Quality Innovations: USB Microscope
Bodelin Technologies Inc. (Seattle) recently unveiled the ProScope HR, a high-resolution version of its ProScope handheld microscope that incorporates USB2 computer connectivity. It has a 1.3-megapixel (Mp) imager as well as software, for Windows and MAC, which allows the operator to capture stills, video and time lapse with a single click.
According to Peter White, director of sales and marketing for Bodelin, this handheld instrument offers a new level of portability and expandability, which provides solutions for many quality control (QC) applications.
“With the ProScope HR and a laptop computer working together, inspection is completely mobile,” White says. “The user can take the inspection process to any inside or outside location, with no need for external power. All capabilities for visual inspection and measurement fit inside a briefcase.”
ProScope HR is a USB video device that works with the native USB driver in Windows XP Service Pack 2 and MAC OS 10.4.8. The operator merely loads the software, which comes with the system; no separate driver is needed. He can adjust the resolution from 320 by 240 pixels for video to 640 by 480 pixels for live presentation to 1,280 by 1,024 pixels to capture high-resolution stills.
The ProScope HR works with previous ProScope lenses, so current operators can simply upgrade to a new base. In addition, a 400X lens is being introduced with this launch.
The instrument uses modular lenses with white LED lighting. Magnification capabilities range from 10X to 1,000X. The company offers adapters that connect the ProScope to older analog microscopes. As a result, the operator can continue to use an older microscope and be able to view all functions on a computer screen.
How does the product solve measurement, test, inspection or analysis problems? “ProScope HR comes with free software for live image view, still capture, video capture and time-lapse capture,” White explains. “The software is free to download and can be loaded on any number of computers. Measurement is accomplished with second-party optional software such as Screen Calipers or LX-ProScope. Screen Calipers and their expansion packs allow for imaging within 1/10,000th of an inch. Once the operator calibrates with one of our lenses, that calibration is stored in the software preferences.”
White says the new version of ProScope offers the following benefits:
- Portable and
- Durable. It can withstand the rigors of outdoor testing and analysis.
- Flexible. It can be handheld or positioned on a stand.
- Expandable. It has eight optional lenses.
- Live and captured imaging at 1.3 Mp uncompressed.
- USB Video Class. It can be used with live video chat or VOIP (voice over Internet protocol) software.
On the negative side, the instrument does not offer 3-D capabilities and it requires a computer connection to work. However, Bodelin also offers a larger standalone model, which includes a camera, LCD monitor, 256 MB memory card, rechargeable battery and AC adapter cable.
Growing markets for the instrument include industrial QC, medical and cosmetics. Some of the many QC applications, so far, have involved PCB inspection, anilox print rollers, small metal and plastic parts, textiles and aerospace.
“The ProScope was originally designed for science education where we are a big player, as well as law enforcement, yet we have always had QC sales,” White says.
He foresees expanded use of the instrument for the following QC applications:
automotive parts, plastic molds, metal etching, chamfer bits, film, paper,
textiles, paint, diamonds, saw blades, spray nozzles, rubber and glass.
TECHNOLOGY CONTACTFor more information on the ProScope HR, contact:
Bodelin Technologies Inc.
815 NE 45th St.
Seattle, WA 98105
- Software allows the operator to capture stills, video and time lapse with a single click.
- All capabilities for visual inspection and measurement fit inside a briefcase.
- Magnification ranges from 10X to 1,000X.