Archive-name: robotics-faq/part4
Last-modified: Mon Dec 12 12:00:45 1994

This is part 4 of 5 of the comp.robotics Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) list.
This FAQ addresses commonly asked questions relating to robotics.
Copyright Notice

This FAQ was compiled and written by Kevin Dowling with numerous
contributions by readers of comp.robotics. Acknowledgements are listed
at the end of the FAQ.

This post, as a collection of information, is Copyright 1994 Kevin
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Changes, additions, comments, suggestions and questions to:
Kevin Dowling				tel:	412.268.8830
Robotics Institute			fax:	412.268.5895
Carnegie Mellon University		net:
Pittsburgh, PA 15213

Part 4/5

 	[10] What Robotics related products are there?
		[10.1] Sensors
			[10.1.1] Cameras
			[10.1.2] Inertial measurement devices and gyros
			[10.1.3] Rangefinding devices
			[10.1.4] Force/torque, accelerometers, tactile
			[10.1.5] Sonar sensors
			[10.1.6] Pan/tilt mechanisms
			[10.1.7] Measuring robot position
			[10.1.8] Measuring linear motion
			[10.1.9] Interfacing sensors
		[10.2] Actuators
			[10.2.1] RC-Servos
			[10.2.2] Shape memory materials
			[10.2.3] Stepper Motor Controller
		[10.3] Imaging for Robotics
                [10.4] Wireless Communication
			[10.4.1] RF Modems
			[10.4.1] RF Video
			[10.4.2] RF Ethernet
                [10.5] Robot Parts: Suppliers and Sources

[10] What Robotics related products are there?
	Robots are amazingly interdisciplinary; systems are comprised
of mechanics, electronics, hardware and software and issues germane to
all these catagories. As a result, the design and constructions of
such systems requires a corresponding variety of components and parts.

This section provides information about products available for some of
these areas.

[10.1] Sensors

	This list covers only the most frequently requested types of
robot sensors. These include point-range sensors, cameras, and
acoustic devices. See Sensors magazine <in periodical section of this
FAQ> directory for a large and comprehensive list. This list covers
the following: 

	[10.1.1] Cameras
	[10.1.2] Inertial measurement devices and gyros
	[10.1.3] Rangefinding devices
	[10.1.4] Force/torque, accelerometers, tactile
	[10.1.5] Sonar sensors
	[10.1.6] Pan/tilt mechanisms
	[10.1.7] Robot position and 3DOF input devices 
	[10.1.8] Measuring linear motion
	[10.1.9] Interfacing sensors

[10.1.1] Cameras

	There are a large number of cameras on the market and even
many consumer products such as the smaller camcorders are inexpensive
and suitable for some imaging applications. I'll try to list some
different and unusual ones here.
	Note that although some of these cameras are very small many
of them are appended to a large box of electronics via a cable that
supplies power and transmits video. For mobile applications DC power
inputs may be an issue as well. I've also included servo-lens products
as well in this section.

CCTV Corporation
280 Huyler St.
South Hackensack, NJ 07606
tel: 201.489.9595
tel: 800.221.2240
fax: 201.489.0111 
	CCTV makes a number of small CCD surveillance cameras. Some as
small as a pack of cigarettes that sell for less than $300. Small
cameras -- 'Pincam' 1.5"x1.5"x.75" pinhole camera for $200.  MOD-250
and MOD-275 are all single PC board cameras with wide angle 3.6 mm
lenses 514x491V resolution, and composite outputs.  Other cameras come
in unique enclosures for surveilance (e.g. cigarette packs, clocks,
smoke detectors).

P.O. Box 85623 
San Diego, CA 92186-5623
tel: 619.277.6700 X225
fax: 619.277.0221
	Cohu makes a number of solid state cameras including board
level and remote head devices. The 1100 series is designed for OEM
use. It outputs standard RS-170 with 768x494 CCD resolution.
10cmx4.5cmx1.6cm w/o lens. Other units include the 550 series
Intensified Monochrome CCD Camera for low-light applications. The 4110
has digital output (eliminates pixel jitter), The 6X00 series are
small monochrome remote head cameras and the 8000 series cameras are
color remote head devices. A variety of ouputs are available
includeing NTSC, RGB, PAL/Y-C. A high resolution unit, the 8410
series, provides 1134x486 pixels (850 horz TV lines)

DAK Industries
8200 Remnet Ave
Canoga Park, CA 91304
tel: 800.325.0800 (ordering)
tel: 800.888.9818 (technical)
fax: 818.888.2837
	DAK sells all kinds of gadgets for the home and business. One
device is a security camera that is smaller than a credit card (length
and width) and 38mm deep. B/W 251,904 pixels, 60 degree lens and
built-in microphone. Has built-in IR transmitters for seeing in total
darkness.  $199 for camera, 20m cable, AC adapter and stands. Other
packages include monitors and two-camera switcher for $299 total.
Extra cable is $29.90

Dalsa Inc
605 McMurray Rd.
Waterloo, ON, Canada N2V 2E9
tel: 519.886.6000
	Modular cameras -- you choose the entire configuration from
the CCD device to the video output format.  Known for their large
selection of high speed, high sensitivity and high resolution CCD
chips (up to 25 million pixels on a single chip CCD).

Electrim Corp.
P.O. Box 2074
Princeton, NJ. 08543
tel: 609.683.5546
fax: 609.683.5882
	Offers digitial cameras and acquisition cards in an integrated system
for use with PC's.  The EDC-1000C is a complete image acquisition 
system with a 751x488v resolution camera that supports 24 bit color for $950
(including the PC interface card).  The EDC-1000HR is the monochrome version.  
A recently released system (11/94) offers a ADSP2101 DSP on board the 
acquisition card. 

Elmo Mfg Corp
70 New Hyde Park Rd.
New Hyde Park, NY 11040
tel: 516.775.3200
fax: 516.775.3297
	Micro-sized cameras including a 12mm color unit, the UN411E.
The ME441E is a remote head B&W ccd camera for machine vision
applications. 17mm, 14g. Wide variety of features including
electronics shuttering, field/frame modes, interlace and non-interlace

Fortunel Systems, Inc.
103 Ivywood Lane
Cary, NC  27511
tel: 919-851-9100
fax: 919-859-9800
Servolens is a video-based computer-controlled motorized lens designed
for active vision. It is connected to the computer through a standard
RS232 serial port. Each axis (field of view, focusing distance, iris
opening) is independently controlled and fully calibrated (encoder
feedback). The following auto functions are supported: auto-iris,
auto-focus and auto-zoom (keeps apparent size of object constant). Two
models are available, based on zoom factor: x6 and x10. A C++ class
library in source code format is also available to control the lens
on DOS and UNIX platforms.

Gateway Electronics, INC.
8123 Page Blvd.
St. Louis, MO 63130
tel: 314.427.6116
	Ultra Minature Camera $149.50. 1.6" X 1.8" X 1" with a 3.6 mm
wide angle lens a 1/3 CCD sensor 380 lines of resolution and
electronic sutter time of 1/60 - 1/50,000 sec. 12 VDC Video Camera and
monitor combination 9" solid state monitor. This is a closed circuit
camera monitor system that runs on 115 VAC. There is also a microphone
in the Camera. $125.00

Hamamatsu Corp.
360 Foothill Road
Bridewater, NJ 08807-0910
908 231-1116
908 231-0852 (fax)
	Offers a linup of general purpose single CCD cameras.  The
C4200 is a 768x493V single CCD color camera.  The C3967 is a 3 CCD
remote head color camera with 786x493V resolution. They also offer
off-the-shelf image improvement/enhancing hardware and CCD chips

Images Company
P.O. Box 140742
Staten Island, NY 10314
tel: 718.698.8305
	Microminature B/W video camera $200.00. TV Transmitter (KIT)

Marshall Electronics
Culver City, CA
Contact: Steve Kraig
tel: 310.390.6608 
	World's smallest low-cost digital camera on a single chip;
under $10 for volume users. It is the first commercially available
image sensor to have a built-in A/D converter. The Digital Video
Camera Chip, VVL1070 delivers a digitized B&W image through
processor-compatible serial and parallel ports. The IC uses a
proprietary CMOS sensor technology developed by VLSI Vision Ltd.,
which also is developing a whole series of single-chip EIA cameras
that will be shortly introduced to the American market. 

The chip features a 160 x 160 pixel array.  Pixel size is 10.5 x 10.5
microns. All circuitry to drive and sense the array is packaged in a
single Optical Quad Flatpak.  The digital converter provides an 8-bit
digital output for serial or parallel interface. Other features
include an analog output with sync pulses, wide-range electronic
exposure control for use with a variety of low-cost fixed-aperture
lenses and automatic black level circuitry. Power consumption is less
than 100mw.

An Engineering Level Evaluation Kit is available to reduce development
costs and allow designers to rapidly develop a prototype using their
own defined interface circuitry.  The kit includes a fully operational
PCB using an LCC with glass lid mounted in an anodized aluminum
enclosure with both a "C" mount 12mm lens and a wide-angle 4.3mm
fixed-focus lens.

Also offers both a 330 line and 510x492v resolution miniature color cameras.

Micro Video Products
16201 Osborne
St. Westminster, CA 92683
tel: 714.842.4648
tel: 800.473.0538
	Mini B/W camera $179.00 2.5x2.5x5cm and 70g.  7-14 VCD and
80 milliamps Also carry underwater cameras, and transmitter/recievers
for video.

NEC America
1555 Walnut Hill Lane
Irving, TX 75038
tel: 214.751.7000 
tel: 800.323.6656
	Offers many types of general purpose monochrome cameras as
well as a 811x508V resolution color camera with a variety of output
formats (RGB, NTSC, Y/C). The TI-324A is a small high-res B/W CCD
camera designed for machine vision and robotics applications. A
variety of other B/W and Color CCD cameras are also made.

tel: 201.392.4576 
John Gregler - sales rep
Sells a complete line of monochrome cameras and a high performance 
broadcast quality 3 CCD RGB color camera.

Pulnix America Inc.
1330 Orleans Dr.
Sunnyvale, CA 94089
408 747-0300
800 445-5444 x127  Katie McVeigh - sales rep
Offers gereral purpose, reasonably priced CCD cameras.  The TMC-7RGB is a
768x494V resolution color camera with electronic shutter for $1100.  
Many monochrome cameras are available including a high resolution 1024x1024V. 
The 'Card-Cam' line of cameras are small PC board cameras with simple C-mount
remote heads.  

Resources UN-LTD.
8030 South Willow Street, Bldg 2
Manchester, NH 03109
tel: 603.668.2499
	CCD Micro Camera From Chinon. $159.00 B/W 1/3" CCD with a full
250,000+ pixels. 350 lines of resolution. Auto gain control and
electronic shutter. 9 VDC at 80 milliamps. Adjustable focus 4mm, f 1.8
lens (provides 78 degree FOV, 10mm to infinity). Standard Composite
video out. Weighs 14g, IR Sensitive.

Sony Electronics Inc.
1200 N. Arlington Heights Road
Itasca, IL 60143
tel: 708.773.7604  Karel Heike -- sales rep
	Sony XC/999/999P is a nice small color CCD camera the size of
a microphone. CCD resolution is 768Hx493V. The 999 is NTSC and the
999P is the PAL format.  XC-75 has small camera head and separate
electronics.  The XC711 is a nice general purpose single CCD color
camera with 768x493V resolution, but not as expensive as to XC999.
The XC-711 RR is the remote head version.  An appreciable lineup of
monochrome cameras are offered as well.

13552 Research Blvd #B
Austin, TX 78750
tel: 512.335.9777
fax: 512.335.1925
	Electronic timers and beepers, miniature cameras and
transmitters. Super Circuits specializes in affordable microvideo
products.  One of the tiny cameras, the PC-9XS is about the size of a
silver dollar, has 380 lines resolution, 1 lux rating at a price of
only $149.  Some of the cameras go down to .2 lux. Other products
include small color cameras, ATV UHF transmitter kits, Short range
transmitter sets, and other specialty video products.

Texas Instruments
TI makes a $35 CCD Imager, the TC-211, with 192x165 resolution.
Following article is on a design for a camera using this chip over a
parallel port from a PC. Telescope Making, Issue 46, Winter 91/92
Newark Electronics sells the TC211-M for around US$50.00 See TI's
Array Image Sensor Products data manual for more details.

Toshiba America
Information and Imaging Technologies Group
1010 Johnson Drive
Buffalo Grove, IL 60089-6900
tel: 800.253.5429
fax: 708.541.1927
	Toshiba IK-M40A high resolution microminiature color camera.
Camera head is 39mm long, 17mm diameter and weighs 16g. 1/2" CCD w/
410,000 pixels, high sensitivity (5 lux at F1.6) and electronic
shutter. RGB output standard. uses cables up to 30m. Several lenses
available. About $2K.
	Toshiba also makes a very small C-mount Lens color CCD camera,
the IK-C40A. It is only slight larger than a 30mm cube.

Wintriss Engineering Corp
6342 Ferris Square
San Diego, CA 92121
tel: 619.550.7300
tel: 800.733.8089
	Wintriss makes a 2048 pixel line scan camera that can be used
for object imaging, velocity measurement and positioning with multiple
cameras. Can be used to determine spped and trajectory of objects in
flight. This has been used in archery applications. RS485 interface
with 8Mb/sec serial data rate. Can be linked directly with Wintriss
DSP boards for post-processing and communications. Price $1250.

Xillix Technologies Corporation
Suite 200
2339 Colombia Street
Vancouver B.C. V5Y 3Y3
tel: 604.875.6161
fax: 604.872.3356
	Specializing in High-res CCD cameras. Product line includes a
12-bit 1317x1035 pixel resolution. Target market has been medical
imaging. Full computer control and compatible with a number of image
capture and display boards.

[10.1.2] Inertial measurement devices and gyros
	This includes such devices as accelerometers such as
accelerometers, gyros, and inertial devices used for measuring
orientation or acceleration of moving vehicles. Accelerometers are
devices for measuring the rate of change in velocity and can provide
estimations of distance or be used to detect high forces.

There are several gyros mainly for radio controlled helicopters. These
are rate gyros, used to sense the rate of turn about a particular axis
(usually vertical, for tail rotor control), and are designed to
connect between an R/C receiver and a servo.

These gyros work by modifying the PWM signal that the rx produces,
before it gets to the servo. The sensing is usually done by a linear
hall effect device, which senses the position of a magnet on the
bottom of the flywheel assembly. The gyros have both sensitivity and
gain controls, and some can be switched on and off remotely. They have
been used for sensing rotation about an axis for a VR headset, with
some success. The big advantage is they are relatively cheap, the big
disadvantage is high drift rate.

Andrew Corporation
10500 W. 153rd Street
Orland Park, IL 60462
tel: 708.349.5957
fax: 708.349.5294
	Fiber-optic gyro. 77mm diameter by 88mm high. Analog out
porportional to rotation rate. Also digital version available. Rate
+/- 100 degrees/sec. Stable over -40C to +85C. Power 8-13.5VDC at
250mA. Bias drift 0.005 deg/sec (18 deg/hr). 0.63kg $1100.00 for
digital version, $950 for analog.

BEI - Systron Donner
2700 Systron Drive,
Concord, CA 94518-1399
tel: 510.682.6161
fax: 510.671.6590
	GyroChip - a very small solid state angular rate sensor. Based
a quartz tuning fork device - all support electronics are included.
Max range available: +/-10 deg/sec to +/-1000 deg/sec.  Input +/- 5VDC
Output scale +/- 2.5VDC. Systron Donner also makes a variety of linear
accelerometers and inertial measurement products. 
	  Solid state six axis inertial sensor. It provides analog
signals for 3 axis acceleration and 3 axis rate. The package is
7.5cmx7.5cmx8cm, weighs ~600grams and takes +-15V unreg in (7W). Bias drift
is on the order of 0.005 deg/sec short term (0.1deg/sec long term).
	Cost is $12,000 for one or $10,000 for 2-9 (a good single axis
rate gyro usually costs $6K+).  Various acceleration and rate range
combinations are available (up to +- 20g).  Delivery is about 6wks.
A new Gyrochip two is available as well. Specs aren't quite as good
but it is cheaper.

Gyration Inc.
Saratoga CA
tel: 408.255.3016
fax: 408.255.9075
	Sells small vertical and directional gyros for ~$500. These
are standard gimballed gyros, but the drift specs probaly aren't as
good as aircraft-quality gyros. Now also sell innovative computer
pointers and devices termed 'Gyroengines' that provide quadrature
outputs from heading devices. Gyroengines are $3.5K

11601 Roosevelt Blvd
St. Petersburg, FL 33716
tel: 813.579.6604
fax: 813.579.6696
	 Honeywll manufactures the modular azimuth and postioning
system (MAPS) and utilizes ring-laser gyros. (RLG). The RLG uses two
beams of laser light rotating in opposite directions along a path
within a sealed and enclosed cavity. As the unit changes heading, the
distances the beams travel differ. This difference is can be measured
and is directly related to heading. When combined with linear
accelerometers the unit provides position and orientation. MAPS has an
RS-422 interface, is approx 22x27x38cm and is 20kg. 100W power draw.
[Rad hard and rated for howitzer gunfire!]

[Need Address]
 Wide variety of gyro and accelerometer devices.

KVH Industries
110 Enterprise Center
Middletown, RI 02840
tel: 401.847.3327
  Nice small well-designed units that provide heading data. About $1K
  w/ RS232 adapter.

Lucas NovaSensor
1055 Mission Court
Fremont, CA 94539
tel: 510.490.9100
  Lucas makes a 1"x1"x0.5" accelerometer for about $200. Good noise
  immunity but fragile.

Murata Erie North America
2200 Lake Park Drive
Smyrna, GA 30080
tel: 800.831.9172
fax: 404.436.3030
	Gyrostar piezoelectric vibrating gyroscope. Uses equilateral
triangular prism with PE elements attached to faces of prism. High
precision compared to other vibration gyroscopes. Measures augular
velocity with good linearity. Max augular vel +/- 90 deg/sec, No
hysteresis, 58x25x25mm, 45g, output is DC voltage porportional to
angular rate. 22.2mV/deg/sec scale factor.
Gerhard Weiss has provided some results of experiments with the unit:
	location: []
	directory:	/Public/Gerd/Public/

Pewatron AG
Hertistr. 27
CH-8304 Wallisellen
Tel: +41 1 830 29 44
Fax: +41 1 830 51 57
	Two-axis Inclinometer. Weight: 2.3gr, voltage: 5V, current:
20mA, dimension: 12 x 12 x 7 mm, Output: 2 analog output. Sine and
cosine for 360 degree, voltage swing: +/- 0.4V, Price: about $100.
Rumored to have a US distributor: Dinsmore. [if you have further info,
please send it to me - nivek]

Summitt Instruments
tel: 216.659.3312
	Three-axis accelerometer. A tiny cube just under 2.5cm on a
side.  Approx $1K

Sundance Model Products
2427 W. Adrian St.
Newbury Park, CA 91320
tel: 805.498.8857
	Lists a solid state gyro for model helicopters.  The SSG/1 is
38mm x 38mm x 13mm and weighs 43g.  Completely solid state with no
motor or moving parts. Claims to draw 10% of the power of a gyro with
moving parts. No drift specs.

Electrolytic tilt sensors or clinometers (not using anything so
nasty as mercury, but a conductive fluid whose resistance across
various electrodes provides an analog signal proportional to tilt
angle). They're not too expensive, although they do tend to have
long settling times (up to a few seconds). A couple of US sources:

The Fredericks Company
tel: 215.947.2500
fax: 215.947.7464

Applied Geomechanics
tel: 408.462.2801
fax: 408.462.4418
	The smallest, cheapest model is 5x5x2 cm and about $250.  It
has a 5-terminal electrolytic cell that can measure tilt in two axes
to +-20 degrees (optional +-45 degrees).  The characteristic "slosh"
frequency is about 10 Hz, and it exhibits sub-second settling times
and a resolution of 0.01 degrees. The output is two analog signals (X
and Y, or Roll and Pitch, if you prefer).  It runs off of a 9-volt

[10.1.3] Rangefinding devices

There are four basic techniques for distance measurement using electro
magetic radiation.

These are 
1 Pulse Timing
2 Phase Comparison
3 Doppler Methods
4 Interferometry 

All are used in practice for distance measurement depending on the
particular application.

Pulse timing, as the name suggests, involves measuring the round time
for a signal to be transmitted to a reflective surface and return.

This is the principle used in Radar, DME for aircraft, LORAN,
Satellite Altimetry, Airborne RADAR Altimetry, Lunar Laser Ranging
etc. Some of the newer EDM instruments used by surveyor are also using
pulse timing and accuracies of +/- 5mm are possible. Most of the
military range finders also use pulse timing.  The GPS system uses
pulse timing for coarse distance measurement.  Very Long Base
Interferometry (VLBI) is also a pulse timing technique where signals
>from pulsars are timed from two or more radio telescopes and the
difference in times of arrival are converted to intercontinental
distances with a precision of a few centimetres.

Phase difference involves the use of a carrier wave which may be
modulated at different wavelengths. By measuring the difference in
phase between the transmitted signal and the received signal after it
has been reflected from the other end of the target, the distance can be
determined as an integer number (unknown) of wavelengths plus a
fraction of a wavelength which is known from the phase comparison. By
using a range of modulation frequencies the ambiguity can be
resolved. There are many applications of this technique. A wide range
of carrier frequencies are used ranging from visible through infra red
to microwave and right down to VLF. Typical instruments used by
surveyors have accuracies of +/-(1to2 mm +1to3 parts per million) and
use infra red as the carrier. Precise positioning using GPS can be
achieved by phase comparison of the carrier wave signals of the
various satellites. Accuracies in position of better than 1 part per
million can be achieved.

Doppler techniques were used in the earlier satellite positioning
systems. The received frequency of a low orbit satellite is compared
with the actual transmitted signal as a function of time. The rate of
change of frequency gives the slant range between the satellite and
the observer while the instant when the two freqencies are the same
gives the point of closest approach. By knowing the orbital parameters
of the satellite which are transmitted, the observers position can be

Interferometric methods are the same as those used in the original
Michelson Interferometer. It is used for metrology, high precision
distance measurement over short distances (up to 60 metres) and in the
definition of the metre.

	There are a variety of laser rangefinding devices that have
been built and used over the past decade for robotics use. The 3D
devices are still large, power hungry and heavy but give very nice
images suitable for fast map building and navigation work. Expect to
pay over $50K for these time-of-flight devices. Most AM Lidars measure
phase shift between outgoing and reflected beams.  A mirror system
rasters the beam forming a video-camera-like image. Some devices
supply the reflectance image as well as range which is nice for
corresponding the two. Comprehensive references include:

Electronic Distance Measurement by JM Rueger, Springer-Verlag

P. Besl, ``Active, Optical Range Imaging Sensors'', Machine Vision and
Applications, v. 1, p. 127-152, 1988.

A longer version of Besl's paper appears in ``Advances in Machine
Vision: Architectures and Applications'', J. Sanz (ed.),
Springer-Verlag, 1988.

Other good surveys are Ray Jarvis' article in IEEE TPAMI v5n2 and
Nitzan's article in IEEE PAMI v10n2.

A good report on the characterization of a particular scanner is:

Experimental Characterization of the Perceptron Laser Rangefinder, In
So Kweon, Regis Hoffman, and Eric Krotkov. Carnegie Mellon University
Technical Report, CMU-RI-TR-91-1. 1991.

M. Hebert and E. Krotkov. 3-D Measurements from Imaging Laser Radars:
How Good Are They? Int. Journal of Image and Vision Computing,
10(3):170-178, April 1992

International Journal of Robotics Research, Vol. 13, No. 4, 
Aug. 1994, pp 305-314. {get title}

A number of laboratory works have also demonstrated FM or chirp
systems which can be highly accurate (e.g. high resolution elevation
maps of coins) but these are very specialized and I don`t know of
commercial devices currently.

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL)
contact: Narinder Bains (
net: 905.823.9040 x6120
	Laser Eye ranging system. It consists of a robotic head with a
combined vision / range sensor. The sensor provides colour images and
distance to an object in the centre of the camera field of view. There
is of course software to process images from the camera and detect a
target, to control the head, communication, nice GUIs, etc. Is being
used for vehicle navigation.

>From the head position you get the bearing to the target and the
rangefinder provides you with the distance. Angular resolution is
better than 0.05 degree, the distance can be measured up to 100m with
accuracy of ~5 cm. Note that the range measurement is 1D along the
camera axis.

The cost of the vision system and complexity of the software depends
on your specific application: how difficult is it to detect and track
your vehicle, how fast is it moving, is it possible to use special
markers, is illumination constant, etc. 

Martin-Schmeisser-Weg 9
D-44227 Dortmund
	BCT in Germany makes laser-3D-scanners with a CAD-interface

ERIM (Environmental Research Institute of Michigan)
	ERIM has built a number of custom AM laser rangefinders
including those used in the ALV (Autonomous Land Vehicle) program. CMU
and Martin Marietta have both used this systems in extensive work.
Basic system was a 128x64 2fps 20m (ambiguity interval) system.

Erwin Sick GmbH.
Erwin Sick
Optic-Electronic Ltd.
Waldrich House
39 Hedley Road
St. Albans
Herfordshire AL1 5BN
tel: 0727/831121
fax: 0727/856767
PLS-100: This device measures distance by TOF from 4 cm up to 80 m,
guaranteed range of 4 m (at a black lether target), is eye-safe (IEC
Class 1), takes a 180 degree scan in 20 ms, total 25 scans a second,
angle resolution 0.5 degree (361 scan points in a scan).  This device
is build in a industrial IP65 case. And it is rather cheap (6.900,- DM
+ VAT, in Germany).

ESP Technologies
21 LeParc Drive
Lawrenceville, NJ 08648
tel: 609.275.0356
fax: 609.275.0356
$15K LED based IR ranging system. 15cm diameter rotating scanning
device with collimated LED light beam that uses phase differences to
calculate distance. Range 0.6 to 6m. 2.5cm resolution, 15cm accuracy.
1Khz update rate

Hammamatsu Corp.
New Jersey
tel: 908.231.0960
fax: 908.231.1539
Hamamatsu S4282 Light Modulation Photo IC The size of a normal
transistor (approx 1/4" square).  It has 4 leads, Vcc, Gnd, Vout,
LED. All you do is attach an IR LED to the LED lead to give you an
instant IR proximity detector (the photo diode detector is built into
the part).  Two can be aimed at each other and they won't interfere
since they'll be out of phase. They have another model with a lens
over the photo diode that is claimed could be used up to 30 feet!
Hammamatsu also sells a number of photo sensors like color sensors,
position sensitive detectors, pyroelectric sensors.
	S4282-11	short range	 $7.75 single unit
	S4282-72	long range	$19.00 single unit

IBEO Lasertechnik
Ingenieurburo fur
Elektronik + Optik
Fahrenkron 125
D 2000 Hamburg 71
tel: 040 645 87 - 01
fax: 040 645 87 - 101
2D and 3D laser scanners. 8frame/sec, 220 degree view, 4600
points/sec. Accuracy +/- 20mm (1 sigma) from 0.5 - 500? 24W power.
System specs can be configured for variety of applications

Rochester, NY
tel: 716.272.5420
Manufactures semiconductor laser diode packages and cylindrical
lenses. Packages and small and rugged.

1515 South Manchester Ave
Anaheim, CA 92802-2907
tel: 714.758.0300
Odetics has made a number of smaller laser scanners. That is, smaller
than their larger ERIM and Perceptron brethren. I have not heard any
independent reviews of the product however.

Origin Instruments
854 Greenview Drive
Grand Praire, TX 750750-2438
tel: 214.606.8740
fax: 214.606.8741
The Dynasight sensor is a 3-D optical radar that provides real-time
3-D measurements of passive targets with sub-millimeter resolution.
Automatic search and track is provided, eye-safe operation and no
adjustments or alignment required. Original application was head
tracking of computer users but end- effector tracking is also viable.
Operatin range depends on target size 0.1-1.5m for 7mm target, 0.3-4m
for 25mm target and 1 to 6m for 75mm targets. RS-232 interface.
Accuracies 1mm cross range and 4mm down range, resolutions 0.1mm cross
range and 0.4mm down range.

A number of labs have built light stripe devices using projected light
LCD shutters and laser line projectors determine distance through
geometry (as opposed to directly measuring distance through
time-of-flight means) One common need is that of generating the laser

23855 Research Drive
Farmington Hills, MI 48335-2643
tel: 313.478.7710
tel: 800.333.7753
fax: 313.478.7059
A spin-off of ERIM, Perceptron has also built a number of
AM laser rangefinders.  CMU and Caterpillar have used these for map
building and obstacle avoidance work in rough terrain navigation.
	LASAR product - provides range and reflectance. Programmable
field of view (15 to 60 deg) Vertical viewing angle from 3 to 72
degrees. Depth of field from 2 to 40 meters. Up to 1024 x 2048 pixels
per image (programmable) and 360,000 pixels/second data acquisition.
VME and PC-compatible interface cards available. Windows software
provides starting point for custom applications. Less than $50K with a
variety of performance and interface options.

Riegl Laser Measurement Systems
[company HQ is Dr. Johannes Riegl GmbH, 85 km, NW of Vienna, Austria]
Riegl USA
8516 Old Winter Garden Road
Suite 101
Orlando, FL 32835
tel: 407.294.2799
fax: 407.294.3215
	Laser range finders, laser speed sensors, laser distance
meters, motor scanners, laser radar systems. Pulsed laser devices. One
of the neatest is the Laser Scout, which gives range, azimuth and
inclination to the target and can be used with GPS to give position
coordinates of the device you are pointing at. $10K. Accuracy up to
+/- 10cm (depending on model)
	Laser Radar Scanner (LRS 90-3) is a 1D scanner with 36 deg
field of view and a +/- 3cm accuracy. 2-80m distance, $10K. There are
several other distance models as well.

Schwarz Electro-Optics
3404 N. Orange Blossom Trail
Orlando, FL 32804
tel: 407.298.1802
fax: 407.297.1794
Schwarz makes some very nice point range laser ranging devices. These
devices are slightly bigger than a soda can. About $6-12K. CMU
experience for use in simulated unmanned air vehicle platform worked
well. Their MARS (marine angle range system) is a rotating laser
device that reflects off targets in the environment. Max range up to
1000meters using corner prisms. Accuracy +/- 1m. Erebus (Dante)
Scanner used Schwarz device as base.

[10.1.4] Force/torque, accelerometers, tactile

Force measurement provides indications of magnitude and direction of
forces for use in manipulation or locomotion. A variety of control
schemes have been implemented in force controlled systems to allow
smooth and accurate control in situations that would otherwise be
precluded without such devices. A number of load cells and
acceleration measuring devices are described here:

Rich Voyles embarked on a force/torque sensor comparison many months ago and 
compiled some of the results in a paper that is available via Mosaic
or anonymous ftp.

	The paper is woefully incomplete. The JR3 sensor we borrowed
	was broken so we borrowed another and got limited data. The
	old Lord data collection is incomplete and the Assurance
	Technologies data is not fully included in the report. There
	is some data from California Cybernetics. If there is
	sufficient interest, we can finish the compilation.

	By the way, we only seek to provide the data we gathered an
	make no claims as to its accuracy or completeness. Use at your
	own risk. The opinions expressed do not represent those of
	Carnegie Mellon University nor any of its sponsors.

	Send e-mail to with the subject "More Force
	Data" if you read the report and would like to see it
	expanded. Any other comments can be put in the body.

	-Richard Voyles

Analog Devices
tel: 617.937.1426
  Analog Devices have the ADXL50 accelerometer which comes in a 10-pin
TO-5 can. It is primarily used with air-bags and has a 1994 projected
price of $5 in quantities. In the Electronic Design August 8, 1991
issue it quoted the current price as $21.75 for 1000 off quantities.
 Analog Devices ADXL50 accelerometer.
  Power Supply........................... +5V (+/- 5%)
  Measurement Range...................... +/- 50g
  Pre-Amp Zero-g output level............ +1.8V
  Pre-Amp output span.................... +1.8V (+/-1.2V) at +/-50g
  Uncommitted amp output range........... +0.25V to +4.75V
  Overall Accuracy....................... 5% of Full Scale
  Linearity.............................. 0.5% of Full Scale
  Bandwidth.............................. DC to 1kHz
  Voltage Noise (p-p)
    at BW = 0.3kHz..................... +/-0.24% of Full Scale
    at BW = 1.0kHz..................... +/-0.48% of Full Scale
  Transverse Sensitivity................. 2%
  Unpowered Shock Survival............... 2000g

Assurance Technologies (ATI)
(formerly Lord Industrial Automation)
503D Highway 70 East
Garner, North Carolina 27529
tel: 919.772.0115
fax: 919.772.8259
  Largest supplier of multi-axis force sensors. Use silicon rather than
foil strain gages for lower strain levels and increased life. F/T
sensor ratings from +/- 15lbs to +/- 150lbs (+/- 15 in-lbs to +/- 600
in-lbs) weights are 0.4 and 2.2 lbs for the 4 available sensors.
Serial or parallel digital interface or analog interface.  ATI also
makes robotic tool-changers and an RCC device for assembly operations.
An ATI sensor is also incorporated in the Hughes SMARTee end-effector.

Bonneville Scientific
1849 W. No. Temple, Bldg E.
Salt Lake City, UT 84116
tel: 801.359.0402
fax: 801.359.0416
	Array sensor system that uses PVDF ultrasonic
emmitter/detector attached to an elastomer material. Time-of-flight of
the pulse as it bounces off of other side of the material is
porportional to distance through the elastomer. The distance is
porportional the pressure on the pad. Bonneville claims it can be made
thin enough for a skin and they have pictures of it being used on a
robot finger picking up a washer which can be recognized on their
output graphics. Example product:
	Model 300 - 16x16 tactile sensor system - $5K
	TOF resolution - 12.5 ns
	Sheet thickness resolution - 6 microns
	Pressure resolution - 0.5 psi (3.4 kPa)
	Force resolution - 1g
	Rubber linearity - 5-15% deviation
	Overload - > 1000PSI (7000kPa)
	Spatial resolution - 1.8mm
	Scan rate on 16x16 pad - 240 Hz
An evaluation kit is available SE-1 Evaluation Kit - $99.00 includes
SE-1 sensor and electronics. SE-1 Sensor is $42 in single quantity.

California Cybernetics
10322 Sherman Grove
Sunland, CA 91040
tel: 818.353.5991
fax: 818.951.3889
 Six DOF F-T devices. Up to 1000Hz sampling rate, reportedly easy to

1919 Green Road
Suite B-101
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
tel: 313.668.2567
fax: 313.668.8780
net: <>
PER-force - A 6dof compact force-reflecting controller. Can be used
for teleoperationor interactive graphics applications.

Need addresses
Somewhere in MA
	Conductive rubber and conductive inks. You build a semi-rigid
circuit board with inter-digitated fingers to apply to one side of the
rubber.  The rubber has a rough surface that under increasing load
allows more rubber to contact. They can make rubber with all sorts of
conductive properties.

Force Imaging
3424 Touhy Avenue
Chicago, IL 60645-2717
tel: 708.674.7665
tel: 800.348.3240
fax: 708.674.6355
	Uniforce Force Sensors. They function similiar to a variable
resistor in an electrical circuit. As a force is exerted on the
sensor, the two layers of pressure sensitive material compress
together and cause a change in resistance which corresponds to a
change in pressure. As force increases, resistance decreases.
	A Uniforce experimenters kit is available for $550 and
includes PC-AT card, cables, software, manual and nine Uniforce
sensors in three force ranges. They have ISA boards, PCMCIA version
and a PPIO version as well. Sensors available in ranges from 0-500g to
0-400kg. Uniforce sensors can be provided in a wide variety of shapes,
sizes and force ranges. Software is also available to display force
values in real-time.

Hughes STX
4400 Forbes Blvd
Lanham, MD 20706
tel: 301.794.5016
fax: 301.306.0963
 A 6-dof end-effector with automatic load sensing and compensation.
Control modes include position control (cartesian with user spec-ed
poses and frames), impedence and force control modes. Programmable
behaviors (sliding, hinge, move-to-touch, guarded move, follow etc),
open architecture (VxWorks, VME, user-linakable libraries) and a lot
more. Interfaces available included RS-232, ethernet, RS-422 and SCSI.
Pretty amazing end-effector!

Interlink Electronics
1110 Mark Ave.
Carpinteria, CA 93013
tel: 805.484.8855
     805.484.1331 (product support)
fax: 805.484.8989
	Force Sensing resistors made from polymer thick films. Very
thin.  Response is approx. 1/R to force. Article in March 1993 issue
of Electronics Now/Radio Electronics.

22 Harter Avenue
Woodland, CA 95695
tel: 916.661.3677
  6-DOF force-torque sensors. Strain gage technology. Newer packages
have all electronics built into the sensor. Make some high-force
devices as well. CMU's Ambler used JR3's on all the feet with good
success.  Complete force torque data at 8Khz, signal digitization
within sensor body, low noise susceptibility, synch serial at 2MHz,
inexpensive cabling.

Merritt Systems, Inc.
P.O. Box 2103
Merritt Island, FL  32954-2103
Contact: Dr. Dan Wegerif
tel: 407.452.7828
	MSI is involved in the development of "Whole-Arm Sensor
Technology" under 2 NASA Phase II SBIR's.  Their proximity sensing
technology is based on IR arrays which they call "SensorCells". It
allows the use of IR, acoustic and capacitive (under-development)
sensors in the same sensor skin.

Silicon Designs, Inc.
1445-NW Mall Street
Issaquah, WA. 98027-5344
Tel: (206) 391-8329
Fax: (206) 391-0446
 Silicon Designs makes capacitive accelerometers.
	Model 1010, Digital output:
  Produces Digital pulse train in which the density of pulses
(number of pulses a second) is proprtional to applied acceleration.
It operates with a single +5 volt power supply and requires a clock of
100kHz - 1MHz. The output is ratiometric to the clock frequency and
independent of the power supply voltage. Two forms of digital signals
are provided for direct interfacing to a microprocessor or counter.
This devices comes in a PLCC package that is smaller than a penny.

	Model 1210, Analog output:
  Provides two analog outputs, 1-4 volts, or 4-1 volt, with O g's at
2.5 volts. The outputs can be used either differentially or single
ended referenced to 2.5 volts. Two reference voltages--+5.0 and +2.5
volts (nominal)-- are required; the output scale factor is ratiometric
to the +5 volt reference voltage.

  Prices start at about $100 and they offer a digital accelerometer
evaluation board for $200.

Silicon Microstructures, Inc.
46725 Fremont Boulevard
Fremont CA. 94538
tel: 510.490.5010
fax: 510.490.1119
	Model 7170 series and 7130 series capacitive accelerometers.
These are relatively large devices with built in ASIC signal
processing. They have very good accuracy specs and are
pre-calibrated. They also make pressure sensors.

Spectra Symbol
3101 West 2100 South
Salt Lake City, UT  84119
	Bend sensor for glove device. Their business is custom
membrane controls: switches, membrane potentiometers, and the bend

[10.1.5] Sonar sensors
	 The time it takes for an acoustic pulse to propagate through
 air or water, reflect from the environment and return to a detector is
 porportional to the distance.
	 Acoustic time-of-flight devices have been around for awhile
 now. The ubiquitous Polaroid device is cheap and easily integrated and
 has has found wide use in robotic devices. Other companies have
 developed nice complete turnkey sonar devices though and Polaroid is
 no longer the only choice.

119 Windsor St,
Cambridge, MA 02139
tel: 617.577.4681
fax: 617.577.3213
tel: 800.225.1000 ordering
tel: 800.225.1618 technical assistance
 Polaroid Ultrasonic Components Group offers two ultrasonic ranging kits:
	Distance range: 0.26 to 10.7 meters
	Resolution: Nominal +- 3mm to 3m, +-1% over entire range
	Sonar acceptance angle: approx. 20 degrees
	Power Requirement: 6VDC, 2.5 Amps (1 ms pulse), 150mA quiescent
	Weight: Transducer, 8.2gm, Ranging module, 18.4 gm
 Designer's Kit:
	1 transducer, 1 ranging module, electronics display accurate
	to 1/10th meter. Cost is $169
 OEM kit:
	2 transducers, 2 ranging modules. $99.
 NEW Piezotransducer kit
	2.5cm-1500cm +/- 1%, RS-232 port and analog output, extra real
	estate, $299

This section describes a simple addition to the drive circuitry, the
Polaroid ranging system can detect objects as close as 10cm.

The board has two extra signals: BLNK and BINH.  Asserting BLNK
(driving it HIGH) resets the ECHO RS-latch, and asserting BINH
shortens the internal blanking interval (which is 2.38 ms by default).
Thus, the solution would seem to lie in asserting BINH after a
reasonable amount of time (< 2.38 ms after asserting INIT) to detect
objects closer than 1.3 feet.  This doesn't work very well because
BINH is very susceptable to noise, and attaching a driver to it wreaks
havoc possibly because of the anomalous current sink during the
transmit phase. This can be fixed by asserting BLNK during the
blanking period (ie the new blanking period) while negating BINH and
asserting BIHN after the blanking period while negating BLNK.  This
can be done easily with a one-shot or some other timing device (eg
computer timer, etc).

A computer timer can be used. The timer goes HIGH tblank ms after INIT
is asserted, where tblank=0.15*dist and dist is the threshold distance
in inches).  The timer output goes to BINH and the inverted timer
output goes to BLNK. The timer output should be inverted with an
LS/TTL inverter to delay the negation of BLNK, otherwise the RS latch
may do weird things.
[From Richard LeGrand]

 Siemans - nice complete sensor package, 5 degree cone angle

 Massa - components

 Texas Instruments
	 Type SN28827 Sonar Ranging Module
	 See TI Applications Notes D2780
	 Under $50, needs only 5VDC
 Not sure if these units are still manufactured but they are often in
 surplus catalogs.

[10.1.6] Pan/Tilt devices
	A common robotic need. Most pan-tilts sold today by companies
such as Pelco and Vicon are for CCTV applications for continuous
scanning or remote operation. At most these will have potentiometers
for feedback.  A number of undersea companies make pan-tilt devices as
well that are rugged and nicely packaged, but these tend to be heavier
and more expensive than their terrestrial counterparts.

Atomic Energy of Canada Ltd. (AECL)
contact: Narinder Bains (
net: 905.823.9040 x6120
	P02 pan/tilt head. High speed with digital servos (120
deg/sec), encoders and continuous rotation. Controller as well.

Brooks Support Systems
Williamson, NY
tel: 800-836-0285
contact: Frank Dickey
	BSS makes a small pan/tilt unit:
  4.5" high by 3.5" wide x 3.5" long
  40 oz.
  12V dc
  operating current 150 mA
  pan 359 degrees
  tilts 160 degrees
  Price: $3100

CameraMan is a pan/tilt device built to support any camcorder
and has a wireless interface to an external remote control. 360 deg
pan and 50 deg of tilt.  The unit is made by ParkerVision and sold
through Columbia AudioVideo (and probably other suppliers)

CCTV Corporation
315 Hudson Street
New York, NY 10013
tel: 800.221.2240
fax: 212.463.9758
Standard CCTV pan-tilt devices like those from Vicon and
others. Inexpensive but no computer control. $557 - $1400

Directed Perception
1451 Capuchino Avenue,
Burlingame, CA 94010
tel: 415.342.9399
	Small computer controlled pan-tilt unit Model PTU-46-17.5
Weighs 1kg and can support ~1.5kg camera payload.  Very nice specs:
330 deg/sec slew, 3.06 arcmin accuracy, on-the-fly position and speed
changes. 11-40VDC unregulated power input, RS-232 interface. Can use
RS-485 using RJ-11 to provide control of multiple PT units.  Cost:
$1935 Includes PT unit, controller, cable and power supply.
	 $1800 w/o power supply.

Emco Intertest Inc
27-1 Ironia Road
Flanders, NJ 07836
tel: 201.927.2900
fax: 201.927.8004
	MicroPan PTX-400 very small P/T designed for remote viewing
with micro-CCD cameras. Weight 115g. Height under 7cm.

10 High Point Drive
Wayne, NJ 07470
tel: 201.633.5600
fax: 201.633.5216
	Fujinon CPT-10. 300 deg pan, =/- 95deg tilt. 15 deg/sec speed.
2kg. Payload 4kg. Analog input control.

tel: 615.690.5600
	Instead of a conventional camera, you use one with a very wide
fish-eye lens.  The (very distorted) image is then sent thru a box
that digitizes and processes the data in order to simulate a regular
camera.  You can (completely in software) pan, tilt, rotate, and zoom
the image with great flexibility. $10K.

6377 Nancy Ridge Drive
San Diego, CA 92121
tel: 619.452.8903
   Underwater pan-tilts including Cobra, very small design.

Remote Ocean Systems
5111-L Santa Fe Street
San Diego, CA 92109
tel: 619.483.3902
fax: 619.483.2407
   Underwater P/T systems, expensive but very nicely packaged. PT-5 is
a new subminature P/T device that can accomodate a small CCD color
camera and mini wet&dry lights. The P/T is 13.5cm high and 10cm wide.
Uses small brushless motors with harmonic drives. Radiation tolerant
and corrosion resistant. 360 scan on both axes.

RSI Research Ltd.
Pacific Marine Technology Center
#3-203 Harbour Road
Victoria, BC. CANADA  V9A 3S2
(604) 360-1025  FAX: (604) 360-1161
 Underwater Pan/tilt devices.

Hawthorne, NJ
tel: 201.423.0347
   Computer controlled P/T devices - fairly large though.

TeleRobotics International, Inc.
7325 Oak Ridge Hwy Suite 104
Knoxville, TN 37931
tel: 615.690.5600
fax: 615.690.2913
   An all-electronic pan/tilt/zoom resampler. That is, they put a box
 behind a camera with a fish-eye lens. The box has digital inputs for
 pan, tilt, zoom, rotation. The box resamples the video signal and
 produces an output as though the image were acquired by a camera with
 those parameters. Used as an alternative to pan/tilt devices.

Zebra Kinesis
(spin-off of Zebra Robotics)
Jeff Kerr
tel: 415.328.8884
  Small Pan/tilt head.

[10.1.7] Measuring robot position

How do I measure the postion of my arm/mobile robot/thing?

In many applications there is a need to accurately measure the
position of an end-effector (hand or gripper) or find coordinate
locations on objects, or track motion, or give a time and position
history of a moving object. Virtual reality applications need this
kind of device to provide realtime adjustments to views that are
projected to VR users. See news:sci.virtual-worlds for discussions on this
topic. Robotics people have needed this to provide accurate
assessments of manipulator motions and mobile robot positions.

The Global Positioning System (GPS) is an excellent positioning system
that is useful in outdoor settings, although recent developments in
Psuedolites (Pseudo Satellities) may bring GPS technology indoors and
to urban envrionments. While accuracy is intentionally degraded by the
US Military recent advances in differential systems and innovative
tracking techniques can give 20cm real-time accuracy. Even newer
techniques such as carrier-phase are bringing this figure into the mm
range for real-time. See  news:sci.geo.satellite-nav for full
discussions of this technology.


Useful papers to solve for transforms from positioning devices for
multiple reference frames:

Roger Tsai and Rainer Lenz, IEEE Trans. on Robotics and Automation,
Jun 1989.

C. C. Wang, IEEE Transactions on Robotics and Automation, April 1992.

Useful papers for evaluating 3 ad 6 DOF human input devices:

Shumin Zhai, Investigation of Feel for 6 DOF Inputs: Isometric and
Elastic Rate Control for Manipulation in 3D Environments, Proc. Human
Factors and Ergonomics Society 37th Annual Meeting,Seattle, WA,
October 1993.

Shumin Zhai and Paul Milgram, Human Performance Evalulation of
Manipulation Schemes in Virtual Environments", Proc. Virtual Reality
Annual International Symposium, IEEE, Seattle, WA, September 1993.

Shumin Zhai and Paul Milgram, Human Performance Evalulation of Isometric and Elastic Rate Controllers in a 6 DOF Tracking Task, Proc. SPIE vol. 2057, Telemanipulator Technology", Boston, MA, September 1993.

Commercial Devices:

Blevins Enterprises
tel: 208-885-3805
contact: Nick Sewell
 	Blevins writes their own utilities and sell 3D digitizers
starting @ around $2,400 on up to around $75,000. Software is
compatible with Lightwave and 3D Studio modelling programs and will be
ported to SGI and PC's soon. Provide software to talk with Polhemus, a
sonic digitizer and a jointed-arm unit from Immersion.

8 Harris Court 3D
Monterey, CA 93940
tel: 408.373.1441
fax: 408.373.3582

Italian distributor:
	Has 3D scanner. Cyberware has software for editing 3D models,
and stitching multiple scans into a single coherent whole.  Software
is $5-10K each. Cyberware 3030RGB/HIREZ scanner with MM motion
platform, complete with all software, training and one-year support
costs [US] $75,200.

Intelligent Solutions Inc.
One Endicott Avenue
Marblehead, MA 01945
tel: 617.639.8144
fax: 617.639.8144
contact: Jim Maddox
	Intelligent Solutions Inc. was formed in Nov. of 1993 by four of the 
former engineers of Denning Mobile Robotics.  They are focusing on building 
smart sensors and their first product is the EZNav Position Sensor.
	EZNav is a precision optical position sensor that can be used
on moving platforms such as automated guided vehicles, robots, or
material handling equipment.  EZNav uses an eye safe scanning laser
with a 360 degree field of view to measure the azimuth angle to wall
mounted reference reflectors.  This angle data can be used to
triangulate the position and heading relative to the known target
locations.  EZNav is unique in its ability to use passive reflectors
as well as coded electronic targets. Current work includes adding
the triangulation calculations to the EZNav sensor and a new
Ultrasonic based position sensor.
Target Range            30m passive up to 180m active
Abs. Accuracy           +/- 0.03 degrees RMS
Scan Rate               12 per second
Data Rate               9.6k baud RS 232
Power                   24 volts at 300 ma
Size                    30cm Dia x 35cm High
Weight                  4.5kg
	An EZNav sensor with 10 passive targets costs $6,600.  There
is a ten percent discount for educational uses.

Polhemus Inc.
tel: 802.655.3139
fax: 802.655.1439
Burlington, VT
3Space, Isotrak, FasTrak:
	Electromagnetic devices for sensing xyz and rotations
remotely.  Limited to 1m or so radius. Sensitive to metallic objects
in vicinity.  Approx $3k

Ascension Technology Corporation
PO Box 527
Burlington VT 05402 USA
tel: 802.860.6440
fax: 802.860.6439
Sales: Jack Scully
Technical Support: Steven Work
	Product is called Flock of Birds. A 6d0f measuring device.

Ftp site is
     gen_lit.txt  - Contains general literature on 6D motion tracking 
                    system. Accuracy Specifications, comments from prominent 
                    users, list of 3rd party software vendors, FAQ on 
                    tracking system, etc. Ascii text.
     tecpaper.wp6 - Technical Description of Flock of Birds (TM) 6D
                    tracking system. In Binary WordPerfect 6.0 format. - Latest version of our User Software, including source
                    code. Enjoy. pkzipped binary file.
     manual.wp6   - Latest version of our User Manual. In Binary
                    WordPerfect 6.0 format.
     readme.txt   - more info on files located in Ascension's FTP
                    directory. Ascii text.

Sensitivity to metal is claimed to be on the order 5 to 10 times less
than Polhemus tracker. Range and specifications are much better as

The Ascension Flock of Birds tracker is DC pulsed, where the Polhemus
is AC magnetic field. The AC field set up standing waves in metal
(conduction and ferris) which magnify the distortion effect.

Charts provided by Acension:

Parameter                         Ascension        Polhemus     Polhemus
                                Flock of Birds     Isotrak II    Fastrak
Measurement Rate
        1 Receiver                      144             60        120
        2 Receivers                     144             30         60
        @ Max Number of Rcvrs           144             30         30
Maximum Number of Receivers              30             2          32
Number of Transmitters to                 1             1           4
Support Max Number of Receivers
Maximum Data Output Rate                312K            115K       115K
 (Baud or Bytes)
Lag Increase with Multiple              No              Yes        Yes
Range - Standard Transmitter            3'              5'*        10'*
        - Extended Transmitter          8'              N/A        N/A
Accuracy Degradation Due to:
        Conductive Metals               Low             High       High
        Stainless Steel                 None            High       High
         (300 series)
CRT Interference Rejection              Yes             No         Yes
LCD Noise Susceptability                No              Yes        Yes
Unit Cost (1 Receiver)                  $2,695          $2,875     $5,750

* Note 1:  Polhemus specifies range at maximum transmitter-sensor  
separation distances.  At these ranges, outputs will contain significant 
amounts of noise, which may render their measurements worthless.  We 
will provide you with a number of references who  have independently 
assessed actual range performance of both Ascension and Polhemus trackers.

** Note 2: For a complete discussion of latency in  competitive motion 
trackers, contact Ascension.
     Translation range:       plus or minus 3'(8' optional) in any direction
     Angular range:           plus of minuw 180 degrees Azimuth & Roll
                              plus or minus 90 degrees Elevation
     Translation accuracy:    0.1" RMS
     Translation resolution:  0.03"
     Angular accuracy         0.5 degrees RMS 
     Angular resolution       0.1 degrees RMS @ 12"
     Update rate:             Up to 144 measurements/second
     Outputs:                 X,Y,Z positional coordinates and orientation
                              angles or rotation matrix
     Interface:               RS-232C with selectable baud rates to 115,200; or
                              RS-422/485 with selectable baud rates to 310,000
     Format:                  Binary
     Modes:                   Point or stream
     Transmitter: 3.75-inch cube (internally mounted in Enclosure or 
                  externally mounted with 10' cable) or extended range 
                  transmitter option: 12-inch cube externally mounte with 
                  20' cable
     Receiver:    1.0" x 1.0" x 0.8" cube (or optional 3-button mouse) 
                  with 10' or 25' cable
     Enclosure:   9.5" x 11.5" x 2.6"
     Power:       User provided or optional external plug-in: US/European 
     Environment: Large metallic objects in operating volume may degrade 

RSI Research Ltd.
Pacific Marine Technology Center
#3-203 Harbour Road
Victoria, BC. CANADA  V9A 3S2
tel: 604.360.1025  
fax: 604.360.1161
	RSI Research makes a 6 DOF joystick. It has a medium workspace
(about 10 cm radius) and several buttons. 

Shooting Star Technology
1921 Holdom Avenue
Burnaby, B.C.
Canada V5B 3W4
tel: 604.298.8574
fax: 604.298.8580
	 ADL-1 6DOF tracker. Gives position/orientation measurements up
 to 240 times/second, with low latency (0.35 to 1.88 milliseconds.)

Abrams-Gentile Entertainment, Inc.,
244 West 54th Street,
9th Floor, New York, NY 10019
tel: 212.757.0700.
	Mattel marketed the PowerGlove for use in gaming
(Nintendo). It tracked finger motions through small bend sensors. The
Mattel PowerGlove was developed by Abrams-Gentile. The sensors
themselves are simple resistors varying from about 200K to 500K ohms
depending on the amount of flex.

Denning Branch International Robotics
1401 Ridge Avenue
Pittsburgh, PA  15233
tel: (412) 322-4412
fax: (412) 322-2040
email: Soon. Messages to will be forwarded.
 Denning-Branch is a merger of Denning Mobile Robotics, once 
 located in the Boston area, and makers of human-size mobile
 robots since 1983, and Branch and Associates, of Hobart, 
 Australia, designers and builders of smaller mobile robots
 since 1979.
	Robot-mounted scanning infrared laser unit that uses wall
 mounted bar-coded retroreflectors or active transponders to navigate
 to centimeter precision in 10-meter-scale areas. $8K

Guidance Control Systems
44 Hidcote Road, Leicester
011 44 455 822 441 ext 3808
fax 011 44 455 824 551
Contact: Malcolm Roberts
	 GCS's core group developed the rotating scanner and passive
target system. Featured in several papers out of Oxford. Caterpillar
has North American rights for materials handling applications. Uses
passive targets with barcodes. Targets have unique ID's and surveyed
positions. Rotating laser gives angles between targets. Target
positions combined with angles gives vehicle position and heading. 2Hz
scan rate but clever use of dead reckoned information and kalman
filtering can give very impressive results.

MacLeod Technologies
315 Littleton Rd.
Chelmsford, MA 01824
tel: 508.250.4949
  Update speed: 20 hz
  position accuracy:  +/-0.05inches (1.27 mm)
  direction accuracy: +/- 0.05 degrees
  3 D reference points cover 1 acre
  1D, 2D or 3D feedback
  Cost: About $5K for positioning system	
  They claim to be able to get this kind of accuracy even while
  the robot is moving at several meters/sec.

Selspot Systems Ltd
1233 Chicago Road
Troy, MI 48083
tel: 313.583.6940
fax: 313.583.1746
In Sweden:
tel: +46-31-878110
fax: +46-31-278992
	 Two camera system registers 3D position of IR LED's at very
 high rates. Selspots Robot Check System can provide non-contact 3D
 measurement and analysis of robot motion at 500 Hz rate. System has
 been used for over 20 years. Used in motion studies for people,
 animals and robots.

Qualisys AB
Ogardesvagen 4
S-433 30 Partille
	 MacReflex system uses CCD-based cameras for non-contacting
 measurement of robots. Two camera system is typical. Uses small
 passive targets and IR LED's colocated with the cameras lens. Video
 processor calculates centroid of markers and displays in
 real-time. Information is used to provide data and analysis of
 position, velocity, acceleration, angles, angle velocity and
 acceleration and position vs. time. Specs: Noise level 1:200000,
 Resolution 1:70000, Relative accuracy: 1:30000, and absolute accuracy
 1:10000. Accuracy is defined as standard deviation of difference
 between measured and true positions/longest diagonal in measurement
 41C New London Turnpike
 Glastonbury, CT 06033
 tel: 203.657.3585
 fax: 203.657.3595
 Selspot is marketed by: 
Innovision Systems
30521 Schoenherr, Ste 104
Warren, MI 48093
tel: 313.751.0600
fax: 313.573.9845

 Coordinate Measuring Machines are now widely used for process control,
 statistical monitoring, entering 3D from a physical part into a CAD
 system and many other uses. CMM's tend to be large and expensive.

Supraporte Inc
5145-I Avenida Encinas, Carlsbad, CA 92008
Portable 6-axis measuring system. Model 2000
now available with battery power pack.
Very accurate. Very expensive.

125 Technology Park
Lake Mary, FL 32746-6204
tel: 800.736.6063
tel: 407.333.9911
fax: 407.333.4181
	Metrecom: 6DOF articulated pointer, like a portable CMM.
Endpoint accuracies are around .005" -> .025", depending on model.
Counterbalnaced design. Three models from 1.8m to 2.4m reach and
accuracies ranging from +/- .635mm to .127mm and prices from $14.4K to
$51.4K respectively.

Cheasapeake Laser Systems
222 Gale Lane
Kennett Square, PA 19348
tel: 215.444.2300
fax: 215.444.2323
	Laser metrology systems. CMS-3000 is a servo controlled
tracking laser interferometer measureing tool. The tracker follows a
retroreflective target whil providing real-time coordinate information
of the retro center location. Position of the target is provided in
XYZ coordinates via linear distance and two high accuracy angular
encoders. CMS-3000 can provide measurements over a large volume. 30m
radial, > 110 degrees elevation, > 270 horizontal. Down to 0.6 micron
resolution, 2 parts in 10^5 accuracy for range. (1m/sec tracking) up
to 6m/sec tracking at 5 micron resolution. Lightweight and cost
effective versus CMM's and offers speed and accuracy advantages over
theodolites and photogrammetry equipment. System can be leased by
hour/week/month. About $180K to buy.

[10.1.8] Measuring linear motion
	There are very few devices to directly give absolute position
for linear motions. Often rack and pinion drives are combined with
geared rotary encoders to give absolute position. Here are some
manufacturers of Magneorestrictive sensors for measuring absolute
linear position. Accuracy is usually around 0.05% of full
scale. Futaba also makes an absolute linear position glass scale

 Gemco Magnetek
 1080 N. Crooks Road
 Clawson, MI 48017-1097
 tel: 313.435.0700
 fax: 313.435.8120

 PO Box 937
 8125 Holton Drive
 Florence, KY 41042
 tel: 800.543.8390
 fax: 606.727.4823

 MTS Systems Corporation (Temposonics)
 Sensors Division
 Box 13218
 Research Triangle Park, NC 27708
 tel: 919.677.0100
 fax: 919.677.0200

 PO Box 377
 Hibernia, NJ 07842
 tel: 201.586.2500
 fax: 201.586.1590

[10.1.9] Interfacing sensors

Atmos Technology,Inc
1060 Lincoln Av,
San Jose Ca 95125
tel: 408.292.8066
fax: 408.292.8241
	The AT1000A is a single chip sensor interface circuit that has
been used in pressure, acceleration, temperature and humidity
applications.  20 PIN SOIC Package, 12-Bit A/D Converter, 64 Bits
EEPROM memory.  Programmable pulsed current source via EEPROM memory.
Three channel A/D: Iout1,Iout2, and Vdiff.

[10.2] Actuators

[This is a new section and there is much to add - contributions welcome]

	How do I get a motor under computer control? What kind of
motor should I use? What are the differences between actuator types?
What other types of actuation are there?

Types of motors:
AC servo
Brushless DC servo
Brushed DC servo

[10.2.1] RC-Servos

R/C servos for model airplanes, cars and other vehicles are light,
rugged, cheap and fairly easy to interface. For prices etc see one of
the many Radio Control magazines on the market.

Three wire connector for RC-servos:

Pin 1 = White = Signal
Pin 2 = Red   = +5
Pin 3 = Black = Signal and Power Ground
[Tang = pin 1]

The signal is a variable width pulse ranging from 1-2ms in duration
and repeating every 12-20 ms. The output shaft rotates to a position
porportional to the input pulse width. Input pulse width is compared
to an internal timer pulse. The timer period is controlled by a pot
coupled to the servo's output shaft. The difference between the two
pulse widths is an error signal. The servo attempts to reduce or
eliminate the error signal by driving the output shaft in the
appropriate direction. When the error signal is within about 5
micro-seconds the drivers are turned off to preventing oscillation or

How to reverse a servo?

The easiest way to do this is to hit your R/C hobby shop and buy a
servo reverser.  This is a dedicated electronic module that plugs
between the servo and the controller (usually the R/C receiver) and
processes the pulse to "reverse" it.  Basically, the device uses a 3
msec one-shot and an XOR gate. If your local hobby shop doesn't have
them, check Ace R/C catalog. See ads in any R/C magazine.

A harder way is as follows.
You have to reverse both the motor and the potentiometer leads.

It would be much easier to reverse the control input. All modern
radios have "reverse" switches for all channels. In the past you
could have one of 3 solutions:
a. Live with the servo as-is. Design your model with the servo
   direction in mind.
b. Some companies had "reversed" servos. Probably no longer available.
c. Use a gadget between the receiver and radio that reverses
   the servo. Possibly a single 4538 (Motorola MC14538) with 2
   resistors, 3 capacitors and a trimmer pot.
d. Modify the servo. This is the most difficult and least desired
   solution. Impossible if the motor is soldered directly to the
   PCB (seen in some servos). [from Itai Nashon]

The following article is an excellent source on servo facts and a
PIC-based circuit to control R/C Servos. (See the Microcontrollers
Section for more info on the PIC)

The Juggler's Delight: PIC-based Controller For Up To
Eight Servos by Scott Edward. The Computer Applications Journal,
October 1994 p14 [A kit is available as well for the circuit,
including PC board, IC's etc]

Commercial controller for RC servos:

401 E 17th St Suite B
Costa Mesa, CA 92627
tel: 714.642.8458

Pontech has a SV100 Servo Motor Controller which is based on the PIC
16C84 microcontroller.  It accepts RS232 serial data signal from a
host computer and poutput PWM to control up to four RC servo motors.
Multiple boards can be parallel together to allow more servos. They
also sell FUTABA FP-S148 servos. boards: $49.95, servos: $16.95, +
$5.00 shipping and handling

460 Casa Real Pl.
Nipomo, CA  93444
tel: 805.929.5055
	Design and manufacture of Electronic Systems for remote
control mobile robots and vehicles. Vantec makes a servo control that
has been used successfully in this type of application and can be used
for velocity or position closed loop control.  We can also modify R/C
transmitters for operation on special frequencies.
contact: Rich Howe <>

[10.2.2] Shape memory materials

 Nickel-titanium alloys were first discovered by the Naval Ordinance
 Laboratory decades ago and the material was termed NiTinOL. These
 materials have the intriguing property that they provide actuation
 through cycling of current through the materials. It undergoes a
 'phase change' exhibited as force and motion in the wire.

 Research into shape memory alloys, polymer gels and micromechanism
 devices is ongoing. Library browsing is a must to get recent
 information on these areas.

524 San Anselmo Ave.,
San Anselmo, CA 94960
tel: 415.455.9330
tel: 800.374.5764
fax: 415.455.9333
net: <>
	A number of muscle wire (nitinol) projects including a small
walking machine.  Book and sample kit with 1m each of 50,100 and 150
um wire - enough to build all 14 projects in book.

Memry Technologies
57 Commerce Drive
Brookfield, CT 06804
tel: 203.740.7311
fax: 203.775.2359
	Memry sell a Mitsubishi developed polyurethane based Shape
Memory Polymer. The material undergoes property changes in hardness,
flexibility, elastic modulus and vapor permeability under temperature
change. Medical applications is one focus for this material.

Milford Instruments
United Kingdom
tel: (0977) 683665
fax: (0977) 681465. 
	Importers of the Parallax BASIC Stamps and Muscle Wires into
the UK.

Bridgestone Corporation
3-2-25 Nishikubo,
Musashino City, Tokyo 180. 
tel: 0422 54 5820
	Rubbertuators: Rubber-based device that bends under applied
pneumatic pressure. For a rotation unit typical rotation angles are
360,120,90 degrees for linear unit the contraction rate cannot exceed

TiNi Alloy Company
1621 Neptune Drive
San Leandro, CA  94577
	Sheets and wire of NiTinOL alloys.

[10.2.3] Stepper Motor Controller

Wally Blackburn <> has provided a stepper motor
controller design that easily connects to a parallel port: 

This is the info file for the Opto-Isolated Stepper Motor Controller.
While the info is oriented towards control via a PC parallel port, the
controller can really interface to just about anything.

The controller uses a UCN5804B controller IC from Allegro.  This chip
can control motors at up to 35V and 1.25A continuously.  Peaks of up 
to 50V and 1.5A can be tolerated according to the data sheet.

The inputs to the UCN5804B are optically isolated from the control
circuitry.  Input control voltages from 3 to 12V are acceptable.
Diodes are used to protect the UCN5804B from negative transients from
the motor windings.  For efficient low-voltage operation, Schottky 
diodes are used.

	I have recently rewritten the instructions and included a
	simple parallel port control program in QuickBASIC.  The Turbo
	C source is still included also. I still have kits for the

	Wally Blackburn                

Here are some files on the operation and use of stepper motors from
Steve Walz:

[10.3] Imaging and Vision for Robotics

[This is a new and incomplete section - need more information here]

There are a wide variety of frame grabbers, computer vision systems
and image processing tools available. For VME, Multibus, PC Bus, even
SBUS and STD, there are a number of options for getting images into
your computer.

Analogic Corporation
8 Centennial Drive
Peabody, MA 01960
508 977-3000 Howard Cohen
508 977-6813 (fax)

Input:      RGB, Y/C, NTSC, RS-170A, CCIR, RS-343A
Memory:     up to 16mb
Bus:        SCSI (2.5 Mb/s asynch, or 5 Mb/s synch.)  Can be interfaced
            to PC/ISA via SCSI card.
Processing: TMS320C31 33.3 MHz, 33.3 MFLOPs, 16.7 MIPS.  Analogic also 
            provides an 'ISA bus Floating-Point DSP Signal Processor' 
            AP85c with a SCSI port and 5 TMS320C31 processors for 200 MFLOPs,
            and up to 16Mb of global DRAM and upt to 1Mb of local SRAM
            per processor.     
Other:      RS-343A, CCIR, NTSC, or S-Video display output.  User programmed
            RS-232 port for debugging, or whatever.  An optional multi-tasking
            realtime DSP operating system written by Analogic is available. 
            DASM-VIP with 16Mb costs $5995.  The AP85c with 16Mb is $12,600.

Cognex Corp.
One Vision Drive
Natick, MA 01760-2059
508 650-3000 Joseph B. Considine - sales rep
508 650-3332
	Offers a vision system mostly targeted for industry.  Good
selection of image processing routines.

5000 Series
Input:      Up to 4 cameras multiplexed, RS-170 or CCIR  12 bit grey scale
Memory:     up to 16Mb
Bus:        ISA
Processing: 25Mhz 68030, 68882 Floating point coprocessor, 'VC-1' custom
            ASIC for 2D correlation, blob analysis, histograms, and 
            various transforms, 'VC-2' custom ASIC for character recognition,
            line finding, edge detection, Gaussian and LaPlacian filtering. 
Other:      Functions as VGA adapter eliminating the need for a separate
            video card -- allows display of images.  Also provides RGB and
            monochrome video outputs.

Coreco Inc.
6969 Trans-Canada Highway
Suite 113
St. Laurent Quebec
Canada H4T 1V8
514 333-1301
800 361-4914 (USA) Ralph Tesson - sales rep
514 333-1388 (fax)
	A variety of ISA DSP-based bus frame grabbers and imaging
cards for PCs. Inputs for many cards includes RGB, NTSC, RS-170, CCIR,
or PAL 24 bit color, Y-C, RS-330, up to 16Mb VRAM and 64Mb
DRAM. DSP-based boards. Outputs include external display support,
composite video etc. Wide variety of convolutions and logical
operations on images available including histogramming.

Current Technology Inc
97 Madbury Road
Durham, NH 03824
603 868-2270 Michael Glover
603 838-1352 (fax)
	FF1 Frame Grabber	
Input:      RS-170 or CCIR
Memory:     up to 1024x1024x16 bits image memory.
Bus:        Half-size XT slot.
Processing: Analog Devices ADSP 2105 DSP (20 MOPs).  Performs 3x3 convolution
            in 390 ms.
Other:      Library of C callable functions, and windows DLL.  Very 
            inexpensive -- $995.

Data Cube 
[real-time frame buffers and imaging analysis]
[need address]

Data Translation
100 Locke Drive
Marlboro, MA  01752
tel: (508) 481-3700
tel: (800) 525-8528
fax: (508) 481-8627
	Offers 8 different models of general purpose monochome frame
grabbers with various resolutions and memory sizes.
1051 Baxter Road
Ottawa, Ontario
Canada K2C 3P1
613 596-4942
800 724-5929 ext 146 Paul Lamar - sales rep

Dipix offers 3 general purpose frame-grabbers:
Comet:  captures RGB or 3 NTSC or PAL monochrome channels.  2Mb framestore and
  24-bit RAMDAC for RGB display. 
Magic:  captures RGB, RS-170, CCIR, NTSC, PAL, or Y/C.  3Mb framestore and 
  EISA bus compatible
IP-8:  low-cost monochrome (RS-170A or CCIR) framegrabber with color display

XPG-1000 Power Grabber
Input:      RS-170, CCIR, digital, or programmable.  Multiple input modules
Memory:     up to 256Mb of image memory, 512Kb cache
Bus:        ISA/VL and PCI bus
Processing: 50 Mhz TMS320C40 DSP from TI (which is programmable in C) and 
            'Power Processing Module'
Other:      Functions as SVGA adapter eliminating the need for a separate
            video card -- allows display of images.  Also provides RGB and

XPG-360F Power Grabber
Input:      4 analog or one 8 or 16-bit digital input, programmable, or
            RS-170, RS-330, CCIR 
Memory:     up to 80Mb
Bus:        ISA/VL
Processing: TMS320C30 DSP from TI (which is programmable in C).  DT-Connect 
Other:      Realtime display available

ImageNation Corporation
P.O. Box 276
Beaverton, OR 97075
tel: (503) 641-7408
tel: (800) 366-9131
fax: (503) 643-2458
	Cortex I Video Frame Grabber features half-slot card, real
time imaging with display output, 8 bit, RS-170, CCIR formats
available, Binary, TIFF file formats, EISA & STD bus products
available, single 512 x 484 or four 256 x 242 images

Imaging Technology Inc.
55 Middlesex Turnpike
Bedford, MA 01730-1421
617 275-2700
217 275-9590 (fax)
	Offers a modular vision system that can be taylored for the
application.  Both VME and PC ISA/VL-bus platforms are supported.  It
seems likely, however, that when all the required modules are
selected, the system will have a fairly large pricetag.

A system consists of an 'image manager' or IML which is either a VME
or PC ISA/VL-bus compatible board.  It contains some framstore memory
and a slot for the 'acquisition module'.  For the PC version, the IML
can be used as the system VGA adapter, eliminating the need for a
separate display card or module.  To add one of the many available
computational modules, the 'Computational Module Controller' or CML
must be purchased, which also plugs onto (sort of) the IML.  The CML
has slots for either one or two plug-on computational modules.  So, as
you can see, it adds up quick.  About $23k for a system with 2
C31 DSP computational modules.  Device drivers are available for
DOS/Windows, VxWorks, OS-9, and Solaris.

There are 4 available acquisition modules:
Variable Scan: interfaces to RS-170 and CCIR cameras
Fast Analog Acquisition:  interfaces to high frame rate analog cameras
Color Acquisition:  interfaces to NTSC, PAL, RGB or multiple RS-170/CCIR
  cameras.  One interesting feature of this module is the ability to program
  your own color space.  Otherwise, it supports HSI, YUV, YIQ and YCrCb
  color spaces.  
Digital Acquistion:  interfaces to RS-422 or TTL video sources.

There are 5 available computational modules:
Convolver/Arithmetic Logic Unit (CM-CLU):  Accelerates convolution. e.g.
  a 4x4 convolution on an 8-bit 512x512 image takes 7.5 ms. 
Programmable Accelerator (CM-PA):  Contains a TMS320C31 DSP from TI (which
  can be programmed in C), 4Mb image memory and 1Mb of EEPROM.
Histogram/Feature Extraction Processor (CM-HF):  Performs realtime histograms
 and feature detection.
Median and Morphological Processor (CM-MMP): performs morphological filtering,
  erosion, and dilation.
Binary Correlator (CM-BC):  Performs high-speed template matching and binary

Mandex Technology, Inc.
1191 Chicago Road
Troy, MI 48083
tel: 810.585.1165
fax: 810.585.3745
contact: M. Gupte
	SMART EYE I: DSP-based real-time image processing system
designed specifically for mobile and fixed base robotics
systems. Stand-alone image processing system on a single board.  Low
power consumption, small form factor, and low weight.  The single
board system includes: four monochrome camera inputs, video digitizer
(gain and offset software adjustable), input look-up table, two frame
grabbers, additional two video buffers, color mappable image display
buffer, color mappable graphics overlay buffer, RGB display driver,
serial communications port, and application program RAM and
EPROM. Program code can be burned into EPROM. Wide variety of language
and development platform support. Additional hardware expansion to
provide addtional I/O capabilities.

Matrox International Corp.
1055 St. Regis Blvd. Dorval
Quebec, Canada H9P 2T4
514 685-2630
800 361-4903 Spiro Plagakis - sales rep
514 685-2853 (fax)

The IMAGE series consists of the following mutually compatible hardware:
IMAGE-1280 Baseboard consists of a TMS34020 GSP, TMS34082 FPU, 4Mb of DRAM,
  custom ASICS for fast data transfer, and a high resolution RGB display
IMAGE-ASD is a monochrome acquisition card that plugs into the ISA bus.
IMAGE-CLD is a color acquisition card that does realtime RGB to HSI conversion
  and also plugs into the ISA bus.
IMAGE-RTP performs a whole slew of processing functions using a bunch of
 ASICS (e.g. histograms, LaPlacians, morphologies, logical operators, erosion,
 dilation, centroids, pattern matching, more)
IMAGE-FPU accelerates large kernel convolutions and FFTs

Matrox also offers an extensive image processing library and utilities 
that run under Windows. 

Sharp Electronics
16841 Armstrong Ave.
Irvine, CA 92714
714 261-6224
800 562-7427
714 261-9321 (fax)

The basic system that Sharp offers is the GPB-1
Input:      4 multiplexed RS-170 inputs 8 bit greyscale.  Optional 'Incard'
            allows 3 parallel camera inputs, or one RGB input, but occupies
            another ISA slot.
Memory:     12 512x512x8 bit framestores.   
Bus:        ISA
Processing: High-speed ASICS which perform convolution, histogram analysis, 
            feature extraction, connectivity analysis, more.  These operations
            all take place at 40 ns/pixel.  Thus, for example, a 3x3 
            convolution takes 12 ms for a 512x512x8 bit image.  Other 
            processing boards (see below) are available and external 
            interfaces are provided for the addition of a separate Alacron 
            i860 card with 80 Mflops of performance (available 2/95).    
Other:      VGA output for displaying images.  An optional 'Single monitor 
            adapter' acts as the system VGA adapter.
There are 3 function-specific computational cards that plug into the GPB-1:

Alignment card: performs normalized correlation with model data.
Auxlut card: has dual 64k 16 bit input 8 bit output lookup tables.
  A possible application would be RGB to HSI conversion.
Auxwarp Card: 'a pixel re-sampler that may be used to modify the 
  geometric shape of an object.'
Memory Mapping: Maps large amounts of image data to ISA bus and allows 
  random access of regions of interest, say.  Also it allows new GPB-1
  commands to be loaded in and ready to go while the GPB-1 is busy with 
  its current command.  Occupies a separate ISA slot.

Sharp also has available a Windows algorithm development tool which allows
the user to develop algorithms using interpreted scripts -- thus eliminating
the compiling step.  The scripts can then be converted to C-code and 
compiled, if appropriate.  Over 250 C-callable image processing functions are

The basic GPB-1 system costs $11,000.  A system with an Incard, and Auxlut
runs around $20,000.

Teleos Research
576 Middlefield Road
Palo Alto, CA 94301, USA
Tel: 415/328-8800
Fax: 415/328-8880
Advanced Vision Platform, AVP-100 provides:
 - stereo range measurements
 - motion measurements
 - 3D model-based object tracking
 - video frame rate performance
	AVP-100 consists of a video processing unit containing an
embedded processor, the new PRISM-4 accelerator board, and interface
modules.  To use the system, all that is required is a camera and a
host processor with an Ethernet interface.