Sunday, December 1, 2013

Tip for upgrading smart cameras

Smart cameras like the InSight family from Cognex have been around so long that the ones we were installing ten or even fifteen years ago are obsolete. They won’t run the latest software, they’re not very fast, and sometimes they just die. But you don’t want to re-engineer the application, so what do you do?

Well you might rewrite the code or spreadsheet for the new camera, but then how do you make sure it performs the same as the old system?

A member of the Cognex SmartList discussion forum came up with a clever idea: take an image with the old camera, send it to the new camera, and have them do the processing in parallel. This way, if they both give the same result, your new system is validated. (I’m not sure if that meets FDA /Pharma standards but it’s good enough for me.)

Rick Roszkowski of Cognex explained how to make this happen with two InSights, and the whole forum erupted in applause.

Okay, I made that last bit up, but here’s the thing: it’s an excellent idea for simplifying camera upgrades (at least for Cognex products,) and second, there is a community of vision folks out there who are will to ask questions and learn from others.

It makes me feel all warm and fuzzy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure if this helps. Even if you can verify the image processing is similar to the old system there are still differences when finally replacing the old camera by the new one. Mounting is different, given a different field of view, other resolution, sensitivity of the sensors, ...

It's nice to read that Cognex is able to transfer images from one smart camera to another (I think it uses FTP?), but IMHO that's nothing more than a nice little feature without having any impact of solving the real "replacement issue".