National Instruments is previewing its Smart Camera technology, set for introduction later this year. The camera augments NI’s position in machine vision, simplifying setup for the growing number of engineers who are implementing vision for the first time or two.
Smart Camera incorporates more control functions, helping reduce the amount of space needed to squeeze cameras into the tight spaces of production equipment. The unit, including lens, control circuitry and fairly extensive software, is about the size of a professional quality digital camera. NI currently offers a Compact Vision System and PXI frame grabbers.
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.