FRAMOS builds and market products that target embedded and industrial 3D depth vision core products center around. Their portfolio of image sensor modules and adaptor boards can be easily connected to common third-party edge processor development boards. These products can be purchased individually or as a kit that comes complete with lens, lens mount, and basic image processing pipeline software for the targeted embedded processor.

FRAMOS industrial 3D depth vision products utilize Intel’s® RealSense™ camera modules and depth processors to create ruggedized IP66 based products capable of withstanding the gruelling and harsh environments typical of AGV applications and robotics.

Easy Engineering: How important is innovation in your field?

Darren Bessette – Category Manager Devices: Innovation is the key to success and to differentiate against the competition. In the markets we focus on, there are many players with innovative products that compete daily for business. How one wins opportunities relies on how well their products service the needs and the pain-points of the customer in innovated ways. Many of the challenges that our customers face requires new ways to solve problems which are not serviced with existing technologies or products. We, like our customers, are constantly seeking to bring new ideas forward to solve these challenges which only come through creative minds and innovative products.

E.E: What is the most successful product range?

D.B: Our most successful is also our longest running product range. FRAMOS has, since 1981, been supplying Sony image sensors to the market primarily in Europe and more recently in NA and other areas globally. The engineering support provided has been welcomed to many companies seeking these products. FRAMOS prides itself on providing high quality support for these Sony sensors that is unparalleled by other companies. We are one of a few companies who have been officially certified by Sony to cut and repackage sensors in any of our two world class cleanrooms. This certification allows us to order in larger quantities, for multiple customers, and repackage these products in lower quantities specific for our customers immediate needs. Our warehouses stock many popular products that greatly reduce lead times for our customers. These are just some of the factors that have made this product range so successful to date.

Further adding to this, our Embedded Vision product line specifically extends the functionality and ease of integrating these sensors into cameras and vision systems. Sensor modules are designed for quick and easy prototyping and proof of concept testing and can be directly used into end cameras and vision systems with little to no customizations. The design of these products further extends the success of our Sony Image sensor business.

E.E: Which are the most innovative products?

D.B: This would have to be our D400e line of products. They are unique in that they take Intel’s® RealSense™ D435 and D415 camera modules and enclose them inside ruggedized IP66 enclosures. Included with these products is our one-of-a-kind processing board that takes the output from the depth camera modules, after they have been processed by Intel’s D4 processor and, via a MIPI interface, goes through our custom FPGA running our proprietary GigE Vision Ethernet stack to transfer the image and depth data to a host PC via standard Ethernet cabling, up to 100m away. Care is taken to ensure that the camera modules are secured inside the enclosure and they stay in calibration while being subjected to the bumps and grinds of operation in industrial applications like robotics or AGV applications. Fully locking connectors maintain connectivity and power while these cameras are in operation in the field. The enclosure is completely sealed to minimize water, dirt, and debris from entering inside, keeping the fragile components safe in these demanding environments.

E.E: What are the characteristics of these products?

D.B: The main characteristics of these products are:

  • Ruggedized IP66 enclosure;
  • Locking M8/M12 connectors, for Ethernet, power and GPIO;
  • Gigabit Ethernet connectivity with POE, with cable lengths up to 100m;
  • GigE Vision and Intel™ RealSense® SDK 2.0 and Viewer Software support;
  • Multiple mounting points for easy and secure installations;
  • Real-time multipoint depth mapping with additional colour sensor for colour information overlay.

E.E: What new products are you going to launch / have you recently launched?

D.B: FRAMOS’s team is focused on designing and developing products that support efforts in 3D Depth Sensing and Embedded Vision, both through standard and customized products. The D400e series of products based on Intel®’s RealSense™ technologies will be at the forefront of their development. Engineering focus will be on incorporating the latest Sony sensor technologies, specifically Sony’s Gen 4 global shutter sensors, into the EV Ecosystem, and releasing the SLVC-EC 2.0 core library for Xilinx FPGAs.

E.E: In which directions do you think innovation should evolve in the future, given the current situation?

D.B: In my opinion, innovation will be driven by our current state of touchless contact. Demand will augment on devices that limit their interaction with touch screens and buttons in favour of ones that are touchless and utilize holograms and 3D depth data to map actions and movements. Not only will this technology reduce physical transmission of diseases between uses and thus the need to disinfect these surfaces, it can also provide additional personal security when entering PINs at ATMs and payment terminals. Holographic projections would only align in the user’s field of view so snooping eyes/cameras would not be able to accurately see the same image and align hand movement with the displayed buttons. As a result, more innovation will be seen in low cost, depth technologies, and holographic projectors for payment terminals, ATMs, and door security, just to name a few.

About The Author