News | March 9, 2001

Sherlock 6.0 machine vision software adds sophisticated suite of OCR and bar code tools

Sherlock 6.0 machine vision software adds sophisticated suite of OCR and bar code tools
Machine vision development environment targets automotive, electronics, and pharmaceutical applications with innovative software tools.

Coreco Imaging, Inc., leading developer of high performance machine vision products, today announced the latest version of the company's premiere software development environment for machine vision, Sherlock 6.0. Ideal for a variety of factory automation, inspection, and verification applications in the automotive, pharmaceutical and electronics industries, Sherlock is a complete, Windows-based software package that lets you sketch out sophisticated applications, perform "what if" testing, and run, all in a friendly, point-and-click graphical programming required.

Sherlock 6.0 now includes SMART OCR and SMART Matrix, two new suites of adaptive, pattern matching algorithms designed to handle optical character recognition (OCR) and 1D and 2D bar code reading, respectively. Sherlock 6.0 also includes support for Coreco Imaging's PCVisionplus and PC-RGB boards, high performance, low-cost PCI bus frame grabbers that provide the industry's fastest transfer of color or monochrome video data to host computers.

"Coreco Imaging is continuing to push the envelope in machine vision, this time by putting our geometric-based pattern recognition technology to work on OCR and bar code applications," said Philip Colet, Vice President, Sales & Marketing, Coreco Imaging. "With the sophistication of our SMART tools, developers can locate and read characters and bar codes in a real-world environment, regardless of changes in object size, orientation, focus, or occlusion. Combine this with our unique Sherlock development environment that can improve a developer's time-to-market by as much as 50%, and you've got an unbeatable combination."

Sherlock 6.0 now features SMART OCR and SMART Matrix, new OCR and bar coding tools based on Coreco Imaging's innovative SMART Search™ software technology. SMART Search uses artificial intelligence to adapt to a wide variety of process variations while still providing fast, highly accurate search results for demanding machine vision applications.

SMART OCR allows for the rapid creation of OCR-based inspection applications that can read characters on a part even though it is not known which markings will appear. SMART OCR decodes patterns irrespective of angle or scale, and operates at rates up to 1000 patterns/sec (Pentium II class machines). A specialized font editor allows the software to be trained to read any font.

SMART Matrix also reads 1D and 2D bar codes at up to 1000 characters/sec, including 2D DataMatrix (ECC-200), 1D Code 39, Code 128, UPCa, BC412, and PostNet codes. A robust reading engine delivers results regardless of the rotation or scale of the characters or codes being read.

High speed image transfer
Sherlock 6.0 seamlessly integrates with the company's family of high performance PCI bus frame grabbers, including PC-RGB and PCVisionplus. PC–RGB combines a high performance frame grabber, 4MB of on-board memory to speed image transfers, unique on-board circuitry that provides precise interrupt control, Opto-22 compatible digital I/O for controlling external events, and support for a wide range of RGB color or three monochrome cameras and variable scan cameras. The PCVisionplus frame grabber includes the same comprehensive set of features for capturing monochrome fast analog video in 8- or 12-bit format at up to 53 MHz. PCVisionplus supports RS-170, CCIR, progressive scan, and variable scan cameras.

Both the PC-RGB and PCVisionplus make use of a unique Coreco Imaging architecture specifically designed for high speed data transfer. With this design, each board can acquire image data at high speed into one section of memory and, at the same time, transfer data out to the CPU from another section of memory. This "ping-ponging" of data guarantees that image information will not be lost during transfer to system memory and allows sustained transfers of data at up to 133 MB/s, something that's impossible with multimedia-class, FIFO-based frame grabbers.

Comprehensive vision functions
Sherlock 6.0 includes hundreds of powerful image processing, image analysis, and machine vision algorithms. High level functions are available for pattern generation, point processing, convolution, edge detection, Fourier transform, non-linear area processing, image statistics, geometric transformation, color image processing, graphics, array processing, and camera and display abstractions. Sherlock also includes support for custom DLLs, which means users and developers can create their own vision algorithms in the form of "plug-ins" that can be called from Sherlock.

Price & delivery
Sherlock 6.0 is available immediately. Quantity one price is $3,600. A demo version of Sherlock is available for FREE via download from Coreco Imaging's Website at This version of the software will work forever on previously stored, bit-map images. For those who wish to collect and analyze images in real-time, a Sherlock license must be purchased.

About Coreco Imaging
Coreco Imaging, the machine vision powerhouse that resulted from the merger of Coreco and Imaging Technology, is the world's leading developer of high performance machine vision tools for OEMs, system integrators, and volume end users. The company designs, manufactures, and markets a complete line of hardware and software solutions for the machine vision, medical imaging, and industrial inspection markets. With over 150,000 installations, Coreco Imaging has earned a worldwide reputation for technology leadership and aggressive price/performance. The company's frame grabbers and embedded vision engines feature such state-of-the-art innovations as ping-pong acquire and hardware scatter gather. Breakthrough software tools provide high speed, high precision pattern recognition despite changes in object/pattern size, orientation, shape, focus, or partial occlusion.

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