Design and implementation of an intelligent vision and sorting system
This research focuses on the design and implementation of an intelligent machine vision and sorting system that can be used to sort objects in an industrial environment. Machine vision systems used for sorting are either geometry driven or are based on the textural components of an object’s image. The vision system proposed in this research is based on the textural analysis of pixel content and uses an artificial neural network to perform the recognition task. The neural network has been chosen over other methods such as fuzzy logic and support vector machines because of its relative simplicity. A Bluetooth communication link facilitates the communication between the main computer housing the intelligent recognition system and the remote robot control computer located in a plant environment. Digital images of the workpiece are first compressed before the feature vectors are extracted using principal component analysis. The compressed data containing the feature vectors is transmitted via the Bluetooth channel to the remote control computer for recognition by the neural network. The network performs the recognition function and transmits a control signal to the robot control computer which guides the robot arm to place the object in an allocated position. The performance of the proposed intelligent vision and sorting system is tested under different conditions and the most attractive aspect of the design is its simplicity. The ability of the system to remain relatively immune to noise, its capacity to generalize and its fault tolerance when faced with missing data made the neural network an attractive option over fuzzy logic and support vector machines.