The Naval Research Laboratory (NRL) has developed a method for the rapid recognition and location of surface shapes in range images. This method can be used for face recognition, munitions identification, and to train robots to “see” (um…whaaaat?!?!).
Unlike other image-based methods, the NRL approach is completely insensitive to variation in lighting or viewpoint and is extremely time-efficient.
The patented NRL technique uses “tripod operators,” which extract sample points from a range image in order to recognize the underlying surface shape. Coupled with a suitable range imaging scanner, such as the patented NRL Correlation Scanner, this technique enables the automation of many tasks previously relegated to human labor.
The system has been demonstrated for use in automated assembly for manufacturing and in support of spacecraft docking maneuvers.
So now we’re giving robots Geordi La Forge vision and letting them do the work? Well…I, for one, would like to welcome our new robotic overlords.
Video produced by the Naval Research Lab
Want more information on this technology (like how to make it your very own, perhaps)? Well check this out.
NRL has a broad portfolio of technologies and active patents or patent applications that are available for license. Visit the NRL Technology Transfer Office for all of your mad scientist needs.
Disclaimer: The appearance of hyperlinks does not constitute endorsement by the Department of Defense of this website or the information, products or services contained therein. For other than authorized activities such as military exchanges and Morale, Welfare and Recreation sites, the Department of Defense does not exercise any editorial control over the information you may find at these locations. Such links are provided consistent with the stated purpose of this DoD website.