MACHINE VISION KNOWLEDGE BASE

Learn more about the technology that makes Machine Vision!
Compact Vision Systems

NI Compact Vision Systems are rugged automation controllers that combine industrial camera connectivity, open communication, and FPGA-based I/O in a small form factor. They are designed to acquire and process images in real time from multiple cameras and provide the flexibility, integration, and ruggedness for many industrial inspection, alignment, and OEM vision applications.These systems are powered by Intel Atom processors and are compatible with Gigabit Ethernet or USB 3.0 cameras.

With line scan cameras, the pixels are arranged in a linear fashion, which allows for very long arrays. Long arrays are ideal because the amount of information to be read-out per exposure decreases substantially and the speed of the readout increases by the absence of column shift registers or multiplexers; in other words, as the object moves past the camera, the image is taken line by line and reconstructed with software.

Line Scan Cameras
Area Scan Cameras

In area scan cameras, an imaging lens focuses the object to be imaged onto the sensor array, and the image is sampled at the pixel level for reconstruction. This is convenient if the image is not moving quickly or if the object is not extremely large. Familiar digital point-and-shoot cameras are examples of area scan devices.

Near-Infrared (NIR) Cameras

“Near-infrared” (NIR) is the portion of the electromagnetic spectrum directly adjacent to the visible range; therefore it cannot be perceived with the human eye. NIR-optimized industrial cameras are popular for applications that need to utilize this wavelength range, e.g. applications with poor light conditions, such as traffic monitoring.

Telecentric Lenses

Telecentric Lenses are used in imaging systems to make objects appear to be the same size independent of their location in space. Telecentric Lenses remove the perspective or parallax error that makes closer objects appear to be larger than objects farther from the lens, increasing image quality compared to conventional lenses. Telecentric Lenses are ideal for use in a variety of applications, including metrology, gauging, CCD based measurement, or microlithography.

Variable Focus Liquid Lenses consist of a conductive liquid deposited on a flat, conductive substrate. Applying a voltage between the substrate and the liquid causes an insulated material within the liquid to change shape, yielding a variable focal length. These lenses are designed with a stable optical axis, can operate regardless of orientation, and feature AR Coatings optimized for excellent transmission between 400 and 700nm. Variable Focus Liquid Lenses are ideal for autofocus applications, and with no moving parts, they are faster, more durable, and consume less power than traditionally actuated autofocus lenses.

Variable Focus Liquid Lenses
Fixed Focal Length Lenses

Fixed Focal Length Lenses are imaging lens assemblies designed with a single angular field of view, also known as constant focal length. These imaging lenses typically have a minimum working distance, but no maximum, extending performance out to infinity. Objects closer to the Fixed Focal Length Lens will appear larger than objects farther from the lens. 

Beamsplitters are optical components used to split input light into two separate parts. Beamsplitters are common components in laser or illumination systems. Beamsplitters are also ideal for fluorescence applications, optical interferometry, or life science or semiconductor instrumentation. Light can be split by percentage of overall intensity, wavelength, or polarization state.

Beam Splitters
Telecentric Illumination

A telecentric illuminator uses optics to direct light from a fiber optic light guide or LED onto an object under inspection, producing a high contrast silhouette. A telecentric illuminator increases edge contrast and measurement accuracy by decreasing diffuse reflections from the object. Collimated light rays exit the illuminator and remain collimated as they strike an object’s surface.

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