ferent companies to be graphically combined.
Such environments allow developers to combine both open-source algorithms and commercially-available packages to be integrated
into a single environment. This allows machine
vision software to be specifically tailored based
on the most effective algorithms.
VisionServer 7. 2, a machine vision framework from ControlVision (Auckland, New
Zealand; www.controlvision.co.nz), for example, allows open source image-processing
libraries and commercially-available packages
such as VisionPro Software from Cognex to
be used together in a graphical IDE. Also supporting VisionPro, the VS-100P framework
from CG Controls (Dublin, Ireland; www.
cgcontrols.ie) uses Microsoft’s .NET 4 framework and Windows Presentation Foundation
(WPF) to enable developers to deploy single
or multi-camera-based vision systems.
While most commercially-available machine
vision software run using operating systems
such as Windows and Linux, the need to
develop machine vision systems that can perform tasks within specific time periods has led
to the support of real-time operating systems
(RTOS). These RTOS then allow developers to determine the time needed to capture
and process images and perform I/O within a
system while leveraging the power of Windows
to develop graphical user interfaces (GUI).
Today, a number of companies offer RTOS
support for machine vision software packages.
MIL, for example, can now run under the
RTX64 RTOS from IntervalZero (Waltham,
MA, USA; www.intervalzero.com), a fact that
has been exploited by Kingstar (Waltham, MA,
USA; www.kingstar.com) in the development of
PC-based software for industrial motion control and machine vision applications. Built on
the EtherCAT standard, machine vision tasks
employ MIL running natively in IntervalZero’s
RTX64 RTOS. In operation, RTX64 runs on
its own dedicated CPU cores alongside Windows to provide a deterministic environment.
Using this architecture, developers partition
MIL-based applications to run on RTX64 and
Windows (Figure 3).
Third-party RTOS support for other
machine vision software packages are also
available. Running the HALCON machine
vision package from MV Tec, for example, can
be accomplished using the Real Time RTOS
Suite from Kithara (Berlin, Germany; www.
kithara.de). Similar to other RTOS, the Real-
Time RTOS Suite uses a separate scheduler
within the kernel of the RTOS to decide which
image processing task should execute at any
particular time. Like IntervalZero, this kernel
operates in conjunction with Windows (see
“Real-time operating systems target machine
vision applications,” Vision Systems Design,
June 2015, http://bit.ly/VSD-1506-1).
For its part, Optel Vision (Quebec City,
QC, Canada; www.optelvision.com) recently
showed how it has developed a pharmaceuti-
cal tablet inspection machine using its own
proprietary algorithms running under INtime
from TenAsys (Beaverton, OR, USA; www.
tenasys.com). According to Kim Hartman,
VP of Sales and Marketing at Ten Asys, INtime
takes control of the response-time-critical I/O
devices in the system, while allowing Windows
to control the I/O that is not real-time critical
(see “Packaging Line Vision System Gets Speed
Boost,” Control Engineering, May 2011; http://
High-performance image processing has also
become the focus of the embedded vision community. Recently, Dr. Ricardo Ribalda, Lead
Firmware Engineer at Qtechnology (Valby,
Denmark; www.qtec.com) showed how his
company had created an application to perform
high-speed scanning and validation of paper
currency using processors from AMD (
Sunnyvale, CA, USA; www.amd.com) and software
tools from Mentor Graphics (Wilsonville, OR,
USA; www.mentor.com) – see “Smart camera
checks currency for counterfeits”, page 15 this
issue. A demonstration of the system in operation can be found at http://bit.ly/VSD-QTec.
Sunnyvale, CA, USA
Natick, MA, USA
San Diego, CA, USA
Waltham, MA, USA
Waltham, MA, USA
Dorval, QC, Canada
Wilsonville, OR, USA
Renton, WA; USA
Austin, TX, USA
Quebec City, QC,
PR Sys Design
Delft, The Netherlands
Aurora, CO, USA
Beaverton, OR, USA
Palo Alto, CA, USA
For more information about machine vision software companies and products, visit Vision
Systems Design’s Buyer’s Guide buyersguide.vision-systems.com