Color Sensors Enhancing Human Senses in Robots.

Published By: IndustryARC Published On : 18-Mar-2016

Color sensors are photoelectric sensors which use light to digital (LTD), light to voltage (LTV) and light to frequency (LTF) methods to sense light and color. There are two basic color sensing systems: reflective sensing, the sensor detects the color of light reflected from a surface and transmissive sensing, the sensor detects the color of light from a light source. They are used for various purposes like sensing components, matching color of different components, verifying steps in manufacturing process, detecting color marks on parts, product packaging, and monitoring color of adhesive tape and so on.

The incorporation of robots in household actions initiates the demand for an enriched sense of touch in robots. The cutting edge technology for this using color sensor evolved in the form of a vision sensor Pixy. This is a tiny camera that can be programmed to recognize objects and their specific coloring. Pixy is a result of partnership between the Carnegie Mellon Robotics Institute and Charmed Labs. It was brought to existence in 2013 by a group of researchers in the U.S however the commercial sales started in 2014.

The simple objective of Pixy is to make the use of vision sensor possible for a wide range of applications in robots. This device can be programmed to track up to seven colors at a time and can be reprogrammed anytime. The device has the capability of memorizing objects by making note of its color and other physical parameters in a click of a button.  The device has a processing speed of one image frame every 20 milliseconds: it has the ability to track every moment with high accuracy.

Combining the dedicated microprocessor with an image sensor this device follows a robust color-based filtering algorithm to detect objects; this algorithm is unaffected by the changes in lighting and exposure.  Its image sensor filters the useful information and sends it to the microcontroller and facilitates detection of objects by generating a statistical model of the object. Pixy enhanced the human sense features in robots making the robots more user-friendly.

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