“Vision is the art of seeing what is invisible to others.” -Jonathan Swift
- Much the same way as person can be blinded when walking from a dark theater into a bright sunlit parking lot, robots with camera “eyes” can similarly blinded when going from dark to light conditions. This hurdle limits machine vision accuracy. In a moment of genius, Dr. Timothy Pryor solved this problem by using microprocessors to create a highly dynamic imaging system that can image in dark conditions but that automatically adjusts when exposed to bright conditions. This resulting Feedback Imaging system is a keystone of the Vistia Portfolio. Systems deploying Vistia technology can not only adapt to various lighting environments without going “blind”, but can also image extremely small objects (such as microscopic cracks in a jet turbine blade) that were previously impossible to image (effectively, invisible) due to the sensitivity of light changes at such a small scale.
- After developing the breakthrough feedback camera system, Dr. Pryor led multiple companies dedicated to improving machine vision and general robotics over the next 40 years. Hundreds of patents were issued on breakthrough technologies featured in Vistia’s Intelligent Inspection subgroup, which are robots that use improved imaging techniques to accurately determine physical characteristics of imaged objects, such as their size, orientation, and location.
- One of the first industries to fully adopt robot vision and robot manufacturing was the auto industry. Numerous Vistia patents addressed this early demand with innovative imaging inventions collectively known as the Vistia Intelligent Assembly subgroup. Put simply, the goal of intelligent assembly subgroup is to give robots with moving arms or other elements the ability to know where they are situated in space and where the parts they are working with are located, with absolute certainty. Robots without image systems may be positionally accurate at the outset, but over time, imprecision in software adn hardware accumulates to cause errors in robotic positioning. But by using the Visitia Intelligent Assembly technologies, one can be sure that the robot executes its moves perfectly, without error, every single time.
Features and Applications
|Feedback Imaging||Vistia’s Feedback Imaging Technologies allow vision systems to dynamically respond to exponential changes in lighting conditions automatically. Using these technologies allows vision systems to work well under highly dynamic lighting situations, and also greatly increases the system’s resolution and accuracy by avoiding under/over saturation of the imaging elements.|
|Intelligent Inspection||The Imaging Inspection Technologies focus on increasing the numerical accuracy of robotic imaging analysis. Using the Intelligent Inspection technologies, a vision system can more accurately ascertain multiple objects’ position, orientation, size, and other characteristics like never before.|
|Intelligent Assembly||The Intelligent Assembly Technologies focus on making sure with 100% certainty that a robot system’s manufacturing elements are positioned where they are supposed to be. These technologies are resilient and robust: they are designed to work regardless if there is an error in code, or if a robot systems gears are rusty or poorly maintained.|
Timothy R. Pryor has devoted more than 40 years to the advancement of machine vision and man-machine interfaces. Dr. Pryor received his a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering Physics from John Hopkins, a Master’s Degree in Physics from the University of Illinois, and a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Windsor. After serving his country as Captain of a U.S. Missile control group in Northern Italy, Dr. Pryor went on to innovate numerous breakthroughs in the field of feedback vision systems, improved interfaces between “man and machine” (e.g. touch screens), automated robotic manufacturing, and motion-based gaming technology. To his name, Dr. Pryor is listed as an inventor on over 200 patent documents, and has received over 5,000 patent citations to date. From 1990 to 2000, Dr. Pryor served on The Strategic Technology Board of the US National Center for Manufacturing Sciences, and also served as the Director of the Ontario Center for Advanced Manufacturing, and the Canadian Institute for Industrial Technology. More recently, his man-machine interface patent portfolio was purchased by Apple Inc., makers of the famous touchscreen iPhone and iPad consumer electronics. Currently, Dr. Pryor serves as Director of the IRIS Mental Heath Facility in Windsor, Ontario and is actively researching and patenting new methods of physical rehabilitation through computer vision and human interface systems.