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Matrox Design Assistant X

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  • Work with multiple cameras
  • Interface to third-party 3D sensor
  • Photometric stereo tool enhances surface irregularities
  • Classification step that leverages deep learning
  • Maintain control and independence
  • Solve machine vision applications
  • Increase productivity and reduce development costs
  • Protect against inappropriate changes


SKU: Matrox Design Assistant 5.1-1. Categories: , , , , , .
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Matrox® Design Assistant X

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.

Matrox Design Assistant at a glance

Solve machine vision applications efficiently by constructing flowcharts instead of writing program code
Choose the best platform for the job within a hardwareindependent environment that supports Matrox smart cameras and vision controllers, and third-party PCs with GigE Vision or USB3 Vision cameras
Tackle machine vision applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, locating, measuring, reading, and verifying
Use a single program for creating both the application logic and operator interface
Work with multiple cameras all within the same project or per project running concurrently and independently from one another2
Interface to third-party 3D sensors to process and analyze their depth map
Rely on a common underlying vision library for the same results with a Matrox smart camera, vision system, or third-party computer
Maximize productivity with instant feedback on image analysis and processing operations
Receive immediate, pertinent assistance through an integrated contextual guide
Communicate actions and results to other automation and enterprise equipment via discrete Matrox I/Os, RS-232, and Ethernet (TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP™3 , Modbus®, PROFINET®, and native robot interfaces)
Maintain control and independence through the ability to create custom flowchart steps
Increase productivity and reduce development costs with Matrox Vision Academy online and on-premises training
Protect against inappropriate changes with the Project Change Validator tool

Application design

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
analysis and processing, communication, flow-control, and I/O. Outputs from one step, which can be images and/or alphanumeric results, are easily linked to the appropriate inputs of any other step. Decision making is performed using a conditional step, where the logical expression is described interactively. Results from image analysis and processing steps are immediately displayed to permit the quick tuning of parameters. A contextual guide provides assistance for every step in the flowchart. Flowchart legibility is maintained by grouping steps into sub-flowcharts.

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)
and outputs (original or derived results, and status indicators). A filmstrip view is also available to keep track of and navigate to previously analyzed images. The operator interface can be further customized using a third-party HTML editor.

Why a flowchart?

The flowchart is a universally accessible, recognized, and understood method of describing the sequence of operations in a process. Manufacturing engineers and technicians in particular have all been exposed to the intuitive, logical, and visual nature of the flowchart.

Create custom flowchart steps

Users have the ability to extend the capabilities of Matrox Design Assistant by way of the included Custom Step software development kit (SDK). The SDK, in combination with Microsoft® Visual Studio® 2013/2015/2017 enables the creation of custom flowchart steps using the C# programming language. These steps can implement proprietary image analysis and processing, as well as proprietary communication protocols. The SDK comes with numerous project samples to accelerate development.


Custom Step SDK

Release X highlights

  • Multiple run-times allow for multiple independent projects to concurrently execute on the same platform
  • Interface to third-party 3D sensors to process and analyze their depth map
  • Photometric stereo tool enhances surface irregularities
    such as embossed or engraved features, scratches or indentations
  • Classification step that leverages deep learning to inspect images of highly textured, naturally varying, and acceptably deformed goods
  • Shape finding tools for locating circular, elliptical, rectangular, and line segment features








Application deployment

Once development is complete, the project, with flowchart and operator interface, is deployed either locally or remotely. Local deployment is to the samecomputer or Matrox vision controller as was used for development. Remote deployment is to a different computer, including a Matrox vision controller or a Matrox smart camera.

Project templates for quicker start-up

Matrox Design Assistant includes a series of project templates and video tutorials to help new developers get up and running quickly.

These templates serve as either functional applications or application frameworks intended as a foundation for a target application. Templates also permit dynamic modifications, allowing users to tweak functionality at run-time and immediately see the outcome of any adjustments. The project templates address typical application areas, with examples for:

  • Barcode and 2D code reading
  • Presence / Absence
  • Recipes
  • Robot guidance (Pick-and-Place)
  • Dot-matrix text reading (SureDotOCR)
Click to enlarge

More information on templates can be found on the Quick Start Page of Matrox Design Assistant software.

Matrox Design Assistant software dashboard

Project templates

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.

Click to enlarge


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.

Click to enlarge

Design a customized Operator View

Click to enlarge

Resulting Operator View as seen in a web browser

Security features

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.

4. Internet Explorer, Google Chrome™  / Chromium, and Firefox®.

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.

  • Pattern recognition
  • Feature extraction and analysis
  • 1D and 2D measurements
  • Color analysis
  • Character recognition
  • 1D and 2D code reading and verification
  • Calibration
  • Basic image processing

Matrox Profiler

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.

Click to enlarge

Matrox Profiler

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.

Matrox Design Assistant

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.
5. Currently supports ABB IRC5, DENSO RC8, Epson RC420+ / RC520+, Fanuc LRMate200iC / LRMate200iD, KUKA KR C2, and Stäubli CS8 / CS8C HP / CS9 controllers.

Matrox Design Assistant X



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