Who Are We and Why Should You Care?
Apollo Imaging Technologies is a group of engineers that worked together "in a previous life" developing image processing products, both hardware and software. We found that no product available met our requirements: high processing horsepower, fast image acquisition time and competitive costs. We didn't need a lot of prepackaged software, other than development tools, since our problem was pretty unique. We had to solve it the old fashioned way: "C" code.
We needed a packaged product with a high resolution image sensor and high performance processing. We had neither the space nor budget for the conventional camera/frame grabber/PC solution; nor was it likely that we could get the processing performance in that configuration. We needed a full image processing system in a package approximately the size of the camera.
Like it or not, we had to develop a "smart camera" ourselves. We found that building a reasonably state of the art smart camera, while not winning a Nobel prize for any of us, was not as simple as the various manufacturer's data sheets would indicate. There were some problems, some not altogether obvious. Solved with the usual combination of late nights and lots of caffeine. Equal parts inspiration and perspiration. You know the drill.
There are sophisticated smart cameras on the market (see www.dvtsensors.com ; www.bannerengineering.com; www.keyence.com; www.cognex.com). These companies make "sensors" aimed at the end user market. In order to accomplish this, they supply extensive software to help the end user apply their products. You get a lot of support, training, etc. You pay for all this. If this is the solution you need, go to these companies; they make good products and we aren't really competing with them. If you have a problem that requires you to do all the heavy lifting in "C" and need a high performance platform at a reasonable price to do it on, then you should care and read on.
In summary, they are focused on the end user; we are focused on the OEM.
We thought that if we had this problem, others probably do as well. So we took what we had learned and created a product line and company based on the following principles:
PRODUCTS. Our products are and will be the type of product we would have liked to have been able to buy:
a) High Performance DSPs. We are committed to the Texas Instruments line. We use the TMS320DM642 in the Apollo AIT100; future products will use the '642 or future TI products.
b) Industrial Packaging. This is an optical product; it is not wash down or similarly hardened, but it is made of metal, not plastic. Low voltage I/O suitable for interfacing to computers or PLC's is provided.
c High Resolution Image Acquisition. The AIT100 is a 1.3 Megapixel CMOS product. Future products will add additional sensors, as we find a need.
d) OEM Pricing. We don't have a lot of built-in support, you don't pay for the costs.
MINIMAL OVERHEAD. Our target customer is the OEM. Our objective is to provide a decent hardware platform, and basic software tools, and let the OEM do what he has to do anyway-- solve his problem. We are not directly in the business of providing solutions as part of our company overhead. We do take on consulting tasks but this is separate from our hardware sales. We do not bundle in the cost of an army of "Applications Engineers' into the cost of the product. We not have layers of distribution; "Value Added Resellers", etc. This Web site was created by the CEO. It is hard to get good help these days.
SOFTWARE TOOLS, NOT "SOLUTIONS". We provide software on a "where is, as is" basis. Your primary software tool is TI's Code Composer, which is a powerful development environment indeed. We provide you with basic tools that will help you get started, we are not attempting to solve your problem for you. As we develop or obtain more tools they will be made available to all our customers and partners. If you develop software that you think may be of use to others, we will facilitate the connection--either by you or us.
Copyright © 2005-2011 Apollo Imaging