclosed housing. Alvium embedded cameras are equipped with the latest CMOS image sensors and are available with MIPI CSI-2 or USB 3.0 interfaces.
Camera accessories/connectivity | USB 3.1 Hybrid Active Optical Cable
Intercon 1’s Hybrid Active Optical (HAO) Cable supports USB3 plug and play capability, is available in lengths of up to 20 meters, and provides a rugged high-flex solution for the most demanding robotic applications, according to the company. It also provides power, all within what looks to be a standard USB 3.1 cable.
Image sensors | OS02C10 CMOS 1080p HDR image sensor
The OS02C10 image sensor from OmniVision Technologies, Inc. is a 2 MPixel image sensor with a 2.9 µm pixel size, and a quantum efficiency of 60% at 850 µm and 40% at 940 µm. The image sensor, according to the company, combines OmniVision’s ultra-low light (ULL) and Nyxel near-infrared (NIR) technologies to enable nighttime camera performance.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | ML610M lens
Theia’s ML610M provides varifocal flexibility, 12 MPixel resolution in visible light as well as in the near infrared light spectrum, a compact lightweight design, and vibration resistance offered at an economical price. The lens features a 6-10 mm focal range providing from 51° up to 87° horizontal field of view on the 2/3” sensor. It comes in C-Mount and manual iris.
Software | SuaKIT v2.0
SuaKIT v2.0 is a deep learning software library for machine vision specialized in finding defects on the surface of the product in various manufacturing industries. SuaKIT v2.0 is based on convolutional neural networks and contains three basic functions: Segmentation, classification, and detection.
Software | VCortex
The VCortex artificial intelligence-based system provides designers and system integrators a software-based solution for acquiring 3D imaging comparable to current 3D structured lighting systems. VCortex can work with two off-the-shelf RGB cameras and run on off-the-shelf graphics cards and reportedly also works with both texture-less and dark objects to create 3D images.
Embedded vision | MityCAM-C50000
Designed to be both an evaluation platform for the CMV50000 CMOS image sensor from ams and an embedded imaging platform, the MityCAM-C50000 features an open architecture platform that allows for user programming, and a design allowing for hardware customization. Additionally, the camera provides multiple interfaces including USB3 Vision and HDMI preview as standard, with custom options to include CoaXPress, Camera Link, GigE Vision, and others.
CAMERAS, NON-VISIBLE | NIR Intensity Lens
The NIR (near infrared) Intensity Lens is a turnkey camera/lens system capable of capturing an entire angular field of view of NIR emissions to +/-70° in a single image (a sampling size to 4 mm diameter), without moving parts. Using Fourier optics, the system’s lens maps each emission angle from an NIR light source onto the imaging system’s CCD image sensor to capture a 2D polar plot used to evaluate the complete scope of NIR emissions.
Cameras, visible | Linea HS – CMOS TDI
The Linea HS camera is capable of a maximum line rate of 300 kHz and monochrome/HDR, color, and multifield imaging with various lighting configurations to improve detectability. The camera uses a Camera Link HS fiber interface to deliver the throughput of up to 8.4 GByte/sec with a single cable and uses fiber-optic cables to reliably transmit data over a distance of up to 300 M without a repeater.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | ALBALUX FM White Light Fiber-Coupled Module
ALBALUX is a novel white light module with precise fiber beam delivery. The structured light source produces highly-directional and brilliant white light up to 100x the intensity of LED. Based on patented semipolar GaN laser diodes from SLD Laser, the sources use advanced phosphor technology providing minimal power consumption and a long lifetime with highly directional output.
Gold honorees: 2019 Innovators Awards
Vision systems | AE110 Artificial Perception System
The AE110 artificial perception system for self-driving cars is built on solid-state patented LiDAR and fuses 1550 nm, solid-state agile MOEMS LiDAR, a low-light HD camera, and embedded AI to intelligently capture data at the sensor level, enabling the collection of 4 to 8 times the information of conventional, fixed pattern LiDAR at a fraction of the energy.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | OLF Series OLED Lights.
The OLF Series is built using organic LEDs (OLEDs), which are a thin and lightweight alternative to regular LEDs. The OLEDS feature a 3 mm-thickness, built-in integrated circuit chip, and are available in red and white. Additionally, the OLEDs feature the CCS-LT (LifeTime Technology) Controller, designed specifically for OLED lights, which is a constant current controller that supports both continuous and overdrive mode.
Lighting, lenses, and optics | LSS Series Open Architecture Solution for Computational Imaging
The LSS-2404 programmable lighting controller from CCS was developed primarily to serve as the “heart” of any computational imaging system. Combined with special-purpose computational imaging lights and software, also available from CCS, there is now an alternative approach that can reportedly improve image quality or produce images that were previously impossible.
Software | VisionPro ViDi
Cognex Corporation’s VisionPro ViDi deep learning-based image analysis software is optimized for factory automation. VisionPro ViDi combines artificial intelligence with Cognex’s VisionPro machine vision software and features ViDi Blue (feature localization and identification), ViDi Red (segmentation and defect detection), and ViDi Green (object and scene classification.)
Vision systems | Inspekto S70
The Inspekto S70 is an autonomous machine vision system that can be installed and set up without a systems integrator (SI) in just 30-60 minutes, straight out of the box, according to Inspekto. Included with the system is a monochrome GigE Vision camera with integrated lighting, an arm, and an industrial PC running Linux with an NVIDIA graphics card and Intel CPU processor.
Frame grabbers and boards | deepVCL frame grabber
Silicon Software’s deep learning-optimized microEnable 5 marathon deepVCL (Camera Link interface), is the first frame grabber in the company’s “CNN Ready” series that will execute convolutional neural networks (CNN) at more than 250MB/s processing speed. At VISION 2018, a deep learning demonstration was shown at the company’s booth in which one microEnable 5 marathon deepVCL frame grabber enabled a 4096-pixel monochrome line scan camera to run at 20MHz via Camera Link Medium interface.
Silicon Software; Mannheim, Germany; https://silicon.software
Embedded vision | Nuvo-7164GC Series
Neousys’ Nuvo-7164GC combines powerful Intel 8th Gen Core i processors and NVIDIA Tesla P4 or T4 GPUs in a compact solution. Designed for applications requiring advanced inference acceleration, the computers feature six GigE ports, four USB 3.1 Gen2 ports, four USB 3.1 Gen1 ports, and expansion capabilities via the patented MezIOTM interface from Neousys.
Vision systems | Line Scan LumiTrax
Featuring new algorithms for automatic defect inspection, the Line Scan LumiTrax system is targeted at applications involving glossy, transparent, and mirrored surfaces. Instead of using a 2D camera and ring light, this uses a 1D camera and bar light with high-speed striped lighting to illuminate shape features, flatness, and diffused images at the same time.
Cameras, 3D | Helios ToF 3D
LUCID’s Helios ToF 3D camera has four 850 nm VCSEL laser diodes and integrates Sony’s new DepthSense IMX556PLR back-illuminated ToF image sensor with high NIR sensitivity, 10 μm pixel size and high modulation contrast ratio. The camera can produce depth data at 60 fps with 640×480 resolution over a PoE Gigabit Ethernet interface. The camera has a precision of 2.5 mm at 1 m and 4.5 mm at 2 m.
Embedded vision | FLIR Firefly
FLIR Machine Vision’s Firefly camera is an ultra-compact (27 x 27 x 14 mm) camera which leverages an Intel Movidius Myriad 2 Vision Processing Unit (VPU) to enable inference on-camera. With Firefly, machine vision system designers can develop and deploy deep-learning-based solutions. The camera features a monochrome 1.58 MPixel Sony IMX296 CMOS image sensor, which offers frame rates up to 60 fps through a USB 3.1 Gen 1 interface.
Vision systems | Gocator 2500 series
The Gocator 2510 and 2520 high-speed laser line profilers are designed for small parts inspection and feature a custom high-speed image sensor, FPGA processing, inspection rates up to 10 kHz, while generating 3D scans down to 8 µm X resolution. The IP67 devices also feature built-in measurement tools for 3D alignment, part segmentation, and 3D feature extraction, as well as an onboard processing pipeline.
Cameras, visible | XCG-CP510
polarized camera and SDK
In addition to the XCG-CP510 polarized camera, which uses Sony’s IMX250MZR sensor with on-chip polarization, Sony launched an SDK, providing a dedicated image processing library to speed solution development, as well as numerous functions such as stress measurement and glare reduction.
Vision systems | AccuPick 3D
Solomon’s AccuPick 3D system offers a bin picking solution based on AI software (neural networks) that recognizes complex objects. The solution is hardware agnostic and supports multiple 3D scanning technologies and 16 major robot brands. AccuPick 3D also features a fast motion planning module, ensuring that robot and gripper do not come into contact with the bin.
Platinum-level honorees: 2019 Innovators Awards
Cameras, 3D | MotionCam-3D
Photoneo’s MotionCam-3D camera is based on a technology patented by the company known as “Parallel Structured Light Technology.” The technology enables the capture of high resolution images of moving objects at a maximum speed of 40 m/second. The camera also features a custom, proprietary CMOS image sensor developed by Photoneo and can acquire 1068 x 800 point clouds at up to 60 fps. Additionally, the 3D camera features an NVIDIA Maxwell GPU and a recommended scanning distance of 350 to 2000 mm.