Recent Patents in Signal Processing (December 2015) – Stereo Vision

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Recent Patents in Signal Processing (December 2015) – Stereo Vision

For our December 2015 issue, we cover recent patents dealing with stereo vision hardware and algorithms. The section below covers patents granted recently for stereo vision viewing systems, wide field-of-view stereo vision platform, stereo vision applied in agriculture, or in dice recognition, and algorithms for head-mounted display.

Various embodiments of the invention no 9,106,909 are directed to display systems for viewing three-dimensional images. In one aspect, a viewing system that enables a viewer to perceive depth in a three-dimensional image includes a right-eye ocular system positioned in the line of sight of the viewer's right eye, and a left-eye ocular system positioned in the line of sight of the viewer's left eye. The right-eye ocular system and the left-eye ocular system are configured to display corresponding stereo right-eye and left-eye image pairs of the three-dimensional image at various distances from the viewer's eyes.

In patent no 9,106,901 presents an imagery axle turning method for stereo vision and an apparatus thereof. The method turns an imagery axle of a stereo vision apparatus to capture images, and constructs a 3D image from the captured 2D images. The imagery axle turning method is realized by rotating the imagery axles of the first lens unit and second lens unit to an angle .theta., so as to have different aspect ratios for the first image and second image. Thereby, the 3D image formed from the stereo vision reconstruction steps can achieve a user's expectation of capturing images with an appropriate aspect ratio. This invention also provides specific stereo vision apparatus corresponding to various applications by the imagery axle turning method.

Embodiments of the invention no 9,077,973 generally relate to 3D stereo vision goggles or other platforms that could be used for enhanced vision systems for surgical applications, for patients with macular degeneration, or for entertainment or business applications. The invention takes images received from a video input source, and segments and projects those images off a mirror defined by a portion of an ellipsoid and directly onto the retina of the eye of a user. The invention allows users to enjoy 3D stereoscopic vision with an increased field of view, increased image quality, increased comfort, reduced cost, and other benefits.

In patent no 8,868,304 a mode controller determines whether to use an automated control mode of the spout or operator-directed manual control mode of the spout, based on a first operational status of a first location determining receiver associated with the propelling vehicle, a second operational status of a second location determining receiver associated with the harvesting vehicle, a third operational status of the imaging device or devices. In the automated control mode, an image processing module is adapted to facilitate the determination of the relative position of the spout and the storage portion and to generate command data place the storage portion and spout in relative cooperative alignment for transferring of material into the storage portion.

A dice recognition system and a dice recognition method for uncontrolled environments are provided in patent no 8,724,888. The number of dot on a dice is automatically recognized in an uncontrolled environment by using multiple cameras. The present dice recognition system is different in at least two aspects from any existing automatic dice recognition system which uses a single camera for recognizing dice in an enclosed environment. Firstly, an existing automatic dice recognition system uses a single camera to obtain planar images for dice recognition, while the present dice recognition system uses multiple cameras to obtain different viewpoints images for dice recognition. Secondly, the present dice recognition system is designed for uncontrolled environments, and which can be applied to an open-table game in a general gambling place for dice recognition without changing the original dice, dice cup, and other related objects.

A method and apparatus for segmenting an image are provided in patent no 8,718,387. The method may include the steps of clustering pixels from one of a plurality of images into one or more segments, determining one or more unstable segments changing by more than a predetermined threshold from a prior of the plurality of images, determining one or more segments transitioning from an unstable to a stable segment, determining depth for one or more of the one or more segments that have changed by more than the predetermined threshold, determining depth for one or more of the one or more transitioning segments, and combining the determined depth for the one or more unstable segments and the one or more transitioning segments with a predetermined depth of all segments changing less than the predetermined threshold from the prior of the plurality of images.

Patent no 8,350,898 introduces A head-mounted visual display device for low-vision aid, which features 2 models, they are analog signal model and digital signal model. Said analog device contains at least an analog video extractor, a video decoder, an ITU-R.656 decoder, a de-interlacing unit, an image processor, two YCbCr to RGB converter, two color enhancement units, two video D/A converter, a head mounted display, a signal voltage controller and a wireless communication module. Said digital device consists of a digital video signal extractor/capturer, a RGB to YCbCr converter, an image processor, two YCbCr to RGB converter, two color enforcement units, a head-mounted display, a signal voltage controller and a wireless communication module.

As introduced by patent no 8,275,195, in a system for stereo vision including two cameras shooting the same scene, a method is performed for determining scattered disparity fields when the epipolar geometry is known, which includes the steps of: capturing, through the two cameras, first and second images of the scene from two different positions; selecting at least one pixel in the first image, the pixel being associated with a point of the scene and the second image containing a point also associated with the above point of the scene; and computing the displacement from the pixel to the point in the second image minimizing a cost function, such cost function including a term which depends on the difference between the first and the second image and a term which depends on the distance of the above point in the second image from a epipolar straight line, and a following check whether it belongs to an allowability area around a subset to the epipolar straight line in which the presence of the point is allowed, in order to take into account errors or uncertainties in calibrating the cameras.

If you have an interesting patent to share when we next feature patents related to stereo vision, or if you are especially interested in a signal processing research field that you would want to be highlighted in this section, please send email to Csaba Benedek (benedek.csaba AT sztaki DOT mta DOT hu).

References

Number: 9,106,909
Title:   Stereo vision viewing systems
Inventors: Santori; Charles M. (Palo Alto, CA), Li; Jingjing (Palo Alto, CA)
Issued:  August 11, 2015
Assignee: Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. (Houston, TX)

Number: 9,106,901
Title: Imagery axle turning method for stereo vision and apparatus thereof
Inventors: Chen; Shing-Chia (Taichung, TW), Li; Min-Che (Taichung, TW), Lin; Huang-Long (Taichung, TW)
Issued:  August 11, 2015
Assignee: Largan Precision Co., Ltd. (Taichung, TW)

Number: 9,077,973
Title: Wide field-of-view stereo vision platform with dynamic control of immersive or heads-up display operation
Inventors: Aguren; Jerry G. (Tomball, TX)
Issued:  July 7, 2015
Assignee: DRI Systems LLC (Tomball, Tx)

Number: 8,868,304
Title: Method and stereo vision system for facilitating the unloading of agricultural material from a vehicle  
Inventors: Bonefas; Zachary T. (Urbandale, IA)
Issued:  October 21, 2014
Assignee: Deere & Company (Moline, IL)

Number: 8,724,888
Title: Stereo vision based dice recognition system and stereo vision based dice recognition method for uncontrolled environments
Inventors:  Hsu; Gee-Sern (Taipei, TW), Zhang; Xun-Jia (Taipei County, TW)
Issued:  May 13, 2014
Assignee: National Taiwan University of Science and Technology (Taipei, TW)

Number: 8,718,387
Title: Method and apparatus for enhanced stereo vision
Inventors: El Dokor; Tarek (Phoenix, AZ), Cluster; Jordan (Tempe, AZ)
Issued: May 6, 2014
Assignee: Edge 3 Technologies, Inc. (Phoenix, AZ)

Number: 8,350,898
Title: Head-mounted visual display device with stereo vision and its system
Inventors: Chang; Yin (Taipei, TW), Lai; Yen-Liung (Kaohsiung, TW), Li; Ji-Min (Taipei, JP), Du; Yu-Wei (Tainan, TW)
Issued:  January 8, 2013
Assignee: National Yang-Ming University (Taipei, TW)

Number: 8,275,195
Title:  Method for determining scattered disparity fields in stereo vision  
Inventors: Francini; Gianluca (Turin, IT), Lepsoy; Skjalg (Turin, IT), Presti; Giovanni (Turin, IT)
Issued:  September 25, 2012
Assignee: Telecom Italia S.p.A. (Milan, IT)

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