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Advanced Imaging Magazine

Updated: January 12th, 2011 09:49 AM CDT

Smart Cameras Get Smaller and Easier to Network

SmartDragon camera processor connects four FireWire-B machine vision cameras simultaneously.
SmartDragon camera processor connects four FireWire-B machine vision cameras simultaneously.
Sony has introduced its next generation of smart cameras.
Sony has introduced its next generation of smart cameras.
DALSA’s BOA Vision System is ideal for quality inspection and factory automation.
DALSA’s BOA Vision System is ideal for quality inspection and factory automation.
The SSC-320M and SSC-320BB cameras from Electrophysics.
The SSC-320M and SSC-320BB cameras from Electrophysics.
SICK’s Inspector I20 FLEX Vision Sensor offers greater application flexibility for quality control and inspection.
SICK’s Inspector I20 FLEX Vision Sensor offers greater application flexibility for quality control and inspection.
Matrox Iris GT smart camera line-up now includes high-resolution sensor.
Matrox Iris GT smart camera line-up now includes high-resolution sensor.
OmniVision introduces its new OV2710 CMOS image sensor.
OmniVision introduces its new OV2710 CMOS image sensor.
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Over the last year, smart cameras have become easier to operate with user-friendly interfaces and project-specific tools. Compared to standard machine vision cameras, a smart camera includes some kind of computing module with local memory, a frame grabber, and a communication module with interfaces such as Ethernet, digital I/O, and perhaps a serial port, said Fabio Perelli, product manager, Matrox Imaging. These interfaces allow users to obtain more data from smart cameras during run-time.

Regarding ease of use, many smart cameras provide non-programming environments which make vision more accessible to certain people. People can configure everything themselves without having to involve system integrators on every project.

“The amount of data that is available from the image sensor also is increasing. Vision sensors are sending results via Ethernet TCP/IP, Ethernet/IP and other network protocols. This not only gives access to more data but allows users to modify and monitor multiple units from a single location throughout the network,” said Jim Anderson, machine vision product manager, SICK Inc. (Minneapolis, Minn.). According to Perelli, smart cameras will continue to get smaller mainly because the electronics in them are shrinking. Also, one can expect CPUs to get smaller and emit less heat; this will enable the smart camera to handle higher-throughput applications more easily.

OmniVision Technologies Inc. (Santa Clara, Calif.) launches the OV2710, a true full-high-definition (1080p) CMOS image sensor designed specifically to deliver high-end HD video to digital video camcorders, notebooks, netbooks, PC webcam and other mobile applications. The 1/3-inch OV2710 addresses the fast growing demand for affordable, HD-quality digital video solutions for video conferencing and recording. As a full-HD sensor, the OV2710 offers the HD video format with a display resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels, operating at 30 frames per second. Built with OmniVision’s proprietary 3µm OmniPixel3-HS high-sensitivity pixel technology, the OV2710 delivers low-light sensitivity of 3300 mV/lux-sec, dark current of 20 mV/sec and a peak dynamic range of 72dB. This enables cameras to operate in virtually every lighting condition from bright daylight to nearly complete darkness below 15 lux. www.ovt.com

DALSA Corp. (Waterloo, Ontario) announces the availability of the BOA Vision System, a highly integrated smart camera that comprises all of the elements of an industrial machine vision system. Powerful and quick-to-deploy, the BOA Vision System is ideal for automated quality inspection applications and factory automation. The system is smarter, easier to use, and more flexible than previous generations of smart cameras. It is the first smart camera in its class to incorporate multiple processing engines. It also is the first smart camera to truly embed the application software, which is easily set-up through a standard web browser. The BOA Vision System delivers greater flexibility for its users via a rugged, easy-to-mount enclosure, built-in factory communications, and a low deployment cost. www.dalsa.com

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