On Tuesday, Sony introduced the IMX382: a high-speed, industrial vision sensor that performs 33 times faster than conventional designs.
The sensor, which works at 1,000 fps, will be incorporated into robots and automated machinery. At this speed, potentially fatal mistakes on productions lines are more likely to be caught, since the IMX382 allows for efficient tracking of fast-moving objects.
“Delays in detecting anomalies or malfunctions in production lines at factories and other places can produce fatal results. However, this vision sensor makes it possible to instantly capture such events, so that orders can be issued quickly to stop the system,” according to Sony in a press release.
On the robotics side, the sensor could enable bots to detect and respond to real-time movements in the surrounding area. During autonomous operations, robots will react to the current motions and status of nearby objects, which will create a more efficient and productive system.
“This vision sensor features a stacked configuration with a back-illuminated pixel array and signal processing circuit layer,” according to Sony. “The circuit layer is equipped with image processing circuits and a programmable column-parallel processor, delivering high-speed target detection and tracking.”
That specific configuration allows for high-sensitivity imaging, due to the back-illuminated pixel array infused with speedy tracking/detection. By using the pixel’s color and brightness data, the sensor can extract an object’s movement, centroid, and motion vector. Finally, the sensor outputs the data in each frame.
Sony claims that past systems implemented sensors working at 30 fps, which proved unreliable to catch fast-moving phenomena. By upping the frames per second to 1,000, the IMX382 reacts in real time, improving response intervals by a significant factor.
Traditional systems also detect and track objects at a later stage, either on a computer or another type of computing device. The vison sensor changes the game by conducting target detection, image tracking, and image processing all on a single chip.
Sony will start shipping IMX382 samples by October 2017.