Preface – Practical Guide to Machine Vision Software: An Introduction with LabVIEW


We believe the basics of engineering and research is measurement. Also, all improvement starts from the measurement. We believe that LabVIEW is one of the best software tools to implement most kinds of measurement. There have been many basic books written for those wanting to learn LabVIEW measurement, which enables one to learn LabVIEW with ease. However, there are not many books on LabVIEW vision for the beginner. The purpose of this textbook is to guide the student in using LabVIEW's Vision Development Module rather than developing deep understanding of the underlying vision algorithms. For this reason, we do not discuss the details behind specific vision algorithms. We do try to explain the concepts involved in programming with the NI Vision Development Module.

In this book the NI Vision Development Module is used to analyze objects in an image. The Vision Development Module includes hundreds of functions to process acquired images. However, for most beginners it may be difficult to understand and use the vision functions. The Vision Assistant, which is a component installed with NI Vision Development Module, is very easy to use and can create LabVIEW or C code in the process of guiding you through image processing steps. Vision Assistant provides access to almost all the vision functionality available in LabVIEW.

The approach of this book is to use the LabVIEW Vision Assistant to create the initial code that can perform vision measurement and provide the beginner a rapid understanding of LabVIEW vision programming. We feel that this is very easy approach for most of users. However, the software created directly from Vision Assistant does not generally provide the final programmed solution to a software project. So, we also guide the readers in how to use and modify the initially generated code from Vision Assistant.

This book assumes that readers have basic experience in LabVIEW programming. If you are a LabVIEW beginner, we suggest you to read a basic book on LabVIEW before starting vision programming. If your intended purpose is to only learn Vision Assistant and apply to your application immediately, we recommend you to use Vision Express. The method of using Vision Express for your application is addressed in each chapter.

In this book, Vision Development Module version 2013 is used for explanation, but the user of other versions can reference the book as there is usually only small difference between current versions.

We have tried to cover many subjects, from edge detection to optical character recognition (OCR), such that readers from various backgrounds can reference the book. Each chapter has examples to practice the vision programming. For real-time acquisition and image analysis, the use of a USB camera is mainly discussed because it is easily available for most of readers. However, LabVIEW provides many ways of acquiring images to apply to image analysis and machine vision.

Kye-Si Kwon

Soonchunhyang University
Republic of Korea

Steven Ready

Palo Alto Research Center
Palo Alto, CA, USA