Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Banner sensor to rival the Checker

It’s no secret that I like the Checker range from Cognex, especially the top-of-the-line 252 model, but despite the improvements it still suffers from low resolution. So I’m very intrigued by the new “iVu” sensor from Banner, which seems to have arrived with little fanfare. (I feel sure Banner won’t mind me using a photo from their web site.)

Aimed directly at the Checker market, this standalone vision sensor has a 752 x 480 pixel CMOS imager and runs at up to 100fps. I’m making the assumption that the 100fps is at full resolution; I’ll be very disappointed if it’s not.

A scan of the literature reveals that the sensor comes with two tools, “Match” and “Area.” As best I can tell, “Match” is essentially a pattern-matching tool, while “Area” appears to be a combo histogram/blob tool. Much as I like Banner, I doubt these tools have the sophistication of the Cognex equivalents, but there again, when you’ve got so many more pixels, perhaps you can get by with more basic software.

The iVu seems suited primarily to presence/absence applications, where the target is around the size your fist. Don’t look to it for gauging because, despite the fine quantity of pixels, the cheapo lens will induce quite a bit of optical distortion.

Now if they would just provide a C-mount adapter …

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