Embedded Vision System

Keywords: Vision Technology, Applications in Embedded Systems, AI&ML in Embedded, ADAS, Infotainment.

One day I was astonished to see an SMS from RTO which said that I have violated the speed limit while driving. I ended up paying a decent fine.

Then I realized that we need some third eye 🧐 or a Spy who does a diligent watch on road signs which usually we human beings are lazy in monitoring while on road. Here comes to me the idea of Synergising Vision Technology and Embedded – though it is an existing concept I would like to share information in the form of an article.

Vision Technology is a part of artificial intelligence. Precisely vision technology replicates certain functions of human vision with quick and accurate results. The technology helps to automate visual understanding from a sequence of images with the help of AI and Machine Learning (ML) algorithms.

In order to get the images we need a camera and to process the images we need some image processor, so camera when combined with processor becomes Embedded Vision System. An embedded vision system combines image capture and image processing capabilities into one system.

Components of an Embedded Vision System

  • Processors

The two main types of image processors are graphics processing units (GPUs) and field programmable gate arrays (FPGAs).

GPUs are widely used in embedded vision systems because of their ability to deliver large amounts of parallel computing potential, especially to accelerate the portions of processing that deal with pixel data.

FPGAs advantage is that they are hardware representations of algorithms, making them much faster. FPGAs provide the highest processing potential with computing performance in the trillions of multiply-accumulates/sec (tera-MACs). FPGAs can simultaneously accelerate multiple portions of a computer vision pipeline.

  • Interface

The interface between a sensor and processor is a vital process in any embedded vision system. There are several potential interfaces an embedded system could use, and each has their cost and performance tradeoffs.

USB 3.0 is often a simple plug and play solution.

Low Voltage Differential signaling (LVDS) where cables can be several meters long.

Flat flex cables where cables often cannot exceed 20 centimeters in length.

  • Vision Modules

Typically, these are available as sensor modules or camera modules.

Image sensor module: An image sensor module is just an image sensor on a PCB.

Camera module: Camera module comes with readily available API’s, SDK’s, drivers, documentation, support etc and with Onboard image processing capabilities.

Few applications of an Embedded Vision System

  • Self Driving Cars
  • Medical Field
  • Pharmaceutical Manufacturing & Processing
  • Goods packaging
  • Electronics Manufacturing

THANK YOU and many more posts coming your way!

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