Traditional machine vision systems consist of a camera, optics attached to the camera, lighting and a computer which has the software for image manipulation and analysis. As processors have grown in the power, but became smaller in size, it is now a possible to integrate image manipulation and analysis features into the same chassis with the camera. Thus no seperate computer is no longer needed.
Smart camera on the simplest form is a case, which includes a camera, a processor for image manipulation and analysis and also a memory circuit. The program itself is still needed to be done with a computer for that specific application. When the program is done, it’s transferred to the smart cameras memory, and the camera uses the program from it’s memory with settings that came with the program. After the program has been transferred, the computer can be de-attached from the camera and the camera will work independently. If the program needs to be modified, the program can be modified with any computer and then just uploaded back to the camera’s memory so it can start using the new version of the program.