Optomechatronics may have a ring of science fiction to it, but there’s nothing fictional about this very real and highly advanced technology. Optomechatronics is a fusion of optical and mechatronic engineering. For its part, Mechatronics (or Mechanical and Electronics Engineering) combines mechanical, electronic, control, systems design and computer engineering to create useful products. Optomechatronics is the next evolutionary step in multidisciplinary engineering science, whereby optical elements are introduced to enhance functionality and performance.
Founded only back in 2008, OptoMotive mehatronika specialises in developing and manufacturing specific and demanding optomechatronic systems. The company’s close links to the Faculty of Electrical Engineering and the Faculty of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ljubljana enable them to offer innovative FPGA based high-performance modular intelligent ready-made cameras as well as tailor-made FPGA vision solutions.
The implications and applications for industry are highly varied, exacting and valuable. High frame rates and synchronization features make them well suited for test and measurement applications. In industrial quality control on board image processing can make a big difference where milliseconds are crucial. And OptoMotive’s cameras can also be used as networked or standalone systems for traffic control, where the FPGA performs real-time image processing and extracts valuable information from the video data.
Similarly medical – employing high quality imaging sensors from Aptina, Sony and Cmosis – military and surveillance as well as scientific and education applications make OptoMotive intelligent camera systems powerful and flexible image and information processing solutions.
The true power of FPGAs over microprocessors – even in their entry-level Cameleon – is parallel data processing, which reduces system clock and power consumption while maintaining processing power. And firmware can be upgraded instantly to alter camera functionality.
Their Camelopard is a high-performance OptoMotive USB camera that makes use of high-performance system-on-chip (SOC) technology, combined with the latest high-speed industrial Sony CMOS sensors, providing high sensitivity and very low noise, and the large camera buffer enables capturing a sequence of events at very high speeds.
And the OptoMotive Velociraptor is every bit the aggressive imaging and output machine it sounds, featuring small and rugged design, Gigabit ethernet, turbocharged CMOSIS imaging sensor and optional real-time JPEG compression core, all meant for the most demanding of metrology and industrial applications.
OptoMotive’s formula of FPGA vision plus motion is the next evolutionary step that gives real powerful meaning to the innovation behind “Vision in motion”.