National Instrument's (NI) CompactRIO and Single Board RIO (sbRIO) are commonly used in robotic applications. Vision systems are becoming more important and more common in this space as processing power grows and cameras improve. The challenge is software and integration of the components. NI's latest machine vision solution for LabView provides this integration making it easier for devopers to take advantage of new products such as IP cameras. This combination allows more compact solutions especially in programmable automation controllers (PACs).
The machine vision enhancements to NI's LabView are great for use in autonomous and semi-autonomous robotics applications where obstacle avoidance, pattern recognition and simultaneous localization and mapping (SLAM) are needed. Likewise, many of these enhancements address applications such as industrial surveillance and process control. Support for regular and infrared cameras has been added.
The new machine vision support adds image acquisition and image processing support. NI vision acquisition software now supports Internet Protocol (IP) cameras including ones from Basler Vision Technologies, analog frame grabbers from moviMED's AF-1501 that can acquire monochrome images. NI Vision Development Module 2009 software includes the image processing and recognition functions that are easily accessible as LabView Virtual Instruments (VI).