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Calipri meter incorporating IDS camera

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The German high tech company Nextsense has developed an opto-electronic single-handed meter that detects different profile shapes with no contact using a board-level camera from IDS Imaging Development Systems. The Calipri was developed for inspection during automotive production, for measuring gaps in car body panels. The non-contact nature of the system avoids the errors and paint damage that can occur with alternative contact measurement techniques.

The measured profiles are used to calculate relevant features, such as clearances and offsets, preventing measurement errors. The Calipri measurement process takes approximately five seconds. The user holds the device 10cm above the object, moving it around to capture the contours from several angles. A sensor connected to a tablet and the IDS camera scan the profile of the object from different sides. Tilting is automatically detected, and the measured result is corrected accordingly. If the sensor is too far away from the object, an acoustic signal sounds. The Calipri evaluates the measured data itself and discards any unsuitable data.

USB 2.0 uEye cameras from IDS incorporated into the Calipri ensure 100 per cent accurate measurements. The cameras meet the high standards set by the Nextsense engineers: compact dimensions, variable object installation, and power supply via USB 2.0. Inside the camera is a Wide-VGA-CMOS sensor produced by Aptina and a global shutter that delivers distortion-free images.

To evaluate the measured data, Nextsense uses proprietary image processing algorithms. The measured values are supplied in XML or CSV format for processing on the tablet PC. The Nextsense Calipri Explorer software also enables measurements to be visualised and analysed.

Possible applications of the single-handed meters are not limited to automotive technology. Different versions open up applications in rail vehicles, measurement of elastic profiles, weld seams, cracks, and bending contours.