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“The challenge is to find the next feature to focus on.”
– John Petry, Cognex
The VisionPro 3D startup kit from Cognex.
Courtesy of Cognex.
From fish to pharmaceuticals, Open eVision’s
subpixel function gets the right measurement.
Courtesy of Euresys.
emerging applications/industries for digital
image-processing technology steer our
product development plans,” Boriero
VisionPro is about 10 years old, having
started as a C;; platform to let OEMs
jump-start the imaging products they were
using; the software library at the time
worked with only a select number of cameras and frame grabbers. But as the company began working more directly with
end users (manufacturers with factories to
optimize), the software had to grow, Petry
said. Better programmability and better
user interface were required, he added.
Now, VisionPro works with just about
every possible camera and frame grabber
as well as with many other sensors, such
as thermal imagers.
The company’s biggest targets for
VisionPro are systems integrators –
companies charged with installing large,
complicated assortments of cameras,
sensors, robots and more. The software
is well-suited for systems integrators who,
according to Petry, particularly like the
package’s capacity to multitask: to read
characters and perform quality control
checks simultaneously, for example.
Petry said that advances in VisionPro
have come in step with changes in Micro-soft Windows; for example, multithread-ing capability is now standard.
3-D and the future of imaging
Of all the vision tools now available,
3-D imaging is seeing the greatest increase
in demand. Robot-based manufacturing
is driving a lot of the interest in 3-D be-
cause it enables more complex motions
in any given volume of space in which a
robot has to maneuver. Robot-based parts
picking, welding, marking and most other
tasks aren’t too difficult to program, but
getting a robot to put two or more parts
together is very hard. Unfortunately, ac-
cording to Petry at Cognex, easy assembly
(primarily via the software end of things)
was overpromised. Several integrators
went out of business trying to get the mul-
ticamera systems required for 3-D-based
robotic assembly lines figured out.