Jeff Bier, Founder of the Embedded Vision Alliance, captured a live demo of National Instruments’ (NI) new NI Vision Assistant 2014 at this month’s NI Week in Austin, Texas. The NI Vision Assistant is part of NI’s Vision Development Module, which was developed to enable rapid design and deployment of machine-vision applications. For 2014, NI has adapted many of its existing vision-processing algorithms for use in the FPGA hardware available in NI hardware platforms such as the company’s CompactRIO-9068 Software Designed Controller, which is based on a Xilinx Zynq Z-7020 All Programmable SoC. Moving these vision-processing algorithms into the Zynq SoC’s programmable-logic fabric improves the performance of the vision processing and free’s the Zynq SoC’s two ARM Cortex-A9 processors for other tasks.
The NI Week demo has also placed a PID controller in the Zynq SoC’s programmable logic for real-time control of the demo’s stepper motor. This allows the vision processing to be tightly coupled to the control algorithm, maximizing system-level performance.