The Imaging Source blog

The Imaging Source Trade Shows - April thru June 2017

Published on March 28, 2017

The Imaging Source looks forward to welcoming you at the following trade shows:

The Imaging Source Reseller Trade Shows:

We invite you to take a closer look at our products and discuss your needs with our sales staff. Of course, please feel free to call us at any time or write an email. Hope to see you there!

Vision China Shanghai 2017

Published on March 24, 2017

The China Society of Image and Graphics (CSIG) and its subcommittee, The Machine Vision Professional Committee hosted Vision China Shanghai 2017 from March 14-16, and The Imaging Source along with ShenZhen Sunvision Technology was in attendance. During the show, the USB 3.0 42 MP, GigE33e series, GigE zoom cameras and board-level cameras were featured in a live demonstration.

USB 3.0 42 MP, GigE33e series, GigE zoom and board-level cameras displayed at Vision China Shanghai 2017.

The GigE33e series features the newest Sony and ON Semiconductor sensor technology and are available with rolling or global shutter. Many visitors were also interested in the stereo 3D solutions on display at the booth.

As the leading machine vision trade show in China, it provided an excellent opportunity for academics, industry experts and technicians to meet and discuss new technologies and solutions. Many thanks to CSIG and Messe München International (MMI) for a great show.

Industrial Cameras - Letting Robotic Arms See

Published on January 17, 2017

Robotic arms are widely used in industrial automation. They complete tasks which humans cannot accomplish, are considered too time consuming or dangerous, or which require precise positioning and highly repetitive movements. Tasks are completed in high quality with speed, reliability and precision. Robotic arms are used in all areas of industrial manufacturing from the automobile industry to mold manufacturing and electronics but also in fields where the technology might be less expected such as agriculture, healthcare and service industries.

Robotic arms complete tasks which are too dangerous, repetitive or precise for humans.

Robotic Arms "See" with Machine Vision

Like humans, robotic arms need "eyes" to see and feel what they grasp and manipulate: machine vision makes this possible. Industrial cameras and image processing software work together to enable the robot to move efficiently and precisely in three dimensional space which enables them to perform a variety of complex tasks: welding, painting, assembly, picking and placing for printed circuit boards, packaging and labeling, palletizing, product inspection, and high-precision testing. Not all industrial cameras are compatible with or can be installed in robotic arms, but The Imaging Source's GigE industrial cameras provide an optimal solution.

GigE Industrial Cameras from The Imaging Source - The Cost Effective and Highly Versatile Imaging Solution

The Imaging Source's GigE industrial cameras are best known for their outstanding image quality, easy integration and rich set of features. They are shipped with highly sensitive CCD or CMOS sensors from Sony and Aptina, which offer very low noise levels, provide multiple options in terms of resolution and frame rate, guarantee precise positioning capture and output first-rate image quality. External Hirose ports make the digital I/O, strobe, trigger inputs and flash outputs easily accessible. Binning and ROI features (CMOS only) enable increased frame rates and improved signal to noise ratios. The cameras' extremely compact and robust industrial housing means straightforward integration into robotic assemblies.

In addition, The Imaging Source's GigE industrial cameras are shock-resistant, so camera-shake and blurred images can be avoided. The cameras are shipped with camera-end locking screws, and the built-in Gigabit Ethernet interface allows for very long cable lengths (up to100 meters) for maximum flexibility.

The Imaging Source's GigE industrial cameras come bundled with highly compatible end-user software and SDKs which makes the setup and integration with robotic arms fast and simple. Trained personnel without extensive robot programming experience can reprogram the cameras to complete new tasks in a snap. These camera characteristics, along with their competitive price, make The Imaging Source GigE industrial cameras the perfect solution for robotic arm applications.

Suitable cameras for robotic arms:

Integration of Traffic Surveillance Systems with Industrial Cameras

Published on January 16, 2017

The rapid growth and development of urban areas brings challenges such as increases in population, construction and traffic congestion which must be identified and optimally resolved in order for municipalities to achieve their transportation objectives. Often, additional staffing for such traffic control projects is not within a city's budget and so intelligent traffic surveillance systems become a smart and convenient tool to improve safety and efficiency. Integral to these systems are the high-definition images captured by industrial cameras which enable tracking, flow analysis, incident monitoring and counting.

Intelligent traffic surveillance systems using industrial cameras improve safety and efficiency.

Industrial Cameras versus Standard Digital Cameras

Industrial cameras are especially well-suited to meeting the unique challenges created by variable traffic, road and weather conditions. Capturing high speed vehicles, especially under poor lighting and weather conditions, with standard digital cameras may lead to image distortion and result in unidentified tag numbers and loss of other vital information. Industrial cameras, however, optimally address these issues by capturing high-definition images of fast-moving objects - even in challenging environments which enables continuous sustainable traffic management without additional strain on already tight municipal budgets.

Reliable Traffic Surveillance with HDR Industrial Cameras

The Imaging Source's "33" series HDR industrial cameras are a powerful tool for the continuous monitoring of traffic under all kinds of weather and lighting conditions. The "33" series HDR cameras monochrome and color) feature the highly-sensitive Sony Pregius CMOS sensors (IMX264/265/252/174) and can precisely identify the location of detected objects and provide excellent image quality with frame rates of up to 120 fps - even under poor lighting conditions. Image capture works with trigger options simultaneously, and the built-in cache memory also guarantees robust image transfer. When a vehicle enters a traffic surveillance area, the system evaluates vehicle speed and driving behavior based on the preset speed limit and traffic regulations. If the vehicle speed exceeds the limit, the cameras are triggered to capture images of violators with clear close-ups of their registration plates. The images will then be transferred to the appropriate authorities for processing and review. Additionally, the built-in automatic gain, exposure control and automatic white balance work perfectly with external surveillance systems so as to guarantee precise exposure. The C/CS lens mount, trigger and digital I/O inputs make the setup and integration of the cameras with traffic surveillance systems simple and straightforward.

Industrial cameras for ITS systems offer continuous traffic monitoring even under adverse conditions.

The cameras feature compact, robust housing (29 X 29×43 MM) which allows for easy installation - even in tight spaces. The compact form factor satisfies the requirements of transportation departments for discrete installation while providing efficient monitoring. The cameras are also shock-resistant so that camera-shake and blurred images can be avoided; GigE interfaces enable cable lengths of up to 100 meters.

Application Advantages of "33" Series Cameras

  1. Camera interface can be connected to all types of traffic surveillance systems and radar. The cameras produce high-definition images, once connected and triggered.
  2. The captured images are clear enough to identify plate numbers, types of vehicles and condition of drivers and passengers.
  3. The cameras ensure excellent image quality - even under less-than-optimal conditions such as extreme temperatures, heavy rains, poor lighting, or thunderstorms.
  4. The cameras offer a variety of image processing functions, including automatic gain, exposure control and automatic white balance.
  5. The cameras are shock-resistant, so camera-shake and blurred images can be avoided.
  6. Cable lengths of up to 100 meters are possible (GigE cameras).

Industrial Camera Captures Data for Spectral Holograms

Published on January 13, 2017

The imaging of transparent objects poses challenges in many fields: biology, medicine, industrial machine vision. Special coatings, specimen stains, phase imaging, structured light and multispectral imaging are just some of the techniques used to "see the unseen".

Digital holography makes use of amplitude and phase data to reconstruct 3D images and therefore offers important imaging capabilities - even of optically transparent objects. The use of additional visual data outside the standard RGB range (i.e. multispectral imaging) can also add to digital holography imaging ability to show previously unobserved structures and give additional data about materials. Due to how holographic images are created, however, challenges exist when applying the benefits of multispectral imaging to holography.

The DMK 72BUC02, monochrome industrial camera, as part of a scheme to record interference patterns.

Recently, five researchers published an article about an experimental digital holography scheme consisting of an interferometer with an acousto-optic tunable filter and The Imaging Source's DMK 72BUC02 monochrome industrial camera. In using the described set up, the researchers' goal was to increase the informativeness of digital holography. Improvements in this area could prove especially significant for observing optically transparent objects. The journal article, "Spectral Holographic Imaging of Transparent Objects in Mach−Zehnder Interferometer Using Acousto-Optic Filter" was published in Physics of Wave Phenomena (Vol. 24, No. 2).

Light Wavefront Data Captured by Industrial Camera

In order to create a hologram, a coherent light source (i.e. a laser) beam is split into object and reference beams. The interference pattern from the object and reference beams is recorded, in the case of digital holography, by the camera sensor and stored digitally. This light-wavefront data is then numerically reconstructed to create a quantitative amplitude and phase images.

The coherent light needed to create a hologram is intrinsically monochromatic and in order to create multispectral holograms, image data from multiple coherent light beams of differing wavelengths are reconstructed and fused to create a multispectral hologram.

The authors write: "The set of operating wavelengths in these systems is generally limited and one cannot choose an arbitrary wavelength. At the same time, it is of interest to study a sample in a rather wide spectral range in many cases. Therefore, an urgent problem is to develop methods for recording multispectral holographic images involving quasi-continuous spectral tuning...."

Acousto-optic Filter Tunes Light: Experiment Set Up

In order to realize such a system, the authors used a broadband light source and tunable acousto-optic (AO) filter installed at the entrance of Mach-Zehnder interferometer "designed to form digital holograms of optically transparent objects in arbitrary narrow spectral intervals."

Holograms of a biological sample imaged with the DMK 72BUC02 displaying typical interference pattern.

The object and reference wavefronts are spatially aligned by the beam splitter to create the interference pattern which is then recorded by the DMK 72BUCO2 in front of which a longpass filter was installed to exclude background light. The working wavelength is tuned by making adjustments to "the ultrasonic frequency applied to the AO cell."

By spatially separating the background zero order and the +1st and -1st diffraction orders, the authors achieved an off-axis digital holography scheme and were able to capture Fourier holograms from an optically transparent object as well as of a test pattern and a biological sample.

The authors write "...arbitrary spectral addressing makes it possible to obtain multicolor holographic images, which do not correspond to fixed wavelengths but allow for arbitrary arrangement of spectral components."

Digital Holography's Many Applications

Digital-holography's non-contact imaging capabilities make it uniquely suited for delicate applications: the study of cells and structures (especially in-vivo specimens) for bio-medical applications; non-destructive materials testing such as the detection of subsurface defects in metals or composites; refractive index fields within transparent media; "qualitative and precise quantitative analysis of properties of various objects in microprofile reconstruction, study of the phase structure, monitoring of stressed state, investigation of particle trajectories, microscopy, optical coherence tomography, etc."

Experimental set up with broadband light source and tunable acousto-optic (AO) filter installed in a Mach-Zehnder interferometer.

The technique described in the paper should "increase the informativeness of holographic images" without the requirement of multiple coherent light sources and will benefit applications where "the amplitude-phase and spectral structures of transparent objects must be investigated simultaneously."

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About The Imaging Source

Established in 1990, The Imaging Source is one of the leading manufacturers of industrial cameras, frame grabbers and video converters for production automation, quality assurance, logistics, medicine, science and security.

Our comprehensive range of cameras with USB 3.0, USB 2.0, GigE, FireWire 400, FireWire 800 interfaces and other machine vision products are renowned for being innovative, high quality and for constantly meeting the performance requirements of demanding applications.

Automated Imaging Association ISO 9001:2015 certified

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