July 1, 2007
Cognex (Natick, MA), a supplier of machine-vision sensors and systems, announced that a major Japanese supplier of industrial robots standardized on Cognex In-Sight vision sensors for its three-axis and SCARA robots.

Japanese robot supplier chooses Cognex sensors

Cognex (Natick, MA), a supplier of machine-vision sensors and systems, announced that a major Japanese supplier of industrial robots standardized on Cognex In-Sight vision sensors for its three-axis and SCARA robots. The manufacturer will produce certain robot models with the In-Sight sensor integrated directly into the robot, and other models will be provided with specially designed firmware to optimize direct connection between In-Sight and the robot’s controller. This partnership is expected to generate more than $300,000 in annual revenue for Cognex.

QinetiQ, AWM collaborate on advanced sensors

Regional development agency Advantage West Midlands (AWM; Birmingham, England) has joined forces with international defense and security technology company QinetiQ (Farnborough, England) to provide access to sensor technology and funding to develop new commercial opportunities. With the combination of QinetiQ’s advanced sensors capability and know how and investment funding of $20.8 million from AWM to help businesses identify, develop, and commercially exploit new products, the total value of the Advanced Sensors Program stands at more than $40 million.

Successful applicants will be given access to the research-and-development capabilities of QinetiQ. QinetiQ experts will help companies determine whether incorporating or improving sensor technology is appropriate for them and will work with companies to explore the possible solutions for their products and processes. The involvement of QinetiQ also gives projects a commercial focus so that the investment in technology provides rewards to all the participants.

LBO partners with Thales on displays

Light Blue Optics (LBO; Cambridge, England) is partnering with Thales (Cedex, France) to develop military and aerospace displays. LBO will provide Thales with miniature projection systems for advanced cockpit displays. According to LBO, its holographic laser-projection technology delivers large, full-color video images in focus at all distances, even on curved or angled surfaces.

Imaging patent awarded to IMDS

Imaging Diagnostic Systems (IMDS; Fort Lauderdale, FL) was issued a new patent for its laser imager for laboratory animals (LILA). The latest LILA patent builds on a previous LILA patent that covers the basic computed tomographic fluorescent imaging of small laboratory animals. This latest patent adds the concept of a second laser, typically at a longer wavelength, to provide a geographic reference for the fluorescence image, providing both functional and anatomical information, similar to that provided by a more expensive small animal coherence tomography/positron emission tomography CT/PET scanner.

This patent is the 12th issued to IMDS with applicability to small-animal optical imaging. IMDS previously licensed its optical animal-imaging technologies on an exclusive basis to Bioscan (Washington, D.C.). IMDS has received from Bioscan full payment of a $250,000 technology transfer fee and is entitled to future royalty payments as the licensed products are commercialized.

Elbit awarded $50 million for night-vision systems

A subsidiary of Elbit Systems (Haifa, Israel) called Elbit Systems Electro-Optics ELOP (Elop) was awarded several contracts valued at a total of approximately $50 million to supply handheld thermal-imaging systems to the Canadian and Israeli armed forces as well as for additional customers worldwide.

“Elop’s advanced handheld thermal imaging systems are part of the CORAL family of products. They combine advanced capabilities and high performance with compactness and low energy consumption, providing a considerable advantage to infantry forces,” said Elop’s general manager, Haim Rousso. Elop entered the field of thermal-imaging systems in the 1970s and has produced and supplied thousands of thermal-imaging systems to military organizations and defense industries worldwide.

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Also in the news . . .

Market intelligence company iSuppli (El Segundo, CA) reported that the global electronic-display market was expected to surpass $100 billion in revenue this year, driven by thin-film-transistor liquid-crystal displays (TFT LCDs). . . . Aurora Systems (Westlake Village, CA), a leader in the design and production of high-performance liquid-crystal-on-silicon microdisplay products, and Holoeye Systems (Laguna Hills, CA), integrators of microdisplay technology, formed a strategic supply agreement to serve specialty markets. . . . The European Fusion Development Agreement (EFDA) awarded Cedip Infrared Systems (Croissy Beaubourg, France) a contract to supply a further advanced infrared thermography system for monitoring the temperature of components inside its Tokamak Fusion reactor at the Joint European Torus (JET) research group based in Abingdon, England.

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