Camelot Cameras – Breaking the USB Barrier

Today’s Machines Need More Vision

From traffic control to security cameras, today’s machines are utilizing embedded vision to deliver cutting edge performance. Continually striving to produce higher powered devices which perform increasingly difficult functions, today’s machine builders are looking for precise, high-resolution imaging capabilities packaged into compact and energy efficient cameras at a reasonable price.

USB 2.0: So Much to Offer, But is it Enough?

With the introduction of USB 2.0 standards, many camera vendors adopted the technology because it was easy and inexpensive to develop, use and produce. USB 2.0 cameras do not require a frame grabber or special interface hardware on their host computer, and can operate on power provided by the USB interface. Inexpensive and compatible with all commercially available PC boards, USB 2.0 cameras reduce time to market, making it an ideal connectivity option for mass produced machines.

However, in spite of their obvious benefits, USB cameras have been shunned in the vision world as unprofessional; due to bandwidth limitations, low frame rates and susceptibility to host platform activity. As a result they have not seen wide scale adoption in today’s high-performance machine vision applications. Until now…

Imaging Diagnostics: Rethinking USB for Professional Applications

Imaging Diagnostics (ID) presents the first smart USB 2.0 Pro cameras, harnessing all the advantages of USB, while overcoming its shortfalls by adding an embedded DSP. On-camera memory and processing capability enable the use of USB for all but the most demanding high-powered applications, virtually eliminating the need for expensive higher bandwidth interfaces. Professional USB cameras deliver professional performance in a wide range of applications, at a fraction of the cost of high-end cameras.

Compact Design and Low Power Consumption

Imaging Diagnostics cameras consume small amounts of energy, which are easily provided by the USB interface. Battery power is also a viable option for a totally independent imaging solution. Their compact stackable design is extremely versatile and offers a wide array of resolution options from WVGA – 9MP. It also allows easy transition from a plug & play external USB camera implementation to embedded board-level cameras, depending on the needs of the application. The processing capability of ID’s USB cameras is consistent and unaffected by computer OS or software delays, deadlocks etc., and a single computer can easily host several ID cameras.

Working Smarter not Harder

As an example, ID’s smart USB 2.0 Pro cameras can significantly improve facial recognition applications in security systems. The conventional approach would involve a high-resolution camera transmitting several MB of data per frame to the computer. Using a DSP based camera simplifies the task and reduces the cost of the solution. The camera can detect faces employing multiple dynamic fields of view, and tracking their movement across the frame. This enables delivering high sub-frame rates to the host – rates that traditional USB cannot normally provide for full frames.

Other applications include component placement in the production line (fiducial detection), recognition of various types of somatic cells in a micro-biology laboratory, on-the-fly edge detection & histograms, lookup tables and much more.