Adding visual data helps a system gain a more complete understanding of its environment. In many machines, the vision system is separated from the main machine controller, and results pass through serial or Ethernet communication. However, many modern applications need lower latency, smaller size, or lower power than what a distributed system can provide. Combining the advanced control capabilities of CompactRIO with onboard image acquisition and processing provides tight synchronization between vision and I/O. With both Gigabit Ethernet and USB connectivity to cameras, CompactRIO hardware can interface with thousands of models of industrial cameras.
The performance line of CompactRIO controllers based on Intel Atom and Intel Core i7 processors supports GigE Vision cameras, which offer cable lengths up to 400 m and bandwidth up to 1 Gb/s. For surveillance applications, you can acquire compressed images from IP cameras connected to any CompactRIO target that has an Ethernet port. All CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO targets with a USB port can acquire images from compatible USB3 Vision cameras. Why USB3 Vision cameras on a USB 2.0 port? USB3 Vision provides a camera interface industry standard that you can use with NI Vision Acquisition Software to connect to hundreds of USB3 Vision cameras on the market. Machine vision camera manufacturers are quickly adopting the standard, so the availability of USB3 Vision cameras is expected to become as broad as GigE Vision cameras. Although intended for USB 3.0 ports, the standard includes the option for backward compatibility to USB 2.0 ports, which are common on many CompactRIO targets. Compatible cameras include Basler USB3 Vision cameras as well as any USB3 Vision camera with backward compatibility to USB 2.0 ports. The ability to connect to a broad range of USB3 Vision, GigE Vision, and IP cameras provides many immediate imaging options for current CompactRIO targets and users.
The software experience stays consistent because of the NI-IMAQdx driver, which eliminates the need to edit code if application requirements change the originally selected CompactRIO target or camera interface.