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64 Imaging for Robotics part1


This article is from the Robotics FAQ, by Kevin Dowling nivek@cs.cmu.edu with numerous contributions by others.

64 Imaging for Robotics part1

[This is a new and incomplete section - need more information here]
There are a wide variety of frame grabbers, computer vision systems
and image processing tools available. For VME, Multibus, PC Bus,
even SBUS and STD, there are a number of options for getting images
into your computer.

"Analogic Corporation"
8 Centennial Drive
Peabody, MA 01960
tel: 508.977.3000 Howard Cohen
fax: 508.977.6813

RGB, Y/C, NTSC, RS-170A, CCIR, RS-343A

up to 16mb

SCSI (2.5 Mb/s asynch, or 5 Mb/s synch.) Can be interfaced to
PC/ISA via SCSI card.

TMS320C31 33.3 MHz, 33.3 MFLOPs, 16.7 MIPS. Analogic also
provides an 'ISA bus Floating-Point DSP Signal Processor' AP85c
with a SCSI port and 5 TMS320C31 processors for 200 MFLOPs, and
up to 16Mb of global DRAM and upt to 1Mb of local SRAM per

RS-343A, CCIR, NTSC, or S-Video display output. User programmed
RS-232 port for debugging, or whatever. An optional
multi-tasking realtime DSP operating system written by Analogic
is available. DASM-VIP with 16Mb costs $5995. The AP85c with
16Mb is $12,600.

"Cognex Corp."
One Vision Drive
Natick, MA 01760-2059
tel: 508.650.3000 Joseph B. Considine - sales rep
tel: 508.650.3332
Offers a vision system mostly targeted for industry. Good selection
of image processing routines. "5000 Series"

Up to 4 cameras multiplexed, RS-170 or CCIR 12 bit grey scale

Memory: up to 16Mb


25Mhz 68030, 68882 Floating point coprocessor, 'VC-1' custom
ASIC for 2D correlation, blob analysis, histograms, and various
transforms, 'VC-2' custom ASIC for character recognition, line
finding, edge detection, Gaussian and LaPlacian filtering.

Functions as VGA adapter eliminating the need for a separate
video card -- allows display of images. Also provides RGB and
monochrome video outputs.

"Coreco Inc."
6969 Trans-Canada Highway
Suite 113
St. Laurent Quebec
Canada H4T 1V8
tel: 514.333.1301
tel: 800.361.4914 (USA) Ralph Tesson - sales rep
fax: 514.333.1388
A variety of ISA DSP-based bus frame grabbers and imaging cards for
PCs. Inputs for many cards includes RGB, NTSC, RS-170, CCIR, or PAL
24 bit color, Y-C, RS-330, up to 16Mb VRAM and 64Mb DRAM. DSP-based
boards. Outputs include external display support, composite video
etc. Wide variety of convolutions and logical operations on images
available including histogramming.

"Current Technology Inc"
97 Madbury Road
Durham, NH 03824
tel: 603.868.2270
contact: Michael Glover
fax: 603.838.1352
"FF1 Frame Grabber"

RS-170 or CCIR

up to 1024x1024x16 bits image memory.

Half-size XT slot.

Analog Devices ADSP 2105 DSP (20 MOPs). Performs 3x3
convolution in 390 ms.

Library of C callable functions, and windows DLL. Very
inexpensive -- $995.

"Data Cube "
[real-time frame buffers and imaging analysis] [need address]

"Data Translation"
100 Locke Drive
Marlboro, MA 01752
tel: (508) 481-3700
tel: (800) 525-8528 fax: (508) 481-8627 Offers 8 different models of
general purpose monochome frame grabbers with various resolutions
and memory sizes.

"Dipix Technologies Inc."
1051 Baxter Road
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K2C 3P1
tel: 613.596.4942
tel: 800.724.5929
contact: Paul Lamar X146 Regional Sales Mgr
Dipix offers 3 general purpose frame-grabbers:
"XPG-1000 Power Grabber"

RS-170, CCIR, digital, or programmable. Multiple input modules.

up to 256Mb of image memory, 512Kb cache

ISA/VL and PCI bus

50 Mhz TMS320C40 DSP from TI (which is programmable in C) and
'Power Processing Module' with on-board ALU, CONV, and HIST.

Optional real-time display

"P360 Power Grabber"

4 analog or one 8 or 16-bit digital input, programmable, or
RS-170, RS-330, CCIR.

up to 80Mb (4 min)


TMS320C30 DSP from TI (which is programmable in C). DT-Connect

Realtime display available

"FPG-44 Power Grabber"

Same as XPG-1000

512kb to 8 MB 0 wait state SRAM

TMS320C44 DSP from TI (programmable in C)

real-time display card available software compatible with above

"ImageNation Corporation"
P.O. Box 276
Beaverton, OR 97075-0276
tel: 503.641.7408
tel: 800.366.9131
fax: 503.643.2458
bbs: 503.626.7763
net: 75211.2640@compuserve.com
ImageNation makes video frame grabbers in a variety of
configurations and options.
ImageNations Website is located at [63]ImageNation
CX100 Precision Video Frame Grabber
The CX100 Video Frame Grabber is a precision image capture board in
the ISA bus configuration. It is an 8 bit, half slot card ideal for
compact applications. Compatible with monochrome video in either
NTSC or CCIR formats. Allows real time capture to dual port video
RAM mapped into the computer's memory. This provides fast, random
access to the captured image for even the most demanding image
processing needs. The image transfer rate is 1 Mbyte per second. The
CX100 also has a display output for viewing live video or a captured
image on an external monochrome monitor. Analog RGB, 30 Hz
interlaced video output is an option available for false color
display (this is not VGA compatible). In addition, there is a
trigger input for synchronizing image acquisition to an external
event or for operation with an asynchronous (resettable) camera.
The CX100 is a +5 volt only design. It consumes less than three
watts and has a power down mode. The all digital synchronization
scheme provides a rock solid image and an +/- 3 nS sampling jitter
specification. Video noise is less than one LSB (least significant
bit). The automatic detection of NTSC or CCIR video, coupled with
the excellent jitter performance, ensures operation with standard
and resettable cameras as well as video recorders. Hardware
controlled field or frame grab, software adjustable offset and gain,
automatic look up table (LUT) load and non-volatile configuration is
supported. Input and output LUTs allow gamma correction, contrast
and brightness adjustment, and thresholding in real time. The
optional overlay RAM allows text and graphics to be displayed on top
of live video or a captured image. The video overlay can display 15
LUT selectable colors (gray levels).
Lots of software support is also provided. Software and examples are
available on ImageNation's BBS.
ImageNation ImageNation also offers versions of the CX frame grabber
in the compact PC/104 format. PC/104 is the familiar ISA bus in a
compact, low power, 3.6 X 3.8 inch format. It is ideal for embedded
applications. ImageNation supports multiple camera and display
applications with a four to one video multiplexor available in ISA
or PC/104 versions. Contact ImageNation today for more information.

"Imaging Technology Inc."
55 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, MA 01730-1421
tel: 617.275.2700
fax: 217.275.9590
Offers a modular vision system that can be taylored for the
application. Both VME and PC ISA/VL-bus platforms are supported. It
seems likely, however, that when all the required modules are
selected, the system will have a fairly large pricetag.
A system consists of an 'image manager' or IML which is either a VME
or PC ISA/VL-bus compatible board. It contains some framstore memory
and a slot for the 'acquisition module'. For the PC version, the IML
can be used as the system VGA adapter, eliminating the need for a
separate display card or module. To add one of the many available
computational modules, the 'Computational Module Controller' or CML
must be purchased, which also plugs onto (sort of) the IML. The CML
has slots for either one or two plug-on computational modules. So,
as you can see, it adds up quick. About $23k for a system with 2 C31
DSP computational modules. Device drivers are available for
DOS/Windows, VxWorks, OS-9, and Solaris.
There are 4 available acquisition modules:
1. Variable Scan: interfaces to RS-170 and CCIR cameras
2. Fast Analog Acquisition: interfaces to high frame rate analog
3. Color Acquisition: interfaces to NTSC, PAL, RGB or multiple
RS-170/CCIR cameras. One interesting feature of this module is the
ability to program your own color space. Otherwise, it supports
HSI, YUV, YIQ and YCrCb color spaces.
4. Digital Acquistion: interfaces to RS-422 or TTL video sources.

There are 5 available computational modules:
1. Convolver/Arithmetic Logic Unit (CM-CLU): Accelerates convolution.
e.g. a 4x4 convolution on an 8-bit 512x512 image takes 7.5 ms.
2. Programmable Accelerator (CM-PA): Contains a TMS320C31 DSP from TI
(which can be programmed in C), 4Mb image memory and 1Mb of
3. Histogram/Feature Extraction Processor (CM-HF): Performs realtime
histograms and feature detection.
4. Median and Morphological Processor (CM-MMP): performs
morphological filtering, erosion, and dilation.
5. Binary Correlator (CM-BC): Performs high-speed template matching
and binary morphology.


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