Obzerv Technologies (Quebec, QC, Canada) was awarded a nearly $550,000 contract by Defense Research and Development Canada to develop and integrate an active-range-gated camera payload into a multispectral imaging turret.

Obzerv to develop camera for Canada’s military

Obzerv Technologies (Quebec, QC, Canada) was awarded a nearly $550,000 contract by Defense Research and Development Canada to develop and integrate an active-range-gated camera payload into a multispectral imaging turret. This contract is a part of the Advanced Integrated Multi-Sensing Surveillance Technology Demonstration Project that covers improvement of tactical surveillance and sensing capabilities for the Canadian Forces.

Compared to thermal cameras based on the temperature contrast of objects, Obzerv cameras collect the reflection of a laser pulse from the target and allow object identification at ranges beyond 10 km and through mist and fog.

European consortium pursues ‘PillCam’

Given Imaging (Yokneam, Israel) will lead a consortium to develop an integrated imaging-biosensing system to screen for cancer of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, utilizing the company’s “PillCam” device. The Nano-based capsule-Endoscopy with Molecular Imaging and Optical biopsy (NEMO) project is part of the European Commission’s Sixth Framework Program of Research and Technological Development. The NEMO Group will invest $6.1 million over the next three years, of which the European Commission will contribute $3.6 million.

The NEMO project will converge optical technologies with nanotechnologies, biosensing, and maneuvering technologies to create a unique PillCam capsule endoscope capable of secretion analysis and the detection of marked and deep tissue disorders. The consortium believes the combination of the image and molecular analysis to mark the tumor may provide an effective medical device for mass screening for GI cancer.

Machine-vision market to flatten in 2007

According to the most recent Quarterly Machine Vision Report/Newsletter from machine-vision consultancy Vision Systems International (VSI; San Jose, CA), the North American machine-vision market appears to have grown by about 14.4% in 2006-reaching $1.52 billion-with most of the growth driven by application-specific machine-vision systems targeted at applications in the semiconductor and electronic industries. In 2006, capital spending in the semiconductor market grew about 20% and machine-vision sales into the semiconductor capital-equipment market grew proportionally.

In 2007 the capital spending is expected to be flat because of the slowing down of three major drivers for machine vision: the semiconductor capital-equipment, auto, and housing industries. In turn, the 2007 North American machine-vision market will at best be flat.

Sofradir advances Imalogic project

Infrared-detector maker Sofradir (Veurey-Voroize, France) announced a major step forward in a nearly $30 million R&D project, Imalogic: a commitment from the French government to contribute $7.3 million in support of Imalogic. Imalogic brings together the research and development resources of four of the world’s leading digital sensor manufacturers-Sofradir, its subsidiary Ulis, Trixell, and STMicroelectronics-as well as the legacy in applied research from the CEA-LETI R&D, a leading European microelectronics research center. The partners will collaborate to develop new technologies and market next-generation digital sensors in each company’s respective market segment.

Adept Technology joins solar market

Vision-guided-robotics supplier Adept Technology (Livermore, CA), secured new design wins with four solar-panel manufacturing companies in the rapidly expanding international solar-power market.

During the last quarter of 2006, Adept delivered more than $300,000 in vision-guided robotics to the rapidly expanding solar industry, bringing the installed base into this sector to over 75 systems. Solar joins disk drive, medical device and life sciences, and high-speed packaging as defined strategic vertical markets.

Also in the news . . .

New Scale Technologies (Victor, NY) announced plans to create a $1 million dollar manufacturing center located near its current headquarters for manufacturing of its patented SQUIGGLE motors used in mobile phone camera modules and other miniature imaging and medical devices. . . . PicoQuant awarded a Young Investigator award worth $750 at the 2007 SPIE Photonics West BiOS session on “Ultrasensitive and single-molecule detection technologies” and will deliver the prize next year as well. . . . NAC Image Technology (Simi Valley, CA) has appointed Photo-Sonics International (Oxfordshire, England) as the exclusive distributors of NAC High-Speed Imaging Systems for the United Kingdom and Ireland.

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