What’s New in the NI Vision Development Module 2009

Publish Date: Sep 28, 2012 | 3 Ratings | 3.67 out of 5 |  PDF

Overview

The NI Vision Development Module 2009 includes many new features and performance enhancements. This document provides an overview of the new algorithm and usability improvements and describes how these features can benefit you when you are implementing your vision system.

Table of Contents

  1. Improved Geometric Pattern-Matching Function
  2. New Color Classification Functionality
  3. Color Image Support for More Processing Functions
  4. New Multicore Optimizations
  5. Additional DSP Optimizations for the NI 176x Smart Cameras
  6. New Debug License for Deployment Systems
  7. 64-Bit OS Support
  8. Native .NET API to Support Visual Basic .NET and C#
  9. USB Camera Support
  10. Support for CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO Platforms

1. Improved Geometric Pattern-Matching Function

The new enhanced edge-based geometric pattern-matching function greatly improves the process of detecting hard-to-find contours and occluded features to ensure that your program matches patterns more accurately and misses fewer patterns, even when the object under inspection is rotated or scaled. 

The Edge-Based Geometric Pattern Matching VI uses an improved pattern-matching algorithm that is based on the curves, edges, and contours detected in the template and image. The algorithm uses a generalized Hough transform for matching curves found in the template image to the curves found in the target image.

The advantages of using the new algorithm include the following:

  • All curves in the template image are directly used. Because no assumption is made about the underlying geometric structure of the object, this method improves the process of matching patterns in objects without well-defined geometric features.
  • Because all curves are used, there is no need for you to specify which curves to use. This facilitates faster, lower maintenance implementation.   
  • You have the option to remove curves for performance benefits, which makes the new algorithm flexible and customizable.

Figure 1. New edge-based pattern matching is more powerful on contoured and overlapping objects

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2. New Color Classification Functionality

With the new color classification function in the Vision Development Module, you can create color templates and perform inspections based on color. You can use color classification with other inspections to increase the reliability of your machine vision application or use it independently for inspections that were previously not possible.

Color classification, the process of labeling a color based on previously learned colors, is used as a machine vision tool to inspect products in industries such as automotive, food, textiles, wood, and consumer personal products. It identifies an unknown color sample of a region in the image by comparing the region’s color feature to a set of features that conceptually represent classes of known samples.

With the new Color Classification Training Interface, you can easily create color classifications and import them into NI LabVIEW software. Simply drag an ROI over a part of an image and save your newly classified color. 

Figure 2. NI Color Classification Training Interface

Listed below are a few inspection applications that use color classification:

  • Determining if cookies have been baked properly based on their color (process control)
  • Analyzing fruits and classifying the quality of the fruit based on color (quality control)
  • Determining the quality of cotton fabrics based on color
  • Reading the color codes on electronic components, mechanical parts, or medical devices

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3. Color Image Support for More Processing Functions

With the new Vision Development Module, you can use vision algorithms on color images without converting to a noncolor supported format. The software works with RGB 32-bit, HSL 32-bit, and RGB 64-bit color formats. The algorithms featuring added support for color images with this release include:

  • Edge detection
       o   Edge tool
       o   Find straight edge
       o   Rake, spoke, concentric rake
       o   Machine vision straight edge
  • 1D bar code
  • Data matrix
  • Object character recognition (OCR)

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4. New Multicore Optimizations

In addition to multicore support improvements at the task level for LabVIEW 2009, the latest version of the Vision Development Module optimizes individual image processing algorithms to achieve improved performance on multicore processors. The following new optimizations were added for the 2009 release: 

o    Particle analysis (includes 80 particle measurements)
o    Particle analysis report  (includes 11 of the most common particle measurements)
o    Label
o    Convex hull
o    Particle filter

Many algorithms were previously optimized for multicore processing. You can find these algorithms in the New Features section of the NI Vision Development Module 8.6 Readme.

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5. Additional DSP Optimizations for the NI 176x Smart Cameras

The Vision Development Module 2009 implements digital signal processing (DSP) optimizations for more image processing algorithms. These optimizations result in a two to three times increase in performance on the NI 1762 and NI 1764 Smart Cameras with 720 MHz Texas Instruments DSP coprocessors.

ni-1764.jpg 

Figure 3. NI Smart Cameras with TI DSP Coprocessors

 

  • Operators 
    o  Add
    o  Divide
    o  Modulo
    o  Subtract
    o  Multiply
    o  Divide
    o  And
    o  Or
    o  Xor
    o  Absolute Difference
    o  Logical Difference
  • Morphology
    o  Convolute
  • Filters
    o Nth Order
  • Thresholding 
    o Threshold
    o Multithreshold
    o Auto Binary Threshold

Previous DSP Optimizations

  • Optical character recognition (OCR)
  • Data matrix
  • Pattern matching

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6. New Debug License for Deployment Systems

Starting with the Vision Development Module 2009, a debug deployment license option is now available alongside the run-time and full development options.  

With the debug deployment license, you can run your applications, step through your code and identify issues, and correct your vision application locally on your deployment system.

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7. 64-Bit OS Support

The Vision Development Module is the first LabVIEW add-on to natively support 64-bit LabVIEW 2009 for the Windows Vista and Windows 7 64-bit OSs.   

The 64-bit edition of the Vision Development Module is intended for applications that require large images (100 to 200 MB). Displaying and processing large images requires several large additional image buffers to be available simultaneously, and, in 32-bit OSs, this can result in error messages due to insufficient buffering in the OS, even in systems with 2 to 3 GB RAM. 

The new 64-bit edition of the Vision Development Module circumvents these memory issues with its native support for the 64-bit versions of the Windows Vista and Windows 7 OSs. The 64-bit edition of the Vision Development Module 2009 allows applications to operate on images of up to 2 GB in size.

Obtaining the 64-Bit Software

  1. The 64-bit edition of the Vision Development Module is available in the same installer media as the 32-bit version. It is on the physical media that you received with your purchase or you can download it here: Vision Development Module 2009
  2. The 64-bit edition of LabVIEW 2009 is shipped separately from the LabVIEW Platform DVD upon request only. You can request the physical media by going to ni.com/info and typing in lv64bit. Standard Service Program (SSP) subscribers can download it from the Services Resource Center.

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8. Native .NET API to Support Visual Basic .NET and C#

Creating machine vision applications in Microsoft Visual Studio is now easier than ever.  

The Vision Development Module 2009 features a native .NET API for programming vision applications using the .NET languages Visual Basic .NET and C#. This native support reduces development time and results in more maintainable applications because it provides a more integrated interface and major improvements on the original .NET support that used an ActiveX interoperability layer.  

The Vision Development Module 2009 also features support for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008, so that you can now use Microsoft Visual Studio 2005 and 2008 with NI Measurement Studio for your vision applications. In addition, you can generate Visual Basic .NET and C# code using the NI Vision Assistant, a tool for prototyping vision applications that is included with the full module.

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9. USB Camera Support

The Vision Acquisition Software 2009 driver package that comes included with NI Vision Development Module 2009 now natively supports any USB device with a DirectShow interface. Supported devices include cameras, webcams, microscopes, scopes, scanners, and many other consumer-grade imaging products that expose functionality through a DirectShow interface.  These devices will now populate in NI software just as IEEE 1394 and GigE Vision cameras do, and this native driver feature supports acquisition from multiple USB devices using both one-shot (snap) or continuous (grab) acquisition modes.

Learn more by reading: NI Adds USB Camera Support with 2009 Software

Figure 4. Interaction between LabVIEW, NI-IMAQdx, the DirectShow API, and a USB device's driver.

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10. Support for CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO Platforms

NI Vision Development Module 2009 can now be deployed to CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO hardware platforms for embedded medical, industrial monitoring, and autonomous robotics applications. CompactRIO is now amongst the first programmable automation controllers (PACs) to performs vision tasks and offers a fully integrated platform for advanced measurements and control.

With the NI-IMAQdx driver in Vision Acquisition Software 2009.11 or later, you can acquire compressed images from Internet Protocol (IP) cameras. In addition, the AF-1501 frame grabber from National Instruments Alliance Partner MoviMED can acquire monochrome images from analog cameras.  IP and analog camera connectivity provide low-cost options for introducing vision into NI CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO systems.

Learn more at ni.com/crio.


Figure 5. NI Vision Development Module 2009 acquires and process images from
IP and analog cameras on CompactRIO and Single-BoardRIO systems.

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