Lab Rules

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Image Laboratory

The Image laboratory has quite a bewilderment of equipment and software, some of it usable by all Image Group students and some of it only available to the Image Group staff. However, if the need arise (projects, Masters, PhD or whatever), this equipment can be made available after a previous agreement with an Image Group supervisor.

The Image Laboratory is located in room S010. Admission to this room requires that you are making a project under supervision of one of the teachers within the Image Group, and that you pass a small course in using the equipment. See [#Practical below] for more information.

Hardware

The hardware in the Image Laboratory consists mainly of computers and robots, but we also has all kinds of different cameras, lamps, video equipment and other bits and pieces. If you cannot find what you are looking for, somebody has probably not put the equipment back after usage!

Here is a short description of the equipment of the current new hardware.

Cameras

A number of cameras and optics can be used to obtain images. Some of the cameras are CCD-based, and can be connected to the video-acquisition pc Kjeld or the robot-controlling pc, robotctl, where the images are digitized. Available are:

  • Burle TC355ACX CCD gray-tone cameras (2).
  • Ikegami ICD-290 CCD gray-tone cameras (2).
  • JVC TK-1070E CCD color camera.
  • Webcam bla bla.
  • FNidder digital pocket camera.
  • Hasselblad superb analog reference camera.

The CCD-based cameras can be equipped with:

  • 8 mm optics from Ernitec.
  • 16 mm optics from Ernitec.
  • 75 mm optics from Schneider.
  • 10-100mm motorized optics from Servolens.

The Servolens optics is controlled from the unix host Ragnarok (when the software has been recompiled). Both zoom, focus, and aperture is controllable with a high degree of precision (The zoom-motor as well as the focus-motor has about 20.000 different positions).

Framegrabbers

We have two framegrabbers in the Image Lab. One of them is a color framegrabber, used for most of the experimental setups involving cameras. The other one is a gray-scale framegrabber, used solely for surveillance of the robot arena.

MVC 150/40-PCI color framegrabber from Imaging Technology Incorporated (ITI), mounted in Kjeld].

General info

Unfortunately, the color framegrabber has gone out of production. Therefore, we only have drivers for Windows NT4, which we have hacked to work on Windows 2000. This is why we have a Windows based computer, [../computers/kjeld.html kjeld].

More information RSN.

How to take pictures

This is the (not so) short getting started version. Make sure you have read and understood [../software/setup.html Software setup] first.

Starting up
  1. Turn on the camera powersupply (the little black box with the red LED behind all the cables).
  2. Log in on the pc [../computers/kjeld.html kjeld].
  3. Start "ITI server" on kjeld.
  4. Log in on [../computers/ragnarok.html ragnarok]. (Note: This is not the same as logging in on ragnaroks console. Instead, try issuing the command rxterm ragnarok and work from there.)
  5. Run "ITIreset" to initialize the framgrabber.
  6. Run "ITIclear" to clear the framebuffers.
  7. Run "ITIshow" to display what the framgrabber grabs on the secondary monitor.
  8. Run "ITIgrab" to start the framgrabber.
  9. Run "ITIfreeze" to freeze a frame.
  10. Run "ITIsaveraw myfilename" to save the current frame to a file named "myfilename".
  11. On any linux-box (read: NOT ragnarok), run "convert -size 512x512 gray:myfilename out.tif" to convert the raw image to tiff-format.
  12. Start grabbing again with "ITIgrab" and have fun.
Shutting down
  1. Log out of ragnarok.
  2. Close "ITI server" on kjeld.
  3. Log out of kjeld.
  4. Turn off the camera powersupply.
  5. Put the lens protection cap on the camera lens.
  6. Clean up!
In depth explanation

More information RSN.

Programming the framegrabber

The framegrabber has a computational module, so all kinds of fancy things can be done to the frames in real-time.

More information RSN.

Software for the framegrabber

The software are logically grouped into two different parts

  1. Software on kjeld
  2. Software on ragnarok

More information RSN.

Hardware related to the framegrabber

More information RSN.

Other stuff

DEPRECATED: The ITI-machine is a dedicated image processing machine capable of grapping images simultaneously from three sources (e.g. a color camera), storing these, and process the images through a pipeline of a number of special purpose processors. A schematic view of the configuration is shown below.

Iti config.gif

The ABA- and ARB-modules controls two digitizers and 24 MB of image memory. This allows for acquisition of image sequences up to 96 images. The RTMP-modules contains hardware for real time convolutions and binary correlations. The ALU-module performs simple arithmetic operations on one or two images (e.g. subtraction). The IPA-module is a general purpose image processor on which precompiled code can be downloaded. A large number of programs are directly available. The FB-module is a frame-buffer containing 2 MB image memory. The ADI-module controls the monitor as well as one digitizer. The modules are connected with 4 fast video-busses on which images can be transported in real time. Also, four of the modules are connected in a pipeline. The ITI-machine communicates with the unix host Grimner through a VME-bus.

For further information consult Part 3: Programming the ITI-machine of the compendium for the image group.


  • [pcvision.html PCVision] gray-scale framegrabber from Imaging Technology Incorporated (ITI), mounted in [../computers/robotctl.html robotctl].

PCVision gray-scale framegrabber from Imaging Technology Incorporated (ITI)

The PCvision framegrabber is mounted in robotctl.

To get images from it a daemon called camd has been installed on robotctl. See the documentation for the daemon and how to write clients for it: Media:CamdDocumentation.pdf.

Robots

The standard robot is the small Eyebot of which we have tree operational and another loose controller for custom jobs. They are very fragile so handle them with care. [robots/eyebot --Eyebot information--. ] Another robot that we have the the large sled robot. It has a manual attached to it. Follow that if you want to use it. Please mid that the robot table is calibrated and it is therefore NOT a place to put anything - don't sit on it, don't move it and so on.

Computers

We have five computers: Kjeld - the sled robot and Basler cameras. Arne - graphics computer (linux and xp). Fernando - Graphics (xp). Preben - Graphics, Basler (xp) and RobotCtl - Eyebots (linux).

Network

All computers in the Image Lab is on the student network. So use your own account to access the rest of the world through the proxy.

Software

We have various types of software at our disposal. If you need some special program, please make a request with your Image Group supervisor.

Basler Camera Software

The Basler cameras are the newest (2004) cameras that we have. They run via firewire and are all most solely controlled by firewire. Look at the example code to see how the api is. Handle the cameras with care and always put it back in the closet with the lens cap on. Remember that only Pentax and Sneider lenses fit the cameras. Link at the bottom of the main Image Lab page.

The example software is located on Prebens D-drive under the folder Basler. Look there to see examples on the Basler Api.

Andre Lindskov and Andre Tischer has made a tracker that can be used in collaboration with RobotCTL. Documentation for the tracker is located on RobotCtl under /Eyebot/Trackter/Doc/.

Intel Integrated Performance Primitives

The Intel Integrated Performance Primitives (IPP) is a library of lowlevel image and signal processing functions, optimized to use the SIMD instructions of Intel and AMD x86 processors. The documentation is only availible at robotctl. At robotctl you can find it at [file:///usr/local/robot/ipp/ippindex.htm /usr/local/robot/ipp/ippindex.htm].
An example program using IPP is available for download: Media:IppExample.zip. The program is a [../framegrabbers/pcvision.html camd client], so you will need to start camd before running the example program. Search for "IPP Example start" to see where IPP is used.

Matlab Repository

Matlab is an interpreter for fast prototyping using matrix primitives. The image group at DIKU is maintaining a Matlab Repository especially for Image Processing but also more general tools.

Practical information

Due to the high amount of expensive equipment located in the Image Laboratory, we do require that the door is always kept locked. This implies that one needs a key to gain access to the Laboratory. Before that key is handed out, we require that student have passed a small course in the use of the equipment they are going to use. When there are many different Image courses, it can get crowded in the small room. We have a ultra high-tech reservation system to cope with that. More about that in the rules, see below.

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