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Canon to supply image sensors for cars, robots

In an attempt to adapt to a shrinking camera market and take advantage of the growing automation market, Canon intends to sell its image sensors to manufacturers for use in autonomous vehicles, robots and other automated machines.

According to Nikkei Asian Review, Canon plans to start selling its CMOS (complementary metal-oxide semiconductor) sensors within two years and has already assembled a team to launch the business. As the market for general-purpose CMOS sensors is already saturated by other companies (including rival company Sony), Canon intends to create specialised devices for automotive and industrial purposes.

The company has already created a new sensor which can capture fast-moving objects with little image distortion. With its strong ability to capture contrast, Canon believes that the sensor would be suited for high-speed night driving in autonomous vehicles. The company also believes it could be used in factory robots to improve mechanical workers’ ability to perform quality checks or position parts.

At present, Canon is also developing “Super Machine Vision”, a next-generation vision system that will surpass the abilities of the human vision system through the use of its autofocus, image recognition and data-processing technologies. The company is developing Industrial Machine Vision for the realisation of smart robots and Monitoring Machine Vision for robots that can coexist with humans.



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