Matrox Design Assistant1

New Matrox Design Assistant flowchart-based vision software is so easy to learn, anyone can use it. Design Assistant is an integrated development environment (IDE) where vision applications are created by constructing an intuitive flowchart instead of writing traditional program code. In addition to building a flowchart, the IDE enables users to directly design a graphical operator interface for the application. Since Design Assistant is hardware independent, you can choose any computer with GigE Vision® or USB3 Vision™ cameras and get the processing power you need. This field proven software is also a perfect match for the Matrox 4Sight GPm vision system or the Matrox Iris GT smart camera. Design Assistant gives you the freedom to choose the ideal platform for your next vision project.

Matrox Design Assistant Benefits
Easily and quickly solve machine vision applications without writing program code using an intuitive flowchart-based methodology
Choose the best platform for the job using a hardware-independent environment that supports any PC with any GigE Vision or USB3 Vision camera
Also deploy the same project to a rugged and reliable Matrox vision system and smart camera
Tackle machine vision applications with utmost confidence using field-proven tools for analyzing, locating, measuring, reading, and verifying
Learn and use a single program for creating both the application logic and operator interface
Work with multiple cameras within the same project
Rely on a common underlying vision library for the same results with a Matrox smart camera, vision system or third-party computer
Maximize productivity by getting instant feedback on image analysis and processing operations
Get immediate pertinent assistance through an integrated contextual guide
Communicate actions and results to other automation and enterprise equipment through discrete Matrox I/Os, RS-232 and Ethernet (TCP/IP, EtherNet/IP™ 3, MODBUS®, PROFINET and native robot interfaces)
Maintain control and independence through the ability to create custom flowchart steps

Application design

Flowchart and operator interface design are done within the Matrox Design Assistant IDE hosted on a computer running Microsoft® Windows® 2. A flowchart is put together using a step-by-step approach, where each step is taken from an existing toolbox and is configured interactively. The toolbox includes steps for image analysis and processing, communication, flow-control, and I/O. Outputs from one step, which can be images and/or alphanumeric results, are easily linked to the appropriate inputs of any other step. Decision making is performed using a conditional step, where the logical expression is described interactively. Results from image analysis and processing steps are immediately displayed to permit the quick tuning of parameters. A contextual guide provides assistance for every step in the flowchart. Flowchart legibility is maintained by grouping steps into sub-flowcharts.

In addition to flowchart design, Matrox Design Assistant enables the creation of a custom, web-based operator interface to the application through an integrated HTML visual editor. Users alter an existing template using a choice of annotations (graphics and text), inputs (edit boxes, control buttons and image markers) and outputs (original or derived results, and status indicators). A filmstrip view is also available to keep track of, and navigate to, previously analyzed images. The operator interface can be further customized using a third-party HTML editor.

Matrox Design Assistant can be used with a Matrox Iris GT smart camera or in emulation mode. The latter allows for the design and testing of a flowchart and the creation of an operator interface without being connected to the smart camera. Matrox Design Assistant’s emulation mode is used to enable parallel project work, resulting in greater development efficiency.

Why a flowchart?

The flowchart is a universally accessible, recognized and understood method of describing the sequence of operations in a process. Manufacturing engineers and technicians in particular have all been exposed to the intuitive, logical and visual nature of the flowchart.

Create custom flowchart steps

Users have the ability to extend the capabilities of Matrox Design Assistant by way of the included Custom Step software development kit (SDK). The SDK, in combination with Microsoft Visual Studio® 2010 enables the creation of custom flowchart steps using the C# programming language. These steps can implement proprietary image analysis and processing, as well as proprietary communication protocols. The SDK comes with numerous project samples to accelerate development.

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Custom Step SDK

Application deployment

Once development is complete, the project, with flowchart and operator and operator interface, are downloaded to, and stored locally on, the Matrox Iris GT smart camera. The flowchart is then executed on the smart camera independent of any PC.

Customizable developer interface

The Matrox Design Assistant user interface can be tailored by each developer. The workspace can be rearranged, even across multiple monitors, to suit individual preferences and further enhance productivity.

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Matrox Design Assistant maintenance program

Matrox Design Assistant users who register their software are automatically enrolled in the maintenance program for one year. This maintenance program entitles registered users to technical support and free software upgrades from Matrox Imaging. Just before the expiration of the maintenance program, registered users will have the opportunity to extend the program for another year. For more information, refer to the Matrox Imaging Software Maintenance Programs brochure.

Samples, tutorials and trainingSamples, tutorials and training

Samples, tutorials and training

Matrox Design Assistant includes numerous sample projects and video tutorials to help new developers quickly become productive. Matrox Imaging also offers an instructor-led training course held at Matrox headquarters and select locations worldwide. Refer to the support section at www.matrox.com/imaging for more information.

1. This product may be protected by one or more patents. See www.matrox.com/patents.
2. 32/64-bit Microsoft® Windows® 7 with SP1 and Windows 8(.1).
3. Certification pending.

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