Machine vision applications -  Successful examples from many industries


Successful examples from many industries

Imaging system for counting fish

August 2008

Image Labs International, STEMMER IMAGING's American CVB partner, uses Common Vision Blox to provide a solution to an unusual application - an imaging system for counting trout.

A fish breeder from Washington state approached Image Labs International with an inquiry regarding an application that initially invoked disbelief at our American CVB partner. The breeder wanted to count how many young trout swim out of his breeding basin into open water at the end of the breeding period. The large number of parameters initially made this task appear impossible to solve: detecting and counting moving organic objects in water is not exactly a standard function in image processing.

However, Image Labs managed to successfully solve the onerous assignment with the aid of the CVB Foundation Package and Visual Studio 2005 C# from Microsoft. According to Image Labs, the simultaneous recording, display and analysis of the images provided by five video cameras are the main features of the system. Each of the cameras monitors a different outlet from the breeding basin. The locations are each illuminated by waterproof background lights. This constellation allows separate analyses to be carried out for each camera location. CVB Image Manager and various CVB presentation components are deployed for this part of the task.

The fish and their direction of movement are detected using the CVB Blob tool. The system counts only the number of fish that leave the basin. Trout that swim back into the breeding basin are deducted from the current total.

To verify the numbers counted by the image processing system, there is an option to record video sequences on hard disk using CVB Movie for manual inspection at a later time.

Along with the speed demanded for recording and analysis, other factors favouring the use of Common Vision Blox were the short system development time (made possible by the use of ActiveX technology) and the high level of flexibility provided by the hardware. In the view of Image Labs, this strength of CVB was particularly crucial in the test phase, during which a number of hardware concepts were able to be evaluated without having to change the software code.

Our partner Image Labs International

Image Labs International, with headquarters in Bozeman/Montana, U.S.A., is a sales company for software, image recording boards, lenses, lighting and cameras for image processing.

The company is STEMMER IMAGING’s partner for Common Vision Blox in the USA. The company also produces customised cables and lens control units in addition to complete PC systems. On top of this, Image Labs is also an integrator and manufacturer of specialised image processing systems.


Puchheim, Germany

STEMMER IMAGING has been leading the machine vision market since 1987. It is Europe's largest technology provider in this field. In 1997 STEMMER IMAGING presented Common Vision Blox (CVB), a powerful programming library for fast and reliable development and implementation of vision solutions, which has been deployed successfully throughout the world in more than 40,000 imaging applications in various industries.

Teledyne DALSA

Waterloo, Canada

Teledyne DALSA is one of the largest companies serving the machine vision industry and is unique in that it is vertically integrated; from sensor design and manufacture, through image capture and processing, to software for imaging optimisations and analysis.

CVB Foundation Package
  • High performance foundation package for Common Vision Blox
  • Rapid, easy-to-use entry-level solution
  • Contains the most important algorithms required for image processing
CVB Movie - Software for sequence recording and image archiving
  • Recording video sequences
  • Storage on hard disk
  • Use of installed multimedia codecs
Teledyne DALSA X64-LVDS - PCI frame grabber
  • PCI frame grabber for image capture from digital cameras using the LVDS standard
  • High performance capture via the PCI 64bit/66MHz bus
  • Real-time data sorting
  • Data transfer with no CPU load
CVB Image Manager
  • Platform for the development of image processing applications
  • Open programming environment
  • Simple to operate, combining flexibility with high performance