Research and prototypical implementation of a method for safe optical person recognition and positioning in real-time within the operating range of industrial robots. Approach: a dedicated camera system working within the near-infrared (NIR) spectral range which allows the reliable detection of visible skin areas independent from skin types.
Analysis of requirements and design of system specification; detailed analysis of relevant material samples (skin, typical workpieces, etc.); identification of optimal spectral signatures; development of an optimized camera system; development of suited calibration methods, as well as algorithms for skin detection with face and limb recognition; evaluation of the system in the lab and a field test.
This project covered the research about feasibility and benefits of a Vision Based Protective Device (VBPD) based on an active near-infrared camera system. This kind of system allows a robust pixel-by-pixel detection of skin using its spectral fingerprint in the near-infrared region. This technique can be used for an automatic distinction between persons and other objects within the image data. Especially in the working area of industrial robots, the system offers an additional benefit for the safety of employees and the availability of the robot.
Summary of the results:
Summarizing, the feasibility and suitability of this kind of protective device for the observation of dangerous areas can be confirmed. The size of the observable area is more restricted compared to common camera systems working in the visible range. This is due to the relatively young development of near-infrared images sensors compared to silicon-based image sensors, as well as the performance limits concerning the active light source. These and other problems, in particular an image acquisition method more robust against motion artifacts, are addressed in the follow-up research project "beyondSPAI". In this context, the application of a NIR-camera system as part of a multimodal sensor system including different kinds of sensors to safeguard collaborative robots will be investigated.
-cross sectoral-Type of hazard:
prevention, machine safety, man-machine interfaceDescription, key words:
Person Recognition, Active NIR Camera System