A Single-Chip Vision-based Range Sensor

U. Çilingiroğlu and S. Chen (USA), and E. Çilingiroğlu and B.S. Yarman (Turkey)


range finding, vision, focus/defocus, photosensor, MOS Integrated Circuits


A low-cost vision-based range sensing technique is presented. The technique is considered for highway collision avoidance applications but its generality makes it suitable for application in robotics, manufacturing and metrology as well. It relies on depth from focus but, unlike conventional techniques, it extracts range with a single unmodulated camera in real-time from a single image. The range extraction algorithm is memoryless and simple enough to be implemented on the same CMOS chip with photosensors. The technique deploys a sensor plane that is tilted at an angel with respect to the optical axis of a lens, and the optical axis intersects the sensor plane at the focal point. This optical arrangement creates a focusable object plane in an orientation parallel to the optical axis, and thus, enables range sensing along the same axis. This presentation elaborates on the details of focus sensing on the tilted sensor plane, and describes the novel aspects of the sensor/processor cihp.

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