Liquid lens technology

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PixeLINK®, a global provider of industrial cameras for the machine vision and microscopy markets, and Varioptic (a Business Unit of Parrot), the world leader in electrowetting liquid lens solutions, today announced production of the world’s first industrial cameras to include an electronic, focus-controllable liquid lens. Enabling auto focus with no moving parts, these cameras will offer low power consumption, high shock resistance, and fast focus change.

PixeLINK PL-D721, PL-D722, PL-D775, and PL-D7715 machine vision cameras now incorporate the Caspian C-39N0-16 electronic, focus-controllable C-mount lens. Leveraging Varioptic electrowetting liquid lens technology, the cameras will deliver fast, noiseless, controllable auto focus from 10 cm to infinity. With a 16mm effective focal length, the Varioptic lens will offer application-controlled and user programmable-controlled auto focus capabilities in board-level and enclosed PixeLINK cameras.

“The inclusion of cutting-edge auto focus liquid lenses into our Prometheus, Hyperion, and Titan lines of industrial cameras continues a tradition of innovation at PixeLINK,” explains William Lesniowski, CEO of PixeLINK. “We are extremely proud to be the first C-Mount machine vision camera manufacturer to provide auto focus control via a liquid lens, and are excited to deliver this technology to OEMs and industrial camera users in medical, inspection, and security markets around the world.”

“The availability of Varioptic compatible C-Mount cameras is key to the success of this new Caspian C product range,” explains Samuel Grand, Varioptic Business Unit Director. “It will enable our customers to use an AutoFocus camera system in minutes, with no hardware or software development required.”

While the typical lifespan of a mechanical lens system is a few hundred thousand cycles, liquid lenses have been tested over 100 million cycles without performance degradation. Liquid lenses can also reconfigure themselves in tens of milliseconds, making them ideal for high vibration environments and applications that require fast focus changes.