Thursday, December 9, 2010

A new player in machine vision?

Back on September 23rd I asked if anyone could enlighten me about Ximea. Well if you went to Vision 2010 you will have had an opportunity to learn more, and if you didn’t get to the show there’s an interesting piece about the company in the “Inspect” magazine (Volume 11, Oktober 2010, published by www.inspect-online.com)

Ximea, it turns out, grew out of a vision software company called Softhard Technology. Way back in 2009 Softhard demonstrated a “camera system family” called the Currera and described it as “an intelligent vision appliance…” Well there have been quite a few such products, so I for one didn’t pay a whole of attention at the time.

Now it seems that might have been a mistake. Apparently I missed out on the birth of “… a new class of camera systems [which will] revolutionize machine vision.”

How’s that for hype?

Well I’ve taken a look at the specs for the Currera, and I have to say that it looks pretty interesting. To me it’s a smart camera on steroids – picture the Sony smart cameras in a DVT body and you’ll get the idea. It uses an Intel Atom processor to run Windows Embedded, XP or Linux, and offers “native support for Halcon, Common Vision Blox, etc” (not entirely sure what that means,) plus drivers for use with LabVIEW, MIL and so on. There’s a GigE interface with PoE for getting images and data out, so this is a pretty state-of-the-art piece of hardware.

Imaging is achieved through a 1/1.8” 1.3Mp CMOS sensor from e2v, which I find interesting. e2v are steadily building a reputation as maker of higher-end line scan sensors, so I shall be eager to see just what kind of performance this little beastie delivers.

Pricing starts at €1,666 (which includes German VAT,) and that strikes me as pretty competitive. In fact I’m so curious that I’m starting to think I should go after the North American distribution rights…

Well it’s a thought.

4 comments:

John Campbell said...

Native Support for HALCON means that the user can run the HALCON library directly on the camera.

In short, this camera can take full advantage of HALCON's image processing capabilities without being tied to a PC.

John Campbell said...

Here's a link to more information about HALCON embedded and the Ximea Currera camera:

http://www.mvtec.com/halcon/embedded/halcon-embedded-ximea.html

tordivelblog said...

It is an embedded PC so any machine vision library runs with a proper camera driver interface

Jakob Kirkegaard said...

Interesting. As I understand it, it is only a hardware package, so unless you have your own vision library, you also need to pay the price for a vision library run-time license, which in many cases would be 1-2 times the price of the camera.

Alternative hardware setup could be something like http://www.fit-pc.com/web/ with a standard GigE camera attached. A more flexible solution but probably not cheaper depending on the camera you choose.