Last day attempts
Today was the last day at Vision Stuttgart 2014 and number of visitors were lesser than 2nd day but a bit more than the first day. We decided to go around and visit the booths which we were not able to visit during last 2 days.
First we found that consumer camera producers like Nikon, Canon and Sony have booths showcasing their industrial camera modules. Price of these cameras are not that much higher than that of their consumers cameras. So we started to wonder if the gap between the consumer grade cameras and industrial cameras are narrowing down. I strongly believe that this will happen.
We went to see the demo of the applications where 72 MP camera. The company which produced it is in the business of digitizing the books by taking very high resolution photographs page by page. I started to think why 72 MP, then they mentioned about another application of design validation where colors are rich. Then it all made sense. We started to discuss more about the size of the image it will generate, and it is something like 210 MB. So 1 GB memory card would fit only 4 photographs. The company is still developing the algorithms and GPU which can churn these number of pixels.
Then we went ahead in the search of a Holy Grail (accuracy of 0.01mm in 2×2 meters large field of view) and we found the nearest possible solution. One company makes a scanners for scanning large objects by using the array of VGA cameras and laser. They combine the image from the output of all these VGA cameras and make a point cloud 3D image. They churn out 5 Million pixels at 100 fps and with 6 microns (0.006 mm) of accuracy. I just cannot imagine running the application using these many pixels on PC. Anyway this is the nearest solutions we found for our application. Even though we use this solution, we need to do lot of work at system integration and customization.
There are many solutions like scanning the car bumpers after they are produced for validating all the details. The demo for this was showcasing Mercedes’s branded car bumper, ABB’s robot and multiple cameras and lasers checking every detail of the bumper. Then there are some solutions which are about scanning animals in the slaughter house to determine various parts so that robots can do their part. Thankfully there were dummy models in the booths.
Our conclusion was that, system integrators still have to spend significant amount of effort to be on top of trends and suppliers in industrial machine vision. There is no straight forward solution available out of the box from any supplier or producer.