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MVTec MERLIC - Vision Application in 10 Minutes on Neousys Nuvo-2500

posted Oct 26, 2015, 10:28 PM by Raymond Hsu   [ updated Nov 4, 2015, 12:35 AM ]

MVTec has announced its new vision software MERLIC, which is a flow-chart like, image-centered machine vision application development software.

It has been a long time that users spend a lot of time to create PC-based machine vision application with Windows programming IDE, such as Visual Studio and Borland C++ Builder. Many powerful image processing and image analyzing library are available for these IDE. However, it usually takes time to create even a sample application with this approach, and it's also difficult to maintain the application hereafter. MERLIC from MVTec total solves this problem. I've tried out the evaluation version of MERLIC on a Neousys Bay Trail fanless controller Nuvo-2500E-POE, which provides two on-board PoE ports for GigE cameras, and share with you how easy it can be to create a machine vision application. There's also another article showing the integration of Nuvo-2500 MAIO with MERLIC.

Acquire Image from Camera in 2 Clicks

Of course, I've skipped the installation of MERLIC. After installation was done, double click the icon on the desktop to run MERLIC, and then you can see the main screen. Everything you need to do is to choose tools from the Tool Library in the left of the screen and assign the parameters.
Acquire image from camera
I randomly picked up an PoE camera on my desk and connected to the Nuvo-2500E-POE even without installing any drivers of the PoE camera. And then it was automatically recognized by MERLIC and showed in the tool. Just choose the PoE camera, and the system is capable of acquiring images from the camera within 30s. But I didn't have good items to test. And therefore, the following evaluation was done with the demo pictures installed with MERLIC. Here I used the pictures of DIP switches to check if all switches turned on.
Dip switches pictures

Create and Adjust the ROI for Image Analysis

There are tools to create ROI and make adjustment and pre-process to the image respectively. Again, just choose in the Tool Library and assign parameters, and you'll have the ROI ready to be analyzed. Here I used "Create Rectangular" under ROI creation and "Adapt Brightness" to make the switches easy for the following analysis.
ROI and preprocessing

Process the Image

Selecting proper image analysis tool is also a key for machine vision applications. However, it is beyond the scope of this article. Here I use the tool Measure Row Spacing to check positions of the DIP switches. If none of the objects are found, the positions are correct.
Result of image analysis

Front-end Panel

Not only can MERLIC captures and analyzes images but also create HMI pages. With the built-in Designer, it's very easy to create pages as user interfaces. What you have to do is to choose and locate the components, such as buttons and text boxes, you need and then connect the components to parameters in the flows. Then you're all set.
After all engineering, including the flow and UI, are completed, you don't need to run the development environment to show the UI. A simple command line with "--frontend" argument can sole run the UI.

Run-time Video

Here's a live video when the front-end UI is started by the comand line. The first half part runs continuously, and later is single-cycle. The later one better shows the result and the image.