Sunday, January 31, 2010

New 3D capabilities from Cognex

The boys and girls in Natick aren’t usually shy about their achievements, but this press release seems to have snuck out under the radar. A new software tool, christened “3D-Locate™” (what, no “Pat” prefix?!) provides support for 3D machine vision applications.

There are a few interesting aspects of this worth pointing out. First, the datasheet provides a good summary of the different approaches to 3D vision – stereo, single camera and so on. Second, also in the datasheet, there’s a brief discussion of the benefits of checkerboard rather than dot grid calibration. And third, a simple idea that I really like, Cognex have encoded the calibration data – grid count, pitch and size – in a datamatrix code etched onto the actual calibration grid.

This is such a simple idea – let the vision system determine the calibration input parameters rather than hardcoding them – that I wonder why
MaxLevy, (makers of the best calibration targets,) haven’t already done it.

Full marks to Cognex for trying to make machine vision a little bit easier to use.

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