Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Robots with human vision to work in nuclear reactors.

Time to build that bunker... From Daily Mail:

Scientists are developing robots that have eyesight that works in the same way as human vision.

The robots will be able to determine what is the most important object in its field of vision and act accordingly, just like humans do.

Scientists hope that the technology will let 'intelligent' robots operate inside dangerous places like nuclear reactors where it would too dangerous for humans to enter.

The advanced robot vision is being developed as part of a European project that uses a sensor that employs a complicated digital imaging process known as ‘3D foveation’.

Current laser scanning technology means that robots sample everything in their field of vision equally.

‘This means an object that is uninteresting for the robot will be sampled as equally dense as the object the robot is interacting with,’ the technical leader of the project, Jens Thielemann, told The Engineer magazine.

‘For instance, in case of a robot navigating a hallway and trying to avoid obstacles, a normal laser scanner will spend the same amount of time sampling objects that are far away and pose no danger to the robot, as it will spend on those nearby that can pose more imminent danger.’

The project team will correct this problem by adapting the robot’s vision so it mimics the processes carried out by the human eye.

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