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Proceedings Paper

The promise and payoff of 2D and 3D machine vision: Where are we today?
Author(s): Kevin G. Harding
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Paper Abstract

In the past 25 plus years, machine vision has grown from a high priced solution looking for a problem to solve, to a multibillion dollar industry playing a crucial role in todayís high demand production environment. Early machine vision systems consisted of dedicated, special architecture processors, some with hundreds of individual processors, and price tags approaching a hundred thousand dollars or more. There were large array boxes that required high end workstations to communicate with, dedicated units with control like interfaces the size of small refrigerators, and special low level languages understood only by the most dedicated programmer. Today, a full featured vision processor will fit into a standard PC box, often as a plug in card, and the fast, dedicated purpose systems will fit in the palm of your hand, connecting to any PC over an internet connection. The 3D vision system has likewise made great strides, though it remains just a step or two behind its 2D cousin. Early 3D systems were notoriously slow, taking the good part of an hour on temper mental equipment, producing complicated clouds of data with not good way to use the information. Today, high quality 3D data can be obtained from rugged, even portable units with simple to use interfaces, producing inspection information based upon part tolerances and CAD models in a matter of seconds. None of these systems are the mystical iRobots that can seeî envisioned in those early days. But what machine vision is today, and what it is becoming, is a technological tool on its way to becoming as common place as the computer, not only in production environments, but potentially in our every day lives. This paper will look at what 2D and 3D vision can do today, where and how it is being used, and where it may be going in the future.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 February 2004
PDF: 15 pages
Proc. SPIE 5265, Two- and Three-Dimensional Vision Systems for Inspection, Control, and Metrology, (26 February 2004); doi: 10.1117/12.523472
Show Author Affiliations
Kevin G. Harding, GE Global Research Ctr. (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5265:
Two- and Three-Dimensional Vision Systems for Inspection, Control, and Metrology
Bruce G. Batchelor; Heinz Hugli, Editor(s)

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