Machine Vision in the Automotive World
For many years, the automotive industry has been using machine vision within its production lines. From automation of parts required at a certain point to the inspection of the goods and welded joints, they have required robust, reliable, and powerful solutions to maximise their production capacity. Standardisation of interfaces has played a great part in the integration of machine vision with computer vision which has allowed cameras on robotic arms to multitask in different areas, from determining positions, planning picking process and quality inspection.
Recently there has been a movement towards 3D visual technology using multiple cameras, allowing work to flow better. This increased use of camera technology and machine vision software has reduced the downtime in a manufacturing environment, by using intuitive sensor detection coupled with forward-thinking to detect and review the field of motion a person is moving, in relation to the machine. The robotic arms can continue to work in the presence of a person and only stop if the machine and person are expected to cross.
Many companies now use autonomous forklifts within their warehouses to pick goods, check expiration dates and bar codes, and bring goods for packing. These vehicles also have the technology to analyse where obstructions or people may be encountered and come to a halt.
Machine vision is also being used in the farming industry to help with crop monitoring and disease protection as well as crop picking. New studies are being carried out to see if delicate crops such as cherries, grapes, tomatoes or strawberries can be picked using machinery, which identifies the ripe fruits and harvests them without the potential damage that can result from picking by hand.
Vehicle Visibility Aids
It is this 3D technology that is also being engineered into automotive systems away from the factory. Automatic driver assistance systems use a range of sensors and cameras installed in vehicles to assist with lane control movement, parking assistance and the prevention of collisions. These capabilities are increasing traffic safety and are leading the way for self-driving vehicles in the outdoor environment.