Redefining industrial cameras
What would smartphones be without apps? You could use them to do little more than make phone calls and send messages. IDS NXT adapts the app principle to industrial image processing: the standard functions of these new industrial cameras can be extended as required using vision apps. The embedded vision system IDS NXT vegas features a light-sensitive 1.3 MP CMOS sensor, a liquid lens with autofocus and an integrated TOF (time-of-flight) sensor. The IDS NXT rio & rome models are fully-fledged standard industrial cameras that can be used for a wide variety of tasks thanks to their extensive range of sensors and powerful hardware - they can even feature artificial intelligence. With Smart GenICam and AI-based image processing, they provide added value that standard GigE Vision cameras cannot offer and thus represent a new evolutionary step in digital industrial cameras.
App your camera
Vision app-based image processing with the IDS NXT platform
The functions of classic vision sensors - such as barcode readers - are usually strictly defined and hardly expandable. IDS NXT shows that there is a different way: the freely programmable platform is not tied to any predefined tasks. Instead, users can develop and install vision apps themselves and then change and set up various image processing tasks in a short time. App development does not require any additional specialist knowledge, because it hardly differs from the development of a "classic" industrial camera application. The possibility of installing different types of vision apps creates universal application possibilities in numerous application areas, for example in optical quality assurance, as an analytical device in medical technology, for surveillance tasks using face recognition or vehicle and person counting.
Moving applications from the host PC to the camera
All IDS NXT models allow image processing "on the edge", so that even pre-processed data or final results can be transmitted to PCs or machine controls. Depending on the required performance, users can decide for themselves whether their application should be run classically on a PC workstation, independently on the IDS NXT camera, or collaboratively on both devices. IDS NXT therefore moves image processing away from the PC and closer to the image source, making image acquisition and processing "on the edge" industry- and vision-compliant available in industrial cameras. The models are thus no longer mere image suppliers, but can also work completely independently, trigger subsequent processes directly or support a connected PC through individual pre-processing. Thanks to the embedded solution, the load on the host PC, energy consumption and system costs can be reduced.
Use self-programmed camera features GenICam-compliant
When users want to execute self-created functions on intelligent cameras, they face two challenges. Because there are often only proprietary interfaces available, processing data in third-party applications becomes more difficult, plus few models offer a high-speed data interface like GigE Vision. However, industrial applications often require both.
The solution are IDS NXT industrial cameras with Smart GenICam: the user uploads the desired new camera function as a vision app on an IDS NXT model. Its firmware then integrates the application code into the camera's range of functions. Control and function parameters as well as results of the self-programmed application are then made available in standardised form via the device-specific XML description file of each GenICam-compliant application. Third party applications, such as HALCON or LabView, then use these features as if they were part of the standard functionality of the industrial camera.
Artificial intelligence for industrial cameras
Thanks to FPGA-based AI acceleration, inference times of a few milliseconds are possible. The implementation on the FPGA also allows users to flexibly upload their own neural nets or use already published architectures. Different models can be changed during operation to allow faster or more complex decisions to be made in line with the task at hand. IDS NXT also makes it possible to combine neural networks with other machine learning methods, for example to detect anomalies for quality assurance. IDS NXT cameras can keep pace with modern desktop CPUs in terms of the accuracy and speed of AI tasks, while consuming significantly less space and energy.