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Machine vision joins machine learning in a set of tools that gives consumer- and commercial-level hardware unprecedented abilities to observe and interpret their environment. In an industrial setting, these technologies, plus automation and higher-speed networking , add up to a new industrial revolution — Industry 4.0. They also offer brand-new ways to conduct low-waste, high-efficiency industrial activities. Now that it’s coming into its own, companies everywhere are exploring the benefits that machine vision brings. Machine vision affects manufacturing, drilling, and mining. Further benefits are found in freight and supply chain management , quality assurance, material handling, security, and a variety of other processes and verticals. Machine vision is going to be everywhere before long, adding a critical layer of intelligence to the Internet of Things buildouts in the industrial world. Here’s a look at how companies are already putting it to work. What Is Machine Vision? Machine vision is a set of technologies that gives machines greater awareness of their surroundings. It facilitates higher-order image recognition and decision-making based on that awareness. To take advantage of machine vision, a piece of industrial equipment uses high-fidelity cameras to capture digital images of the environment, or a workpiece. The images can be taken in an automated guided vehicle (AGV) or a robotic inspection station. From there, machine vision uses extremely sophisticated pattern recognition algorithms to make a judgment about its position, identity, or condition. In manual inspections, achieving the proper lighting is a critical factor when it comes to getting the machine vision right. Several lighting sources are common in machine vision applications, including LEDs, quartz halogen, metal halide, xenon, and traditional fluorescent lighting. If part of a barcode or workpiece is shadowed, the reading might deliver an error when there isn’t one, or vice versa. Machine vision combines sophisticated hardware […]
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