"Machine vision is the application of computer vision to industry and manufacturing. Whereas computer vision is mainly focused on machine-based image processing, machine vision most often requires also digital input/output devices and computer networks to control other manufacturing equipment such as robotic arms. Machine Vision is a subfield of engineering that encompasses computer science, optics, mechanical engineering, and industrial automation. One of the most common applications of machine Vision is the inspection of manufactured goods such as semiconductor chips, automobiles, food and pharmaceuticals. Just as human inspectors working on assembly lines visually inspect parts to judge the quality of workmanship, so machine vision systems use digital cameras, smart cameras and image processing software to perform similar inspections.

Machine vision systems are programmed to perform narrowly defined tasks such as counting objects on a conveyor, reading serial numbers, and searching for surface defects. Manufacturers favour machine vision systems for visual inspections that require high-speed, high-magnification, 24-hour operation, and/or repeatability of measurements. Frequently these tasks extend roles traditionally occupied by human beings whose degree of failure is classically high through distraction, illness and circumstance. However, humans may display finer perception over the short period and greater flexibility in classification and adaptation to new defects and quality assurance policies.

[...] Machine vision and computer vision systems are capable of processing images consistently, but computer-based image processing systems are typically designed to perform single, repetitive tasks. Despite significant improvements in the field, no machine vision or computer vision system can yet match some capabilities of human vision in terms of image comprehension, tolerance to lighting variations and image degradation, parts' variability etc.


(from Wikipedia)

Advantages of machine vision systems


• are fast and precise,
• do not get tired or get ill,
• are able to work from a large database without making mistakes and
• can usually be taught faster and more reliably than a human operator.

The measuring is usually done by the help of a regular PC but there are cameras that include the intelligence in the form of some kind of a processor and thus are able to perform the measuring themselves.

processing an image in the VXS system
illustration of image processing in the VXS system