THE ULTIMATE BAR CODE SCANNER
Close-up views of cutting-edge designs
Image reader decodes most symbologies
by David J. Bak, International Editor
Maintaining lot numbers, manufacturing dates, and/or
revision control data right on the product rather than
in a separate database facilitates field maintenance,
allows for asset tracking, and improves customer service.
Unfortunately, many manufacturers are unable to take
advantage of linear bar codes simply because they require
too much space.
High-capacity bar codes can solve this problem. By
distributing data in two dimensions, these "matrix"
symbologies hold more information in less space. Reading
them, however, requires locating each printed element
in both x and y coordinates simultaneously--something
a linear scanning device such as a wand, CCD, or laser
Welch Allyn's IT4400 image scanner reads matrix as
well as traditional linear or stacked linear bar codes.
It will also capture and download images to a PC. Its
sequence of operation: Illuminate the field of view;
capture the image and pass to memory; convert from gray
scale to binary; locate and identify the bar code; decode.
Barcode orientation doesn't matter.
Incorporating a camcorder-like CCD array and the processing
power of a laptop computer, the IT4400 satisfies the
image scanning needs of a wide variety of industrial
Are they robots or androids? We're not exactly sure. Each talking, gesturing Geminoid looks exactly like a real individual, starting with their creator, professor Hiroshi Ishiguro of Osaka University in Japan.
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.