What are Machine Vision Tools?

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  • Written By: Malcolm Tatum
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 August 2019
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Machine vision tools are a means of identifying the what allows a computer to read visual displays. Considered the visual equivalent of voice recognition, machine vision will employ one or more video cameras, and ADC (analog to digital conversion) and DSP (digital signal processing) components. The data received by use of these tools is routed to a controller, making it possible for the computer to “see” the data.

Machine vision, like many different types of vision systems, takes into consideration two important aspects of relaying the visual data. First, there is the issue of sensitivity to light conditions. The tools utilized to achieve machine vision must provide the ability to capture the data even in dim light, as well as detect impulses at invisible wavelengths that are decidedly weak. Second, machine vision tools are concerned with resolution. The capturing and processing of visual data requires that all objects within the range of view are clearly delineated. Achieving the ideal mix between sensitivity and resolution requires some adjustment from one instance to the next.


Machine vision takes in the entire range of electromagnetic wavelengths that is viewable to the human eye, and expands on that range. It is not unusual for a machine vision system to make use of infrared, ultraviolet, and X-ray wavelengths in order to achieve the correct balance of resolution and sensitivity. The process of capturing the visual data may be enhance by the presence of artificial intelligence to sharpen the depth of the objects, as well as the use of high-resolution video cameras to increase the overall quality of the data.

The use of machine vision tools today is common with many types of industrial and medical applications. Machine vision has proven to be very helpful when there is a need to identify counterfeit objects, such as a forged signature or counterfeit currency. Handwriting analysis is another function that has benefited greatly from the advances in machine vision. The textile industry employs machine vision as a means of inspecting pattern and dye consistency on fabrics and materials produced. Machine vision has also enhanced the ability to capture images for use in diagnosing medical issues.


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