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Introducing Matrox Design Assistant

Matrox Design Assistant is a flowchart-based integrated development environment that allows you to create an imaging application without writing any code. It runs on your development computer and uses the resources of your camera and/or PC (for example, to grab an image or communicate with connected devices). The illustration of the Matrox Design Assistant user interface below shows you the imaging application (displayed as a flowchart on the left), the image being analyzed (displayed in the middle), a list of the current annotations (displayed on the right), and a variety of interface elements typically used to design and test your application.

Using Matrox Design Assistant

With Matrox Design Assistant, you can:

  • Create your project as a series of steps using a flowchart.

  • Test your project from your development computer without any additional code editors or compilers and without deploying (copying and running) your project.

  • Deploy your project to a Matrox Design Assistant runtime platform, such as, a supported Matrox smart camera (Matrox Iris GTR), a Matrox 4Sight GPm, or a PC connected to one or more GigE Vision or USB3 Vision cameras.

  • Design and layout a web page (operator view) to receive operator input and to display your project's output.

  • Run, terminate, and rerun the project on your runtime platform from within Matrox Design Assistant.

Imaging projects can:

  • Grab images from your camera.

  • Process images either from your camera or from disk, using several different types of processing.

  • Send and receive user-defined signals from the I/O port of your runtime platform.

  • Send and receive information from the serial port of your runtime platform.

  • Send and receive information and save images across the network.

  • Inspect a family of products without having to change projects using recipes.

  • Publish results and accept user input(s) using the operator view web page.

To develop or run your project, you must connect to a runtime platform, or emulate connecting to a runtime platform. A Matrox Design Assistant runtime platform is a collection of hardware and software components on which projects can be deployed and run. For example, a supported Matrox smart camera (Matrox Iris GTR), a Matrox 4Sight GPm, or a PC connected to one or more GigE Vision or USB3 Vision cameras, can be considered runtime platforms. If the runtime platform has sufficient resources, more than 1 project can run simultaneously.

Design-time and runtime

Once connected to a runtime platform, your project can run in one of 2 states:

  • Design-time. At design-time, the project is running on your development computer while using the hardware services of your runtime platform; for example, grabbing images with the acquisition hardware of your supported Matrox smart camera (Matrox Iris GTR). Design-time lets you precisely control the project's execution so that testing can be concentrated within a limited section of your project. Results and messages are available within Matrox Design Assistant as the project runs.

    Note that a project running at design-time will run slower than a project running at runtime due to the relatively slow step-by-step nature of design-time.

  • Runtime. Runtime starts after the project deploys to your runtime platform. The operator view web page can be displayed in your web browser and, from there, you can both watch your project execute and interact with it. Matrox Design Assistant will continue to display runtime execution messages while the project runs on your runtime platform.