Innovations with Scorpion Compact Vision

Oslo, Norway,  November 2th, 2013

The family of Scorpion Compact Vision is extended with a series of new exciting products for 2D and 3D Machine Vision. The family targets OEM and system integrators that want a professional configurable, low cost, easy to deploy and rugged multi-camera system for serious machine vision.

Scorpion Compact Vision Family

Scorpion Compact Vision Family Picture 2013

More Scorpion Stinger innovations will follow

Thor Vollset – CEO Tordivel AS says “We are so excited with Scorpion Compact Vision. The extended Compact Vision family will make it easier for our partners to succed. The total cost of a machine vision solution will go down and everybody will be happy. The Scorpion 2D Stinger Camera with integrated illumination and the Scorpion Stinger LEDspot make it easier to deploy reliable solutions and reduce deployment cost. When we combine strobing. multiple exposured images and smart image processing we see that the illumination part of many applications can be solved only by a couple of Scorpion LEDspots.  We will continue to support and launch more Scorpion Stinger units to enhance and improve the Scorpion Compact Vision Concept for 2D and 3D machine vision.

In UK we won the Food Processing award in Robotics and Automation together with Mitsubishi and Quasar Automation for the unique 3D cake decoration system. The system is based on the Scorpion 3D Stinger MLaser Camera and we see this as an important recognition for our real-time  3D in 2D image processing concept.”

Read more in press release


Scorpion 3D Stinger wins UK Food Award in Robotics


Ziaf Hussain, telemarketing executive (left) and Kelly Booth (right) internal sales engineer at Bürkert Fluid Control Systems with Rhian Burge, advertising and direct marketing manager at Ishida Europe Ltd (centre)

Celebrating the best that the UK food industry has to offer, the 2013 Food Processing Awards displayed the best in innovation, automation and sustainable solutions.

The partners Mitsubishi Electric – Automation Systems UK , Quasar Automation and Scorpion Vision Ltd implemented an innovative 3D deposits solution that won the Robotics and Automation award.

The complete solution was put together by Quasar Automation combining Mitsubishi food safe robots and the Scorpion 3D Stinger technology.  The purpose of the solution is to be able to automatically deposit independant of the top surface shape.

Read more about 2013 winners in Food Processing.

The unique Scorpion 3D Stinger Robot Vision Technology.

The  Scorpion Compact Vision system connected to a Scorpion 3D Stinger MLaser Camera that creates an accurate 3D model of the cake top surface in real-time.  Based on the 3D model the “Happy Birthday” deposit is accurately projected onto the top surface.

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Continuous Improvement in Food & Beverage Production Conference & Exhibition


Scorpion 3D Stinger – 3D Technology for OEMs

Come and Meet us at Photonex 2012!

We’ll have a significant presence at this year’s Photonex show – the premier UK show for imaging and machine vision, which takes place at the Ricoh Stadium in Coventry on the 17th and 18th of October.

This year our focus is on Scorpion Vision Apps. A new concept in the machine vision world where people can have access to complex vision tasks with a relatively small investment in time and resources. Scorpion Vision Apps are about ease of use, competence and adding value to industrial cameras in a sophisticated way.

So we’ll be demonstrating how vision apps at Photonex:

  • How they work
  • What they look like
  • How to create your own!

So come and meet us on Stand C03. We’ll show you our current camera portfolio, with running demos from four camera manufacturers. And you’ll be able to see the Scorpion Vision Apps working too.

GigE Vision – A Technology Who’s Time has Come?

Most if not all industrial camera manufacturers have GigE Vision interfaces in their camera product range. Usually just a derivation of the camera that is in many cases also available with USB or Firewire, as legacy devices.

Most of our camera partners manufacture GigE cameras, with one notable exception being that of Unibrain who have firmly nailed their flag to the firewire mast. There are pros and cons to both technologies of course and one of the significant benefits of firewire is the extended bandwidth that is available with a 1394b network. There is also significant stability that comes with a mature technology. Sometimes we revert ‘back’ to firewire when we have our fingers burnt!

But it has to be said that – bandwidth issues aside, GigE Vision cameras are most definitely the camera of choice in many standard machine vision systems where area scan cameras are used. For higher bandwidth, Camera Link is also an obvious alternative to Firewire.

Our camera principles who have fully developed GigE Vision cameras, that is Sony, PixeLINK and The Imaging Source all implement

the interface technology in slightly different ways. My most recent experience with Sony cameras was interesting. It took a while to

The Sony XCG Camera

understand how it worked, but when it did it was rock solid. This was because they have improved on the standards that have gone before. The problem is that you think you know how something works, but then you find out that you don’t! So the lesson for me has been to approach these things with an open mind and don’t make the assumption that because you know about networks, it’ll be easy to set up….

The Imaging Source (TIS) have a reputation for good software and drivers. This has been reinforced with their latest range of Power over Ethernet cameras that are not based on previous legacy models and which now extends to 10 models (5 colour and 5 monochrome). They are small and light and can be powered directly over a 100 metre cable from the computer or a powered switch.

Installing a TIS GigE camera is simple, connect it. Run the GigE config software. Then run Image Capture, the viewing software.

Chances are, the camera will be detected and run like any USB or firewire camera that has gone before. But with long cables lengths and powered interfaces, it’s streets ahead of USB and of course doesn’t have the cable length limitations that USB or firewire  have. The cameras are DirectShow compatible which means of course that they work with Scorpion Vision Software.

So their time has come, and in various forms:

On the face of it, easy. But on closer inspection, challenging.

That’s oil drum internal inspection

When a customer asked us to provide a camera that would allow them to inspect the insides of new oil drums at the end of the production line, we made the assumption that any reasonably small camera would be good enough for the task.

However, the standard oil drum has a 2″ aperture at the top through which any camera assembly would need to fit. There are many small cameras on the market that would fit through a 2″ aperture. But taking into account the operational requirements that meant attaching the camera to an existing probe that also has to fit through the same space, meant that the majority of small industrial cameras are too big.


In addition, the specification was made more challenging because:

  • Every centimetre of the internals of the drum had to be inspected, requiring more than one camera
  • The cameras had to enter the drum and exit within 30 seconds
  • The live images needed to be displayed on a large screen
  • High resolution images were required so that the smallest objects could be detected
  • Allowing for routing around and through a moving production line, the cable distance was around 15 metres
  • The whole process had to be semi-automated so that the operators only have to watch the screen

There is one camera in our portfolio which stood out as the best candidate. Cable run had to be minimal and so power over ethernet was an obvious choice, meaning the miniature power over ethernet cameras from The Imaging Source were an ideal choice.


The cameras mounted at 180 degrees, with LED strip lights and M12 miniature lenses

Then the next problem became apparent, standard lenses are bigger than the width of the body of the camera, so we had to go to small lenses. Fortunately there is an M12 lens adapter available from The Imaging Source that converts the C mount to an M12 mount. Now we just had to find fish eye lenses with a wide enough angle to view each end of the drum.

Finally, how to illuminate. Standard lighting couldn’t be used as there was nowhere to put it. We came up with the idea of using LED strips which work off 12V DC. These attach to the side of the camera and as they are low power they don’t get very warm.

Once we’d cracked the camera and lighting problem, we then had to display the live images on the big screen. For this we used Scorpion Image Sentinel, designed for uncompressed image capture at live video speeds.

What the inside of an oil drum looks like!