Real time decoding of color symbol for optical positioning system
Journal article, Peer reviewed
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This paper presents the design and real-time decoding of a color symbol that can be used as a reference marker for optical navigation. The designed symbol has a circular shape and is printed on paper using two distinct colors. This pair of colors is selected based on the highest achievable signal to noise ratio. The symbol is designed to carry eight bit information. Real time decoding of this symbol is performed using a heterogeneous combination of Field Programmable Gate Array (FPGA) and a microcontroller. An image sensor having a resolution of 1600 by 1200 pixels is used to capture images of symbols in complex backgrounds. Dynamic image segmentation, component labeling and feature extraction was performed on the FPGA. The region of interest was further computed from the extracted features. Feature data belonging to the symbol was sent from the FPGA to the microcontroller. Image processing tasks are partitioned between the FPGA and microcontroller based on data intensity. Experiments were performed to verify the rotational independence of the symbols. The maximum distance between camera and symbol allowing for correct detection and decoding was analyzed. Experiments were also performed to analyze the number of generated image components and sub-pixel precision versus different light sources and intensities. The proposed hardware architecture can process up to 55 frames per second for accurate detection and decoding of symbols at two Megapixels resolution. The power consumption of the complete system is 342mw.