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Content archived on 2024-06-16

Cameras as multi-functional sensors for automated processes

Final Report Summary - MULTISENS (Cameras as multifunctional sensors for automated processes)

The aim of the MULTISENS project was to develop a smart camera for process control and fault detection in automated machines. The camera would replace several sensors, thereby considerably reducing the machines' setup time. Two prototypes had been developed which were pertinent to low-speed as well as high-speed applications. The camera device had been combined with a processing unit, which visually interprets image sequences of automated processes, reports processing malfunctions as well as assists in achieving the right sequence of events.

Specifically, the project main objectives were:
- algorithm development for high-speed analysis of moving objects;
- development of methods for visual interpretation of image sequences;
- prototype development of a camera / processing system capable of processing of either 25 frames or 100 frames per second;
- installation and tests on automated machines stemming from the robotics, automation and assembly field;
- exploitation of results.

Regarding the analysis of moving objects, the project adopted a vision-based logical sensor approach based on the application of a set of Image processing and analysis (IPA) algorithms which detect a measurable property in a user-defined Region of interest (ROI). Four different types of IPA algorithms had been implemented; namely, preprocessing, core analysis, post-processing as well as decision algorithms. As far as the image sequences are concerned, the project developed software components which test and validate the Vehicle-borne laser scanning (VBLS) approach as well as Compound logical sensors (CLSs), the latter of which process the output of VBLS. The capabilities of the software associate with scenarios where several events occur one after another. Finally, the project developed a system which consists of a sophisticated environment in which someone can set and parameterise complex logical sensors as well as a runtime system running on an intelligent camera. In addition, IPA algorithms, CLSs operating on this platform ensure real-time operation.

The project has contributed considerably to the competitiveness of participating Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) as it has reduced the cost of setting up machines and promoted the cooperation between SMEs and the Research and technical development (RTD) performers with the aim to open new markets.