NI Introduces Vision and Motion Hardware

October 102011
NI Introduces Vision and Motion Hardware

October 10, 2011 - National Instruments today introduced two additions to its reconfigurable I/O (RIO) technology including a reconfigurable Camera Link frame grabber for demanding embedded vision applications and a motion module for the NI CompactRIO platform. The NI PCIe-1473R frame grabber is a PC-based embedded vision board that combines field-programmable gate array (FPGA) technology with a Camera Link interface to help engineers create high-performance embedded imaging and inspection applications. The NI 9502 brushless servo drive C Series module makes it possible for engineers to drive brushless servo motors, including six new custom NI motor options, directly from the reconfigurable CompactRIO system to address advanced motion control challenges.

The NI PCIe-1473R frame grabber is ideal for advanced inspection and imaging applications that require image preprocessing and high-speed control such as medical imaging, web and surface inspection and high-speed sorting. Engineers and scientists can program the new frame grabber’s onboard FPGA with the NI LabVIEW FPGA Module for custom image processing and analysis in real time, with little to no CPU intervention. The frame grabber combines the onboard FPGA with a high-bandwidth 850 MB/s Camera Link bus, which supports a range of Camera Link configurations up to 10 taps and 80 bits. The NI PCIe-1473R also supports Power over Camera Link (PoCL) to directly power cameras with no additional cables or external power supply. With such features, the frame grabber is an off-the-shelf solution that makes it possible for engineers to create high-performance imaging applications without spending substantial time and money to develop a custom design.

With the addition of the NI 9502 motion drive module for CompactRIO, engineers can now power brushless, stepper or brushed servo motors directly with NI C Series modules to provide a compact, highly customizable solution for integrating motion into advanced control, monitoring and test systems. The NI 9502 offers 4 A continuous/8 A peak current and multiple commutation modes. To complement the module, NI is also releasing six three-phase brushless motors that are specifically designed for maximum performance and direct connectivity with the NI 9502. With these features and more, the NI 9502 helps engineers implement proprietary custom drive control algorithms at the FPGA level through LabVIEW FPGA, eliminating the need for custom firmware from a drive manufacturer.

An integral part of the NI graphical system design approach, NI RIO technology combines LabVIEW system design software with commercial off-the-shelf hardware to simplify development and shorten time to market when designing advanced control, monitoring and test systems. NI RIO hardware, which includes CompactRIO, NI Single-Board RIO, R Series boards and the PXI-based NI FlexRIO, features an architecture with powerful floating-point processors, reconfigurable FPGAs and modular I/O. All NI RIO hardware components are programmed with LabVIEW to give engineers the ability to rapidly create custom timing, signal processing and control for I/O without requiring expertise in low-level hardware description languages or board-level design.

“With its superior I/O and motion control capabilities, along with the flexibility and reliability of its onboard FPGA, the new NI CompactRIO system helped us to create a high-performance embedded monitoring and control system that matches our rigorous requirements,” said Pascal Wattellier, automation products coordinator at Serimax, an international full-service welding solutions company. “The CompactRIO system was the only commercially available solution that we could use to integrate motion control, I/O measurements, and HMI functionality within one system.”

About National Instruments
National Instruments is transforming the way engineers and scientists design, prototype and deploy systems for measurement, automation and embedded applications. NI empowers customers with off-the-shelf software such as NI LabVIEW and modular cost-effective hardware, and sells to a broad base of more than 30,000 different companies worldwide, with its largest customer representing approximately 4 percent of revenue in 2010 and no one industry representing more than 15 percent of revenue. Headquartered in Austin, Texas, NI has approximately 6,100 employees and direct operations in more than 40 countries. For the past 12 years, FORTUNE magazine has named NI one of the 100 best companies to work for in America.