Thursday, July 8, 2010

Smart camera trends

Once upon a time it was easy to categorize machine vision systems: there were PC-based systems and there were smart cameras. But then the smart cameras evolved a sub-genus, the vision sensor. And at the top end of the smart camera spectrum a “super-genus” has been slowly emerging; the PC-based smart camera.

Two of the first entrants into this field were Leutron Vision and Matrox (with their Windows CE-based Iris.) Matrox has stayed the course and continued to develop the Iris line but Leutron seemed to fall by the wayside. Hardly surprising when you consider the onslaught launched by Sony and their XCI range.

But now Leutron are back with the CheckSight® Atom-powered smart camera. (No, not atomic. It’s the energy efficient Intel processor at the heart of most netbooks, rather than nuclear isotopes.)

What’s nice about this is that you can run pretty much any stand-alone machine vision package – Halcon, CVB and so on. I’ve no information on pricing but I figure it has to be competitive with the Sony range, so you’re probably in the $3,500 range for a monochrome VGA camera.

If you want PC flexibility in a compact package, the CheckSight® might just be the way to go.

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