Use Case:

# Scientific Image Acquisition

Learn how the calibrated light of Relio² helps institutes around the world to certify their work.

Architectural Imaging Department (University of Bologna, Italy) uses Relio² to perform gigapixel-grade image acquisitions in order to 3D-scan historic manufacts for preservation purposes. @unibo

A perfect light source for scientific analysis

Relio² is an incredibly versatile tool, designed to adapt to the most different use cases.
A few months before unveiling Relio² to the public, we’ve been contacted by the University of Bologna, in central Italy: their photographic laboratory was looking for technically advanced lights, able to illuminate ancient manuscripts with a mathematically-correct light.
The purpose of this activity was to give these precious objects a new, digital life, by scanning and reconstructing them in 3D.

A customized frame

We worked with the University to engineer, simulate and build a custom frame capable of hosting sixteen Relio² light modules, to generate an incredible amount of light - up to tens of thousands of lux - at the center of the frame itself.
Thanks to the versatility of Relio² power inputs, we built customized cables and connected them to a single 12V DC transformer, which powered the sixteen lighting points as a whole.
Anchoring the Relio² units to this customized frame was simple, thanks to the presence of a standard UNC 1/4-20 thread in each light module.

The importance of knowledge

The scientific collaboration born between Relio² and the University is based on mindful dialogue between the two parties. We closely followed the development of this project, providing actual results, with fast and mathematically-correct solutions.

Step #1: Colorimetric calibration

The first step to perform, in order to guarantee reliable results, is to calibrate the camera sensor. The traditional method involves the use of pre-calibrated colorimetric charts, to be photographed and compared with reference images.
With Relio², this step becomes optional: we provide raw spectrometry data of Relio² light, publicly and free of charge.
With this data, it is possible to calculate the full color-calibration matrix (Look-up Table or LUT) in a mathematical way that, therefore, is not subject to errors or approximations.

Step #2: Preparing the camera body

Taking pictures in Gigapixel resolution requires special camera bodies, as well as long exposure times. A robust stand is therefore required, to eliminate any form of vibration. Relio² takes its merits: thanks to its advanced electronics, light output remains stable, flicker-free and without any change in brightness, for the entire scan time.

Step #3: Calculation of the brightness compensation matrix

With the help of mathematical modeling and manual measurements, a linearizing matrix is determined, to digitally correct the small variations in brightness that occur on the scanned surface.
Relio² made everyone very happy: thanks to its studio-grade TIR optics, the luminous uniformity on the surface was over 98%, and the correction matrix was not even applied.

Step #4: Positioning the manufact

Once the set-up is complete, the manufact needs to be perfectly aligned to the frame center, so that the shadows generated by incident light are as correct as possible.

Step #5: Depth-map generation

By powering-on one side of Relio² lights at a time, four black-and-white photographs are taken, each illuminated - indeed - from a different side.
The imperceptible shadows created by this lighting setup make it possible for scientists to calculate the roughness and the smallest depth variations of the scanned surface. This depth map is called a “Bump Map”.
Then, a fifth photograph is taken with all the Relio² lights switched on, to generate a full-color texture of the scanned surface. The end-result is a very detailed and chromatically correct 3D model of the object.

A result above our expectations

When we were asked to conceive an improved solution, compared to what the University used the year before, we did not expect to reach a 1000% better result. This comparison, however, tells you how important is quality over quantity.
With 9 times better energy savings, the size of the entire set decreased by 11 times, as did the heat developed, the ease of transport and the safety of use.
The clear improvement in chromatic clarity provided by Relio², moreover, required fewer adjustments in post-production, with considerable time and cost savings.
Congratulations to everyone, but especially to our Relio² lights!

Here are the 3D-printable accessories used in this project

We will never stop telling you this: Relio² is the most versatile professional illuminator ever made. You can make it even better by 3D-printing our already-engineered accessories. Thanks to this, you can polarize its light, tighten the beam, change its shape, direction, intensity and sharpness.
And we’re always open to new challenges!
If you need our expertise to develop new, custom accessories, drop us a line. We can't wait to help you out.

Our lighting consultant

Yes, we have a dedicated lighting designer!
Roman Radaelli knows Relio² very well, and supports us in the development of ad-hoc solutions for all the customers with specific needs or strict requirements.

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I get a Relio² kit?

Currently, Relio² is sold exclusively on this website.

Does it have an internal battery?

No. We want Relio² to withstand years and years of 24/7 use. An internal battery in such a small and powerful device would be able to power Relio² for just 15 minutes at full brightness, with a lifetime spanning no more than 6 months. Name - if you can - one product with an integrated, non-removable battery that’s still 100% funcional after years of use...

How do I power it up?

Via the external microUSB connector. Every USB outlet in the world capable of providing at least 1A of current is suitable.

Why does Relio² still have a microUSB plug instead of the newer USB-C?

The answer is simple: maximum cable length and cord flexibiity. USB-C is born to transport a lot of data channels, so the internal wire count is 4x more, making it very thick and more rigid. For the same reason, USB-C cables lenght is limited to 2m. In the Relio² Base Kit package, we include 1x 1.5m magnetic, nylon-braided microUSB cable and 1x premium, gold-plated, nylon-braided 3m microUSB cable from a premium brand.

Can I use USB-C to USB-A, or USB-C to microUSB adapters?

Yes, of course.

Is the magnetic cable user-replaceable?

Yes. Contact us for a suitable replacement.

What if I use Relio² a lot and some parts wear out?

We engineered all the Relio² parts subject to normal-use wear and tear to be of common availability. Contact us for suitable replacements.

Does it have a manufacturer warranty? What does it cover?

We offer 2 years of manufacturer warranty on our terms of use and warranty. Please consult our sales terms for details.

How much power does Relio² draw?

1A at 5V DC. Since it integrates a step-down buck converter capable of up to 15V DC, power consumption at higher voltages will be less.

Can I power it up with a car battery or other sources of electricity?

Yes. Every source ranging from 4 to 15V DC is suitable. Input lines are protected from overvoltage and reverse bias. For more info, please consult the manual or our technical specifications.

Is it water resistant?

Yes, moderately up to IP53. For more info, please consult the manual or our technical specifications.

How many units can be operated through the smartphone App?

On iOS, we successfully tested up to 16 devices. On Android, it varies depending on the platform (around 5 units). Please note that aggregate brightness control function is still in development.

Can I develop a custom Bluetooth BLE application?

Yes. You can refer to our BLE API documentation. Please note that developing commercial applications is not permitted unless an explicit consent is received by us. Please contact us for more info.

I need assistance and documentation on how to operate Relio² via an external, wired microcontroller like the Arduino®.

We will provide you with full documentation on how to operate Relio² through logic-level signals. Please contact us for more info.

I need assistance in determining how many Relio² kits I need for my work.

We can do digital simulations tailored to your environment. Drop us a message via the contact form.

Do you ship worldwide?

Yes, with some limitations in some remote areas. If you don't see your Country listed in the shipping form, please contact us.

You said that the LED will be upgradeable. How will you handle that?

This is a commitment and we will honour it in case the technology advances. All the future LED upgrades will be backwards-compatible, so you'll be able to ship your Relio² kits back to us for the upgrade, for a minimal servicing fee.

Can I disassemble the LED and eletronics by myself?

Yes, and it's rather easy to do, but the warranty will be voided.

I accidentally damaged something in my unit. Are spare parts available for sale?

Yes, depending on stock availability. Please contact us and we will help you.

Do you sell physical versions of your 3D-printable accessories?

Currently no, but we partnered with some local and international suppliers that will be able to 3D-print and ship them to you. Please contact us for more info.

I want to sell your 3D-printable accessories.

Yes, why not? We release all our accessories under the Creative Commons CC-BY-4.0 license, so you are free to do that. Please remember that you have to mention us on your sales page. Also, please note that we may also link to 3rd-party items, and they may not share the same license terms of our own accessories. Always check the license bundled with each accessory that you download.

I want to be a reseller of your product.

Sure. Drop us a message via the contact form.

I want to be the exclusive distributor of your product.

Maybe. Drop us a message via the contact form.

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Send us a message to unlock all our free accessories.

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Let’s know each-other!

We’re a super-small company that listens to its users.
You can help us make a difference.

Send us a message to unlock all our technical documentation.

The download links will appear immediately.

Let’s know each-other!

We’re a super-small company that listens to its users.
You can help us make a difference.

Send us a message to unlock all our technical documentation.

The download links will appear immediately.

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