Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Another upbeat prediction for machine vision

The twin needs of cost reduction and safety improvement will help maintain investment in machine vision technology, or at least that seems to be the prognosis from the IET (the UK’s equivalent of the IEEE.)

According to “
A helping hand,” (published Jan 20th, 2009,) innovations such as 3D vision systems will drive continued demand despite the generally bleak outlook for manufacturing industry.

While I agree that 3D is a relatively new application area for vision, and has great potential, I’m not sure it’s on the cusp of dramatic growth. I see two hurdles that need to be overcome. First, I don’t think I’m ready to entrust a Windows-based system with a safety-critical application. And second, it takes a certain degree of familiarity with the technology to identify and implement specific applications.

To the first point, I think the “smart camera” approach to 3D has to be the way to go. And to the second, I think it just takes time for expertise to develop in the user community. To back this up, let me throw out a challenge: how many of you readers are using a 3D system in a production situation?

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