Machine Vision

Modern machine vision systems boost the productivity in the areas of automatic inspection, process control, and robot guidance

Build your vision system with the right tools 

 With the NI machine vision approach, you can choose configuration software or programming libraries to build your imaging applications. NI vision software packages work across the entire hardware portfolio so you can more easily manage and maintain multiple hardware systems, choose proper hardware for new applications, and even switch between both software options with minimal effort.

 New to vision system design? See our list of resources to find the information you need to successfully design and set up your next vision application.

Machine Vision System Components

Machine Vision products include vision systems, smart cameras, frame grabbers, and vision interfaces designed for a wide range of applications, such as assembly verification, object tracking and vision-guided robotics.


Industrial Controllers

NI industrial controllers are suited for a large range of applications and are equipped with high-performance processors for fast decision making and FPGAs to accelerate image processing speeds. NI industrial controllers also feature built-in, customizable I/O for triggering and synchronization between cameras and other system components.

CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO

CompactRIO and Single-Board RIO are also options for applications that require vision and a variety of mixed I/O. The platforms are compatible with USB3 Vision cameras through USB 2.0 ports, IP cameras from Basler and Axis, and analog cameras through third-party C Series modules. Higher performance multicore CompactRIO systems provide full GigE Vision support with dual-core Intel processors to handle more demanding imaging and mixed-I/O requirements.


NI offers two distinct software packages tailored to the needs of programmers and manufacturing line operators, which include world-class image processing algorithms and image acquisition functions. With both options, you can make complex pass/fail decisions, customize user interfaces, and integrate with automation devices.


NI Vision Builder for Automated Inspection (AI)

Configure, benchmark, and deploy complete systems that address vision applications such as classification, code reading, presence detection, metrology, and precision alignment. Vision Builder AI simplifies the development and maintenance process by replacing the complexities of programming with an interactive menu-driven development environment, without sacrificing performance or range of functionality. 

NI Vision Development Module

The NI Vision Development Module is a comprehensive library with hundreds of scientific imaging and machine vision functions that you can program using NI LabVIEW software and several text-based languages. Use other LabVIEW modules and toolkits with this option to create more customized applications, and prototype your algorithms and generate code using the included NI Vision Assistant.

Portable 3D Vision-Guided Robot for Autonomous Venipuncture

VASCULOGIC developed a portable, image-guided, medical robot that autonomously performs blood draws and other IV procedures when medical professionals are unable to successfully access veins, by combining the performance of NI CompactRIO hardware, the flexibility of NI LabVIEW system design software, and the extensive NI robotics and machine vision libraries to deliver a safe portable medical device for initial human testing.

NI LabVIEW and Vision Products Monitor Pharmaceutical Processes

ASTRA ZENECA developed a system that continuously monitors homogeneity in blending processes, with the option to act as an OPC server, by illuminating the blending process with Infrared (IR) light, acquiring images with a Near Infrared (NIR) camera, and visualizing the process evolution in a trend plot to define the process end point. They used LabVIEW, IMAQ Vision software, and NI imaging hardware to facilitate rapid prototyping and implementation.

Inline Production Machines for Testing Ink-Jet Nozzles Using LabVIEW FPGA and NI Vision

ES INTERNATIONAL develoed a machine to test for leaks in industrial ink-jet heads in a production line and tune them for accurate drop placement with 1 µm accuracy, by using the NI Vision Development Module and NI LabVIEW FPGA Module to measure airborne drops and quickly tune individual nozzles on the ink-jet head.

Designing an Integrated Vision and Robotics Cell for Terminal Block Assembly

IMAGING LAB designed a system that tightly integrates robotics and vision for assembling electric components with short batches and a variety of products, by installing five Mitsubishi SCARA robots guided by NI vision systems using the ImagingLab LabVIEW Robotics Library for Mitsubishi, several NI IEEE 1394 frame grabbers with reconfigurable I/O (RIO), software developed with NI LabVIEW, and the NI Vision Development Module.

Enhancing a Robotic Packaging Line for Cosmetics

IMAGINGLABto built a system to identify the position and orientation and perform quality control of face powder brushes, pick up the brushes and place them in a powder case on an eight-slot shuttle, by using the ImagingLab Robotics Library for DENSO to integrate two DENSO SCARA HSS-45552 model robots with two vision systems developed with two NI image acquisition boards. They programmed the entire robotic cell with LabVIEW and the NI Vision Development Module.

Using LabVIEW, the Vision Development Module, and DAQ to Perform Deep-Tissue Cell Imaging

Coleman Technologies Inc. built a system to control a microscope that employs adaptive optics to reduce blurring in the imaging of deep-tissue biological samples by orders of magnitude relative to what is attainable with current state-of-the-art microscopy, by using NI LabVIEW software, NI S Series data acquisition (DAQ) devices, a real-time system integration (RTSI) connection, and multiple third-party instruments to synchronously scan and acquire data, as well as the NI Vision Development Module to process data and send corrections to a spatial light modulator (SLM) in real time.

Using LabVIEW to Create a Revolutionary Thermal Imaging Device for Noncontact Respiration Monitoring

The Materials and Engineering Research Institute of Sheffield Hallam University developed a real-time noncontact medical device that uses infrared imaging to monitor patient respiratory rates, by using NI LabVIEW software and the NI Vision Development Module to acquire thermal images from an infrared camera, then perform complex image processing to track patient’s face, eyes and nose—details which are then used to extract pertinent thermal information from the region of interest beneath each of the subject’s nostrils.

Building a Robotic Vision System for Cylinder Head Inspection

Solimac Automation Co., Ltd. built a reliable robotic vision system that can replace manual visual inspection to reduce errors and inconsistencies, by using NI LabVIEW software and NI data acquisition products to acquire visual signals, control the robot, and send all information to a PC for storage.

High-Speed Vision Inspection for Micro Precision Gauging

ZENTRON LABS developed an online high-speed vision system for optical gauging of several critical dimensions of stamped parts (terminal reel) with the accuracy of ± 12 microns at a rate of 1,200 parts per minute, with software based on LabVIEW for high-speed image acquisition, processing, and calculating of several critical dimensions for each terminal.

More Vision Resources

Access the resources to get up to speed with building and integrating your machine vision system.