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Matrox® Design Assistant is an integrated development environment (IDE) for Microsoft® Windows® where vision applications are created by constructing an intuitive flowchart instead of writing traditional program code. In addition to building a flowchart, the IDE enables users to design a graphical web-based operator interface for the application. Since Matrox Design Assistant is hardware independent, choose any computer with GigE Vision® or USB3 Vision® cameras and get the processing power needed. Work with multiple cameras all within the same project, or per project running concurrently and independently from one another2 . This field-proven software is also a perfect match for a Matrox vision controller or the Matrox Iris GTR smart camera. Matrox Design Assistant offers the freedom to choose the ideal platform for any vision project.
Flowchart and operator interface design are done within the Matrox Design Assistant IDE hosted on a computer running 64-bit Windows. A flowchart is put together using a step-by-step approach, where each step is taken from an existing toolbox and is configured interactively. The toolbox includes steps for image
In addition to flowchart design, Matrox Design Assistant enables the creation of a custom, web-based operator interface to the application through an integrated HTML visual editor. Users alter an existing template using a choice of annotations (graphics and text), inputs (edit boxes, control buttons, and image markers)
More information on templates can be found on the Quick Start Page of Matrox Design Assistant software.
Customizable developer interface
The Matrox Design Assistant user interface can be tailored by each developer. The workspace can be rearranged, even across multiple monitors, to suit individual preferences and further enhance productivity.
Operator interface viewable anywhere
The web-based operator interface, or Operator View, can be accessed locally or remotely through a HTML-5-capable web browser4. Local viewing is done on the same computer or Matrox vision controller as was used for development. Local viewing is also available with a Matrox smart camera through a simple touch screen connected to its video output and USB interface, which eliminates the need for an additional computer. Remote viewing is done from any computer, including dedicated HMI or touch-panel PCs.
A stand-alone HMI application can be created using Microsoft Visual Studio to run on the local or a remote computer as an alternative to the web-based operator interface.
Design a customized Operator View
Resulting Operator View as seen in a web browser
Access to specific Operator Views can be made to require user authentication (i.e., username and password) so only authorized personnel can modify key parameters of a running project. A project can be locked to a specific Matrox smart camera or vision controller when deployed, preventing it from running on an unauthorized platform. A project can also be encrypted during deployment to a platform, insuring that the project cannot be read or changed by unauthorized users. Projects locked to a platform are automatically encrypted.
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Image analysis and processing
Central to Matrox Design Assistant are flowchart steps for calibrating, enhancing, and transforming images, locating objects, extracting and measuring features, reading character strings, and decoding and verifying identification marks. These steps are designed to provide optimum performance and reliability.
Matrox Design Assistant includes Matrox Profiler, a separate utility to post-analyze the execution of a vision project for performance bottlenecks and timing issues. It presents the flowchart steps executed over time on a navigable timeline. Matrox Profiler permits searching for and selecting specific steps and their execution times for analysis. It computes statistics on execution times and presents these on a per step basis.
Matrox Capture Assistant
Matrox Capture Assistant is another separate utility included with Matrox Design Assistant to verify the connection to one or more GigE Vision or USB3 Vision cameras and testing video acquisition. It can obtain GigE Vision and USB3 Vision device information, collect and present acquisition statistics and provide access to acquisition (GenICam™) properties. The gathering and display of statistics can be performed when acquiring within or outside of Matrox Capture Assistant. Matrox Capture Assistant also allows the adjustment of GigE Vision driver settings and provides the means to troubleshoot connectivity issues.
Project Change Validator
Project Change Validator is a utility employing a client-server architecture for ensuring that changes made to a deployed project are not detrimental to the functioning of that project. It provides the ability to record reference images, along with the associated inspection settings and results, for a given project.
This archived reference data is then used to validate changes made to the project. Changes are validated by running the modified project with the reference data and comparing the projects’ operation against this data. Validation is performed by the server—typically running on a separate computer—which is reachable over a network.
The Matrox Design Assistant portal provides access to the validation data for management as well as the validation results. Validation requests are made on demand from the Matrox Design Assistant portal, an automation controller, or an HMI panel.
Connect to devices and networks
Matrox Design Assistant can capture images from any GigE Vision and USB3 Vision compliant camera. The software can communicate over Ethernet networks using the TCP / IP as well as the EthertNet / IP2, Modbus over TCP / IP, and PROFINET protocols, enabling interaction with programmable logic / automation controllers. Its QuickComm facility provides ready-to-go communication with these controllers. Matrox Design Assistant supports direct communication with select robot controllers5 for 2D vision-guided robotic applications.
Matrox Design Assistant can also be configured to interact with automation devices through a computer’s COM ports. Matrox Design Assistant can directly interact with the I/Os built into a Matrox vision controller, smart camera, and I/O card as well as the I/O available on a GigE Vision or USB3 Vision camera.
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2. Certification pending.
Matrox Imaging Library (MIL)1 is a comprehensive collection of software tools for developing machine vision, image analysis and medical imaging applications. MIL includes tools for every step in the process: from application feasibility, to prototyping, through to development and ultimately deployment.
The toolkit features interactive software and programming functions for image capture, processing, analysis, annotation, display and archiving. These tools are designed to enhance productivity, thereby reducing the time and effort required to bring your solution to market.
Easily and quickly solve machine vision applications without writing program code using an intuitive flowchart-based methodology, Choose the best platform for the job using a hardware-independent environment that supports any PC with any GigE Vision or USB3 Vision camera, and Also deploy the same project to a rugged and reliable Matrox vision system and smart camerav.