Camera technology has evolved exponentially over the last 20 years. The frames-per-second (fps) able to be achieved by these modern cameras, in combination the with small, compact sizes that are now available, creates application opportunities far beyond just making movies, home security, and family videos. Video no longer is passive. When combined with advanced processing technology, vision technology can see, assess, decide, and act faster than any human.
With the famous combination of 12 cameras by Eadweard Muybridge in 1877 to prove that a horse lifts all four hooves off the ground with running, the idea of motion picture photography was born. Most movies of the early silent film era were between 12 and 24 frames per second, enough for the human eye to perceive the action.
We’ve come a long way in 140 years. Continued innovation has created cameras of small size with increased frames per second. A clear application of these small cameras is the medical device industry. Anyone who watches a medical drama will eventually see a scene were the doctors have a small camera inserted into a patient for some procedure. In the real world, medical areas such as endoscopy rely heavily on this technology for crisp images they can use to help determine patient outcomes. It’s clear that smaller, high fps cameras have transformed medical devices, helping medical professionals make better decisions, and improving patient outcomes. Could these cameras, when combined with processing intelligence, be applied to other industries?
In industries such as raw materials manufacturing the application of high-speed imaging with high-speed processing can have numerous, beneficial applications.
Consider raw materials coming into a manufacturing plant. The items need to be inspected for quality and defects, measured, properly classified, and calculations done for the number of finished or in-process goods the materials can create. Relying on the human eye for this level of inspection requires time and diligence, and even then the inspector simply can’t see everything. With modern imaging technology, using frame rates at 5000fps, the materials can be inspected in far greater detail than the human eye can see, while still moving down a conveyor.
But it isn’t just about vision. Those images have to be processed and tied to decisions. This is where FPGA technology comes into play. With fast processing speeds, images can be quickly evaluated and algorithms processed to make the optimal decision in milliseconds. As a result, Incoming raw materials can be inspected, determining quality and usability while continuing to move down a conveyor, with minimal human intervention.
Advances in vision technology and processing speeds through Field Programmable Gate Arrays are creating new opportunities to leverage smart automation across industries.
Few companies have the experience in vision technology and FPGA that Resolution Development Services has. When evaluating partners for a complex vision project, Resolution should be on that list.