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Net Journal 4

Expansion into industry, agriculture, services and various other fields

---- What is the current progress of the expansion to industrial application?

Dr.Kaneko: We have conducted a number of joint research projects with companies. Since a variety of methods are necessary depending on the type and purpose of the subject, some of these are studied concurrently.  Offers for joint research are basically received after presenting the methods we have developed together with students in our laboratory for evaluation.  There are many application fields, ranging from a vehicle vicinity monitoring system using an onboard camera to speed measurement for agricultural tractors, security and amenity surveys and measurement of mites.

One such method is known as orientation code matching (OCM). This can track an object correctly even if the brightness or direction changes in its transfer process. In Fig. 2, for example, the method can trace the moving object accurately even if it moves through an unlit section or changes direction. OCM is adopted for a vehicle vicinity monitoring system using the in-car image-processing LSI ViscontiTM technology developed by Toshiba (Ex. 2).

Fig.2: OCM

Fig.2: SSD

Another thing I would like to show you is M-ICP, which is a technology to collate and match three-dimensional image data. Figure 3 shows an attempt to recognize and overlap the shapes of two data sets prepared by measuring coffee makers with a three-dimensional sensor. There are some differences between the two data sets. While the conventionally used matching technology (ICP) cannot grasp the differences between the objects correctly or overlap them completely, our M-ICP technique can overlap them completely using an algorithm known as M-estimation. It recognizes the differences between the two images, and the computer itself surmises and supplements the different parts. This can be applied, for example, to quality inspection for manufactured products. It is expected to be applied to a system that can measure pressed products and check against the sample data to see if there are any flaws or defects.

Fig3: M-Icp

Fig3: Icp

Such a system cannot be realized using only image-matching technology. It must be developed in cooperation with other fields, such as camera and sensor technologies to identify people or things and technologies to move robots. To this end, our laboratory has an integrated research system with robotics, mechatronics, human sensing and other laboratories, and can conduct research by combining their respective realms of expertise. I think this is another advantage of this laboratory.

Shun'ichi Kaneko, Doctor of Engineering

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