Automate Forward: Top Three Exhibitors
Ending last Friday, Automate Forward didn't fail to provide a worthy platform for the world's best companies and products.
The event contained many highlights, including an excellent final day keynote speech from Andrew Ng on end-to-end workflow to build deep learning-powered visual inspection. Having scoured every product and booth on display, we thought we’d leave you with the top three exhibitors we visited.
Inspired by human vision, Paris-based Prophesee says its technology uses a patented sensor design and AI algorithms that mimic the eye and brain to reveal what was invisible until now using standard frame-based technology. They call this design event-based vision, offering technology that is “fundamentally different from the traditional image sensors” and a “paradigm shift in computer vision.”
Prophesee’s machine vision systems can operate in areas such as autonomous vehicles, industrial automation, IoT, security and surveillance, and AR/VR. One early application was in medical devices that restore vision to the blind. Using the booth as a base from which to showcase its event-based vision technology, some of the products included the Metavision® Packaged Sensor, the Century Arks Silkyevcam and the Image Visioncam EB, both of which are powered by Prophesee.
In 2019, inVision added Prophesee’s event-based vision reference system Onboard, to their “Top Innovation” list. More recently, it was announced that FRAMOS, a leading supplier of embedded vision solutions and 3D cameras for industrial applications, had become a global distribution and ecosystem partner for Prophesee’s Metavision® line of advanced vision products.
Founded in 2015, Zivid is a Norwegian, “pure-play” provider of industrial 3D machine vision cameras and vision software for autonomous industrial robot cells, collaborative robot (cobot) cells and other industrial automation systems. The company’s primary hardware products are the Zivid Two and Zivid One+ 3D colour cameras. They are supported by companion software products like the Zivid Software Development Kit (SDK) and the Zivid Studio, a graphical user interface (GUI).
Primarily on display at the booth was the Zivid Two, which the company calls “probably the best 3D camera in the world”. It achieves high resolution and precision point clouds of small, densely packed or highly detailed objects, distinguishing features smaller than 5 mm. Palm-sized, 880g in weight, with a 60ms acquisition time and native colour 3D point clouds, it’s easy to see why the company is so confident. Its quality lends itself to applications such as bin picking, piece picking and machine tending.
Zivid won the “Top Innovation” award by inVISION for the Zivid 3D camera in 2018, the Red Dot “Product Design Winner” award 2018, as well as being named a gold-level honouree for the Vision Systems Designs Innovators Award in 2018. With the Zivid two released in November 2020, there’ll be high hopes for it to follow in its predecessor’s footprints.
Kitov AI is an Israeli company that develop fully automated visual inspection solutions for a broad range of product lines and markets. Founded in 2014 as a spin-off of RTC Vision, which had been developing advanced computer vision algorithms for over a decade, Kitov aimed to develop a universal system that can be intuitively trained by a non-expert to inspect almost any product and to effectively replace humans at the tedious task of finding and judging defects across production lines.
Products on show at its booth included Kitov One, a Smart 3D, universal system robot that the company claim can inspect “virtually any product”. Leveraging advanced 3D computer vision and deep-learning algorithms, Kitov One supports complex 3D structures, numerous materials, and complete inspection specifications. Inspecting all sorts of materials, including labels, screws, connectors, ports and reading 1D and 2D barcodes with a cycle time between a minimum of a few seconds and a maximum of minutes, it’s worth watching it in action.
If my word isn’t enough, Kitov One received a platinum-level award for innovation by the Vision Systems Design Magazine 2018 in recognition of its breakthrough technology. The company recently announced it was collaborating with Capvidia NA (Houston, TX) to develop the CAD2SCAN, a process for using the digital 3D CAD model to automate visual inspection in production. The project is part of a $7.45 million Israel-U.S. industrial R&D foundation project.
Whilst there were many wonderful exhibitors and products on show during Automate Forward, we thought Kitov AI, Zivid and Prophesee were the most exciting. It is a coincidence they are all involved in the vision-side of the industry – perhaps they know how to paint a picture better than others. They probably ought to.
You can find more information about Kitov AI, Zivid and Prophesee on their respective websites.
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