Vision software is easy to use with Firewire and USB cameras

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Scorpion Vision software exploits the built-in capability of Windows to detect and connect to Firewire and USB cameras that adhere to DirectShow and Microsoft.NET standards. This means that Scorpion Vision software has a virtually unlimited range of cameras at its disposal.

Firewire is generally the interface of choice for industrial systems due to the way it can handle multiple cameras using the same bus, but also because each camera is uniquely addressed using an identification number. Scorpion Vision Firewire systems of 10 or more cameras are not uncommon. Mixing and matching of different camera capabilities is another advantage of this technology, where a small VGA camera under EUR100 can be used for simple part verification next to a high-performance, high-resolution camera costing over EUR1000 for micron-level measurements.

The driver-level interfacing is obviously critical in this regard because a robust imaging data bus is essential for continuous high-speed frame grabbing. The PC resources need to be constantly available for the main task of processing the incoming images on the fly, with zero delay. A robust and reliable camera driver interface is therefore a major consideration in a complex multi-camera vision system. Scorpion Vision engineers tend not to use the built-in native Windows 1394 support but prefer the excellent Fire-i software by Unibrain instead.

Main features include:

  • IIDC 1.31 compliance
  • DirectShow " WDM-based drivers, WIA compatibility
  • Multiple-cameras operation from same control panel
  • Cameras preview shared by several computers
  • Frames, timed frames and live video capture in any encoding format
  • Advance IIDC features support like Partial Scan and Pixel Binning
  • TCP/IP streaming and integrated web server
  • Full user-configurable 16-bits support
  • Support for control by absolute values
  • Displays with resizing and mirroring
  • Title and time/date inclusion in the picture
  • Support of any format including user-defined (Format_7)
  • Colour RAW mode conversion
  • Capture frames in BMP (uncompressed), JPEG, TIFF and TIFF-16 bit

Fire-i software will automatically load dedicated drivers for 99 per cent of industrial Firewire cameras on the market. The software takes away the trouble of setting up individual manufacturers’ camera drivers with a universal interface that exploits the individual capability of each camera instead. Fire-i evaluation software is available on CD from Scorpion Visions stand 2313 at the IPOT exhibition at the NEC, Birmingham, on 13-14 February 2008. Further details can be found at

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