Based in Send, Surrey, Vision Engineering is well known as the developer, manufacturer and supplier of optical inspection instruments capable of stereo representation – the ability to convey length, breadth and depth, with true fidelity and resolution. The company’s Mantis, Lynx eyepiece-less microscopes and its SX and SX Elite microscopes offer this. Such equipment does not support precise dimensional measurement capability, although does a course one, rather it is more an aid to visual inspection or to support manual interaction with parts. The company does offer optical/digital dimensional measurement equipment, but this is two-dimensional in nature. DRV combines the strengths of optical stereo equipment with the bright display benefits of digital equipment, bringing them together in support of human-object interaction and providing new capabilities in what is a world-first. Today’s DRV units do not offer measurement, but that development is envisaged.

DRV brings together optics, video image capture, latest digital display technology and a specially-designed mirror to deliver its immersive experience that offers even greater viewing freedom than the company’s existing products. In fact, it offers 20x the freedom versus a conventional stereo eyepiece microscope. In such a microscope, the viewing freedom, and therefore comfort, is limited by the size of the exit pupils of the eyepieces; these are normally around 2 mm diameter. The entry pupil of the user’s eye is around 4 mm diameter, so, assuming the user’s eyes are in exactly the correct axial position and the eyetubes exactly match the user’s eye centre distance, then they would have around 1 mm radial freedom or 3 mm axial freedom before parts of the image were lost. With DRV, the exit pupils are approximately 40 mm diameter, which provides 22 mm radial freedom and 60 mm of axial freedom. (Vision Engineering’s eyepiece-less stereo microscope Lynx Evo offers 10 mm side-to-side and 70 mm front-to-back head freedom, incidentally).

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