Industrial Automation



February 2018

Spin the Color Wheel: How Varying the LED Color Can Improve Machine Vision Outcomes

Manufacturers aren’t going to let inspection challenges get in the way of the artwork on their product packaging. Though it can be a challenge to read expiration dates on a variety of background colors, that’s no reason to change the color that everyone associates with their favorite box of cereal. Marketing leads the way when it comes to packaging. Machine vision just needs to adapt, as always. Fortunately, there’s a relatively simple fix. 

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Lights, Camera, Algorithms: The Basics of Machine Vision Pattern Matching

We humans learn to recognize patterns from the day we first open our eyes. That’s a bird! That’s an airplane! Those are the letters A, B and C! If we couldn’t pick out specific objects from our surroundings and categorize them, our sense of sight would be of little use. Machine vision systems also need to be able to find and recognize patterns.The first step in any machine vision task is pattern matching, i.e. locating an object within the field of view based on an expected arrangement of shape attributes like edges. How does this process work?

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The Coevolution of Miniscule Laser Markings and the Trusty Industrial Readers That Decode Them

Bumblebees and flowers, ants and acacia trees, industrial code readers and laser markings… What do these three pairings have in common? The answer is that they’re all examples of entities that have undergone coevolution. Granted, the latter duo isn’t exactly subject to the pressures of Darwinian natural selection out in the wild, but who’s to say that the demands of industrial automation on traceability technology aren’t at least somewhat akin to the Darwinian process? 

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Like Oil and Water: How Two Non-Mixing Fluids Give Liquid Lenses Their Power

Liquid lenses are rapidly gaining popularity within the industrial sector thanks to their speed, flexibility and reliability. Let’s look at how this whimsical-sounding concept has turned into a solid technology with awe-inspiring capability.

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