Thursday, October 7, 2010

Bore inspection by machine vision– supersized!

A reader tipped me off to this fascinating 3D application, reported on the Nikon Rumors blog. It concerns a system developed by a company called Mermec that appears to be for checking the integrity of tunnel walls.

In the very detailed photos we see an assembly of 5 cameras mounted on the front of a locomotive. These are forward-facing and are equipped with wide angle lenses. Each camera looks into what appears to be a complex mirror that provides a view out at right angles, in other words, towards the tunnel walls.

Now where this gets really interesting is that there is apparently a 3D capability. (The last image in the Nikon Rumors blog post shows what seems to be a 3D reconstruction.) I couldn’t see a laser head in the camera assembly but I’m making the assumption this must be a triangulation-based system.

I haven’t seen this system covered in any of the many magazines that cross my desk and I would dearly like to know more about it. Andy Wilson, if you’re reading, could I ask you for a Vision Systems Design article on the Mermec tunnel inspection technology?

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