Global reverberations

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As we enter the summer months, so much is still unknown about the coronavirus pandemic’s lasting impact. When will the global economy gain traction? Is the worst over? What will the “new normal” look like?

Despite the unprecedented challenges of the pandemic, machine vision companies didn’t stand pat. They staggered their shifts, allowed employees to work remotely, and imposed new practices to ensure worker safety. Some companies saw demand for their products increase; FLIR supplied thermal cameras for detecting elevated body temperatures to airports and government buildings, and Edmund Optics contributed lenses, mirrors, and other components for use in a new, highly sensitive diagnostic device capable of detecting COVID-19 within an hour.

As we look forward to better days ahead, I invite you to peruse the current edition. Our cover story examines the use of 3D vision for robot navigation and for quality inspection, where it can discern greater details with higher resolution. Contributing editor Hank Hogan’s “Industrial Machine Vision Adds Depth”.

Undoubtedly one of the hottest topics in the field has been deep learning. But one of the obstacles to implementing it is the requirement to gather thousands of high-quality, properly classified images to train the system. New software and parallel processing are making implementation of deep learning easier than ever before. “Anomaly Detection Expands Use of AI in Defect Inspections,” from Teledyne DALSA’s Bruno Ménard and Yvon Bouchard.

This issue also features Canon USA’s Grant Zahorsky’s “Robot-Based Bin Picking Set to Transform Manufacturing Sector,” which examines advancements in path planning, collision detection, and detailed 3D point maps that have contributed to more robots capable of performing advanced bin picking.

Finally, we round out the issue with “Calculating Lens Resolution with Precision”, from Edmund Optics’ Nick Sischka. Sischka offers a step-by-step approach to using the modular transfer function (MTF) to calculate the resolution performance of a lens. This function helps buyers to maximize the price-to- performance ratio for any system, and helps them avoid the pitfall of overpaying for a lens with a higher resolution than needed.

I hope you enjoy the issue. Stay safe.

Published: June 2020

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