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Vision sensor `bridges the gap`

01 September, 2002

Vision sensor `bridges the gap`

Erwin Sick has introduced an intelligent vision sensor which, it says, bridges the gap between conventional sensors and complex vision systems. The ICS100 sensor integrates a 2D camera, its optics, lighting, and processing and evaluation circuitry, into a package measuring just 50mm by 50mm by 130mm.

The sensor can be used for process control and quality assurance tasks such as checking that labels have been printed and positioned as required, and that sweets have been wrapped correctly.

Sick claims that the sensor is one of the first to allow users to visualise objects before being integrated into a machine. This is done using a handheld programmer and a simple teach procedure which stores the settings in the sensor.

Lighting is provided by a ring of 15 green LEDs around the lens which are said to provide a good contrast ability, even with difficult tasks.

At the heart of the sensor is a 512 pixel square 2D image recorder. There are four switching outputs and a choice of parameter settings including pixel sum, maximum pixel, shape check and area evaluation.

Sick sees the sensor as an alternative to PC-based image processing systems, providing many of the functions of a full-scale vision system "at a fraction of the cost".

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