Machine vision components and systems exhibited lackluster growth in 2007 and will likely do even worse in 2008, according to a new study from the Automated Imaging Association.
Paul Kellett, the association’s research director, reports that the yearly growth of component sales was just 0.5 percent in 2007, while smart cameras posted a 2.1 percent growth and application-specific systems grew just 1.5 percent. His expectations for 2008 are a 1.5 percent decline in growth for components and 0.8 and 0.6 percent growth for the smart cameras and systems, respectively.
Yet despite the poor sales expectations, there have been some bright spots this year from a technology development standpoint. Among them are smaller vision systems that are easier for machine builders to install. There have also been ease-of-use advances related to programming and set up. And there are also new 3D vision systems, which Kellett says represented 14 percent of application specific sales in 2007. These new systems are now tackling high-speed inspection and even machine safety tasks.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.