This May, Sony Corporation announced that they will be releasing a new high-speed vision sensor, the IMX382, which features include detecting and tracking objects at a thousand frames per second. Samples will be shipped in October of this year.
Some of the features of the vision sensor include a stacked configuration with a back-illuminated pixel array and signal processing circuit layer. As far as the circuit layer goes, it possesses image processing circuits and a column-parallel processor that is programmable, which ables it to deliver high-speed target detection and tracking. Due to the back-illuminated pixel array, the sensor is capable of high-sensitivity imaging. It can detect and track its targets at the rate of a thousand frames per second. The way this new sensor works is that it takes information like color and brightness from pixels and uses it to detect objects, after which it extracts the object’s centroid, moment and motion vector, with the last step of the process being the sensor outputting the data collected from the vision sensor in each frame.
On a single chip, the new vision sensor is able to image, detect targets and track them at the rate of 1,000 frames a second. Not only does this expands the range of use, it also provides new value that was tricky to achieve with the previous sensors.
Previous systems that had the image sensor of 30 fps haven’t always been able to capture fast-moving objects. But with the new image sensor being around 33 times faster than the previously used ones, it is able to capture fast-moving objects and detect an object from image information at the same time as using high-speed processing to extract information such as centroid, moment, and the motion vector. Because the results of the process can be taken from the sensor by each frame, this allows the feedback to be delivered quicker than with the usual methods. One of the great uses for this new product is detecting anomalies and malfunctions at spaces like factories and similar places where the previous sensors weren’t able to detect the problems on time, causing fatal results. With the new sensor, such events can be captured instantly, which allows for people to be able to react quickly and stop the systems.
The way most of the usual industrial robots work is by specifying motion coordinates using a program. But using the high-speed tracking function of the sensor allows feedback to be delivered to robots in real time, which enables autonomous robot operation that responds to the movement and status of objects. This will be of big help in making robot teaching more efficient, which would in result improve productivity.
On previous systems, the image processing is being done on a computer or other computing device at the later stage, but with the new sensor having it done on a single chip makes the later stage devices more compact and saves power, as well as expands system development potential by excluding certain physical boundaries.
At the same time as it starts the sample shipping, Sony plans on providing evaluation kits, which consists of the camera and control software, which would make it easy for evaluating the sensor.
Sony’s current focus is set on the sensing field. Using the technology that has been in development with sensing technologies that enable information acquisition and utilization, the company is set to pioneer new applications and new markets for image sensors.