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Component Roundup: Vision Sensors, Vacuum Lifter, and AV Guidance Gear


January 31, 2019      

In this week’s components roundup, we’re seeing new vision and camera sensors, a new vacuum lifter to help robots pick things up, and gear aimed at providing more accuracy for autonomous vehicles.

Camera with multi-color light sensor

Omron Automation FHV7 smart camera vacuum filter article

The Omron FHV7 series smart camera offers multi-color light sensors. Source: Omron Automation

Omron Automation Americas recently launched the FHV7-series smart camera, which includes a multi-color light sensor and image sensors ranging from 0.4 megapixels to 5 megapixels, with a 12 megapixel version coming soon. Omron said the technology aims to “achieve the industry’s highest standards of precision in vision inspections on high-mix production lines.”

“Consumers’ quality and safety expectations are becoming increasingly strict, and corporate social responsibility is growing in importance,” Omron said in a statement. “Manufacturers face the need for stricter quality control checks in order to maintain and improve product quality and safety, while promptly identifying the causes of defects. The need to produce different products on a single production line is also increasing, and this in particular requires quality inspections of products in different colors, shapes and sizes. The FH7 smart camera is designed to help manufacturers meet these inspection needs while minimizing downtime for product changeover.”

The multi-color light and autofocus lens lets the camera respond to changes in the color and size of objects to be inspected, eliminating the need for multiple cameras or manual lens adjustments, Omron said. The camera has a dual-core CPU for faster image processing speed, high-speed image logging, and image data compression “that facilitates data storage, enabling complete traceability.”

Camera board supports multi-4K streams

E-con Systems recently launched its e-CAM130_CUXVR Multiple Camera Board for Jetson AGX Xavier (pictured, right), a multi-camera solution with up to four 13-megapixel 4-Lane MIPI CSI-2 camera boards. Each camera is based on the e-CAM137_CUMI1335_MOD, 1/3.2-inch AR1335 color CMOS sensor from ON Semiconductor.

e-con multi-4K camera board vacuum filter article

Source: e-Con Systems

Along with the NVIDIA Jetson AGX Xavier kit, developers can create and deploy end-to-end AI robotics applications, with 20x performance and 10x energy efficiency provided by NVIDIA’s new Xavier processor, e-Con Systems said.

The e-CAM130_CUXVR system supports up to four simultaneous synchronized 4K resolution streams at 30 frames per second.

“With the capability of capturing synchronous 4k video from four camera modules, this solution allows our customers to fully leverage the huge computation power of NVIDIA Jetson Xavier platform.” said Ashok Babu, president of e-con Systems Inc.

The e-CAM130_CUXVR is currently available for evaluation. Customers interested in evaluating the e-CAM130_CUXVR can purchase order samples from e-con Systems’ online store.

Vacuum lifter gets Internet connectivity

Piab has launched the piLIFT SMART system, a vacuum lifter with Internet connectivity and smart data features that help “deliver on the promises of Industry 4.0.”

Sensing and monitoring movements and responding quickly to user intentions, the piLIFT “will lift and weigh loads simultaneously, collect and log data, making process statistics and analyses immediate accessible to the user through web platform log-in,” Piab said in a statement.

Piab piLIFT SMART vacuum lifter

Piab’s piLIFT SMART vacuum lifter includes Internet connectivity to enable Industry 4.0 data analytics. Source: Piab

“The capability of piLIFT SMART for collecting and analyzing data to use for the optimization of flows and processes is tremendous,” said David Collins, vice president and head of Piab’s Ergonomic Handling division. “I see great benefits for our customers in optimizing lifting techniques, ensuring the health of employees, and keeping their equipment in tip-top condition.”

Piab said every aspect of the system was designed with ergonomics and natural movements in mind. “From the shape of the handle (enabling right- and left-handed use), the hand guard and the possibility to grip from the side and to rotate objects, to the placement of variable speed controls and a minimized operating sound level, the design of piLIFT SMART has been guided by ergonomics, and the well-being of users,” the company said. It added that its vacuum lifters can reduce the load on the operator’s body by more than 80%, while also optimizing productivity.

Additional features include a reduced power consumption of 76%, and the ability to lift objects weighing up to 90 lbs. More details are available at the Piab website.

Device aims to guide AVs more accurately

ACIENNA this week launched its new INS1000, a high-performance, dual-band RTK INS (Real-Time Kinematic Intertial Navigation System) with built-in inertial sensors aimed at construction, agriculture, and automotive applications.

The nine degree-of-freedom intertial sensor aims to achieve “Automotive Dead Reckoning performance in GNSS challenged environments,” the company said, including urban canyons, heavy tree-lined roads, tunnels, underpasses, and bridges.

INS1000 in agriculture vacuum lifter ACIENNA

The INS1000 can be used to help agricultural-based self-driving vehicles get better accuracy. Source: ACIENNA

“Without access to satellite delivered guidance and localization information, autonomous vehicles can quickly get off track,” said Mike Norton, ACIENNA’s CTO. “The INS1000 delivers the essential detailed position and heading accuracy at a price point that is suitable for startups as well as fleet-wide vehicle deployment. As the leading supplier to the precision agriculture autosteer market, ACIENNA is focused on driving the cost and complexity out of GNSS/INS solutions to enable wide-spread adoption in automotive ADAS applications.”

The INS1000 includes an inertial measurement unit (IMU) and other sensors, providing position, velocity, and attitude information of the vehicle. A dual-frequency, dual-antenna GNSS receiver is used as the primary aiding sensor, but it also has a distance measurement indicator that can be attached to the wheel of a vehicle or robot to measure the rotation rate of the wheel, ACIENNA said.

The company said the INS1000 provides horizontal accuracy of 2cm (RTK), vertical position accuracy of 3cm (RTK), and velocity accuracies of 0.01 m/s and 0.02 m/s (horizontal and vertical, respectively). It is compatible with all major global satellite systems, and supports USB, Ethernet, CAN and RS-232 interfaces.

Additional new components:

  • Heidenhain’s new LC 201 absolute linear scale, aimed at the machine tool, aerospace machining, electronics, automation, medical technology and metrology industries.
  • STMicrolectronics’ new STM8-SO8-DISCO 8-bit microcontroller Discovery Kit, which lets users evaluate all three STM8 variants currently available in the popular 8-pin SO8 package.
  • JADAK’s ThingMagic EL6e UHF RAIN RFID smart module, offering an all-in-one embedded RFID solution for short- to mid-range applications, supporting a new developer-friendly interface between applications and RAIN RFID readers.

That’s it for this week, see you next week with more components!