You are on page 1of 7

ARTICLE IN PRESS

ISA Transactions ( )

Contents lists available at ScienceDirect

ISA Transactions
journal homepage: www.elsevier.com/locate/isatrans

Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images


Chen-Chien Hsu a, , Ming-Chih Lu b , Wei-Yen Wang a , Yin-Yu Lu b
a b

Institute of Applied Electronics Technology, National Taiwan Normal University, 162 He-ping East Road, Section 1, Taipei 10644, Taiwan Department of Electronic Engineering, St. Johns University, 499 Tam King Road, Sec. 4, Tam-Sui, Taipei 25135, Taiwan

article

info

abstract
This paper presents a distance measurement method based on pixel number variation of CCD images by referencing to two arbitrarily designated points in the image frames. By establishing a relationship between the displacement of the camera movement along the photographing direction and the difference in pixel count between reference points in the images, the distance from an object can be calculated via the proposed method. To integrate the measuring functions into digital cameras, a circuit design implementing the proposed measuring system in selecting reference points, measuring distance, and displaying measurement results on CCD panel of the digital camera is proposed in this paper. In comparison to pattern recognition or image analysis methods, the proposed measuring approach is simple and straightforward for practical implementation into digital cameras. To validate the performance of the proposed method, measurement results using the proposed method and ultrasonic rangefinders are also presented in this paper. 2009 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

Article history: Received 24 September 2008 Received in revised form 25 May 2009 Accepted 26 May 2009 Available online xxxx Keywords: Digital cameras Distance measurement CCD images Image-based measuring systems Pixels Video signal

1. Introduction As far as noncontact distance measurement is concerned, ultrasonic-based [14] and laser-based [511] techniques are among the most commonly-used methods. Unfortunately, measurement accuracy via the laser- and ultrasonic-based methods heavily depends on the surface reflectivity of the object under measurement. If the surface reflectivity is poor, the measuring system generally performs poorly or not at all. These methods also have difficulties in recording images of the objects while measuring distance. Alternatively, imaged-based methods have been proposed for distance measurement by using a CCD (digital camera) [1215]. These methods, however, generally require two cameras set up at different positions to capture two different pictures for further analysis. As a result, pattern recognition or image analysis of a whole image frame were required [16,17] to extract features from the images for obtaining the distance measurement. Thus, a huge amount of storage capacity and high-speed DSP processors are required for system so established, inevitably resulting in disadvantages in terms of system complexity, processing speed and establishment cost. As a result, the performance of real-time measurements via the pattern recognition or image analysis methods

Corresponding author. Tel.: +886 2 2621 5656; fax: +886 2 2620 9814. E-mail addresses: jameshsu@mail.tku.edu.tw (C.-C. Hsu), l3210m@mail.sju.edu.tw (M.-C. Lu), wayne@mails.fju.edu.tw (W.-Y. Wang).

[1823] was generally not satisfactory because of the speed constraint. Based on a triangular relationship, image-based distance measuring systems (IBDMS) [2429] were proposed to measure distance and area using two laser projectors and a CCD camera. Unfortunately, the two laser projectors needed to be precisely aligned with the camera, which inevitably imposed a critical constraint on the calibration of the measuring system. Furthermore, measurement accuracy of the IBDMS depended on the distance between the laser projectors. Incorporation of the measuring system into a digital camera might become cumbersome if higher measuring resolution is required [29]. Because of the problems and difficulties via the above-mentioned methods, accurate and reliable measurements were not always guaranteed in real-world applications. To overcome the problems and difficulties encountered via existing image-based distance measuring methods, this paper presents a distance measurement method based on pixel number variation in images of digital cameras by referencing to two arbitrarily designated points in the image frames, rather than the laser-projected spots in the image. It is apparent that the actual distance between the reference points will not change no matter how the digital camera moves backwards or forwards along the photographing direction. However, objects in the image frame captured by the camera do vary in size if the camera moves backwards or forwards along the photographing direction. That is, pixel counts between the reference points in images will be different if the digital camera moves along the photographing direction. By establishing a relationship between the displacement of the camera

0019-0578/$ see front matter 2009 ISA. Published by Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005 Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005

ARTICLE IN PRESS
2 C.-C. Hsu et al. / ISA Transactions ( )

movement and the difference in pixel counts between the reference points in the images at different photographing distances, we can measure the distance of a remote object. One of the advantages in using the proposed measuring approach is that a precise distance between the reference points is not required. Two arbitrarily selected points by the user on the CCD panel covered by the viewing angle of the camera can be adopted as the reference points in achieving a reliable measurement. 2. Measurement based on variation of pixel counts of CCD images To equip digital cameras with the function of measuring distance while recording images, the performance of the existing IBDMS needs to be improved from two aspects. The first one is to remove the constraint on generating two laser beams precisely formed in parallel as required by the IBDMS. The second one is the determination of a critical parameter between the optical origin and the front end of the camera for various kinds of CCD camera so as to achieve an accurate measurement. 2.1. Relationship between distance and variation of pixel counts Assume that objects or surfaces to be measured are perpendicular to the optical axis of the CCD camera. There exists a close relationship between distance and pixel counts (scanning time) on a scan line of an image frame, as revealed in previous researches [2426]. Fig. 1 shows a schematic diagram of a CCD camera capturing images at different photographing distances h1 and h2 , in which the distance between the optical origin (OP) and the front end of the CCD camera is hs , D(h1 ) and D(h2 ) are the real-world maximal horizontal distances formed by the field of view of the CCD camera at photographing distance h1 and h2 , respectively, is the actual distance between Pa and Pb , N (h1 ) and N (h2 ) are the pixel counts of at the photographing distance h1 and h2 , respectively, and Nmax is the maximal pixels in a horizontal scan line of an image frame, which is fixed and known a priori irrelevant of photographing distances. Assume that actual distance between reference points Pa and Pb will not change. We have the following relationship between pixel counts and distances:

if the CCD camera moves forwards along the photographing direction. Alternatively, the photographing distance h1 = N (h2 ) N (h2 ) N (h1 )

h hs

(6)

can be derived by substituting h2 = h1 h into Eq. (4), if the CCD camera moves backwards along the photographing direction. Note that h in Eqs. (5) and (6) is the displacement along the photographing direction due to the movement of the camera, which can be fixed and known a priori. For example, a linear slide powered by a motor with the help of position sensors or rotary encoders for precise detection can be used to drive the CCD camera to obtain a fixed displacement h. As long as hs becomes available, we can calculate the photographing distance from an object via Eqs. (5) or (6). 2.2. Selection of reference points Fig. 2 shows schematic diagrams illustrating that the variation of image size of an identical object in image frames depends on the photographing distance. When the CCD camera moves forwards or backwards along the photographing direction, pixel counts between the two reference points in the image frames will be different. On the basis of the variation of the pixel counts between reference points in CCD images, we can derive the photographing distance. Assume that points Pa and Pb of an object in the image frame are chosen as the reference points by the user. When taking pictures at the photographing distance h2 , pixel counts N (h2 ) between the reference points Pa (h2 ) and Pb (h2 ) can be calculated by N (h2 ) = MR (h2 ) ML (h2 ), by adjusting the left and right cursor lines on the CCD panel via control switches. Pixel counts N (h1 ) at the photographing distance h1 can be obtained in exactly the same way, and will not be re-iterated. When the camera is set to the function to measure distance, a highlighted horizontal line on the kth scan line perpendicular to these two vertical cursor lines is generated for easier identification of the reference points. When the displacement of the camera movement between the photographing distances, h = h2 h1 , becomes available, we can calculate the distances h1 and h2 based on the variation of pixel counts N = N (h2 ) N (h1 ). 3. Determination of the optical origin for CCD cameras To construct a measuring system suitable for all kinds of CCD cameras, the distance hs between the optical origin (OP) and the front end of the camera needs to be established. Fig. 3 shows a proposed method for obtaining an accurate hs for a specific CCD camera, in which an iris limiting the viewing angle of 2s is imposed on the CCD camera. With reference to Fig. 3, when the horizontal ruler is positioned at (A1 , A2 ) and (B1 , B2 ), the distance between the front end of the CCD camera and (A1 , A2 ) and (B1 , B2 ) is hm1 and hm2 , respectively. By a triangular relationship, we have: hs + hm2 = hs + hm1 = 1 2 1 2 Dm2 cot s Dm1 cot s . (7) (8)

N (h1 ) N (h2 )

= =

D (h1 ) Nmax D (h2 ) Nmax

(1)

(2)

From Eqs. (1) and (2), we have: D (h1 ) D (h2 )

N (h2 ) N (h1 )

(3)

Because of the displacement, h = h1 h2 , resulting from the movement of the camera along the photographing direction, two similar isosceles triangles having bases D(h1 ) and D(h2 ), respectively, are formed as shown in Fig. 1. We have: N (h2 ) N (h1 )

D(h1 ) D(h2 )

h1 + hs h2 + hs

(4)

Subtracting Eq. (7) from Eq. (8), we obtain: hm1 hm2 = (5) cot s = 1 2

Substituting h1 = h2 + h2 can be obtained as: h2 = N (h1 ) N (h2 ) N (h1 )

h into Eq. (4), the photographing distance

(Dm1 Dm2 ) cot s .


(9)

h hs ,

2 (hm1 hm2 ) Dm1 Dm2

Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005

ARTICLE IN PRESS
C.-C. Hsu et al. / ISA Transactions ( ) 3

Fig. 1. Schematic diagram depicting the relationship between distance and pixel counts at different photographing distances.

Fig. 2. Schematic diagram showing the variation of image size of an identical object in image frames at different photographing distance h1 and h2 , respectively.

CCD camera OP

Vertical ruler

Horizontal ruler B1 Dm2 B2

A1 Dm1
Fig. 3. Mechanism for obtaining an accurate hs for a CCD camera.

A2

Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005

ARTICLE IN PRESS
4 C.-C. Hsu et al. / ISA Transactions ( )

Fig. 4. Block diagram depicting the hardware design incorporated into a digital camera to measure and display distance.

Fig. 6. Timing sequence in generating the kth scan line control signal VHK .

Alternatively, we can obtain: hs + hm2 hs + hm1

Dm2 Dm1

by dividing Eq. (7) by Eq. (8). Thus, the critical parameter of the distance between the optical origin and front end of the CCD camera for a specific CCD can be obtained as: hs = hm1 Dm2 hm2 Dm1 Dm1 Dm2

(10)

into the added-on circuit implementing the proposed measuring system for generating the cursor lines on the CCD panel of the digital camera and calculating the distance under measurement. Thanks to the design of the added-on circuit, extra functions are provided for measuring distance without making changes to the original processing circuits of the digital camera. Measurement results merged into the video image can be simultaneously displayed on the CCD panel of the digital camera and stored in a memory card together with the video image. The original functionalities of the digital camera are not affected. 4.2. Added-on circuit in implementing the proposed distance measuring system Fig. 5 shows the schematic diagram of the added-on circuit implementing the proposed measuring system in generating the left and right cursor lines on the CCD panel of the digital camera and calculating the distance under measurement. The video signal is processed by a Synchronization Separation Circuit to obtain a horizontal synchronization signal Hsycn . With suitable selection on the horizontal synchronization signal Hsycn via a Scan Line Setting circuit, a particular scan line, for example, the kth scan line can be chosen to produce a kth scan line control signal VHK as shown in Fig. 6. Signal VHK is then fed into a Level Converter via an OR gate GA to adjust voltage levels to the largest intensity suitable for merging with the original video signal. As a result, a highlighted horizontal line on the kth scan line will be generated on the CCD panel of the camera. Because of the Scan Line Setting circuit, users can arbitrarily designate the kth scan line. Therefore, reference points Pa and Pb can be selected anywhere in the CCD panel.

4. The proposed measurement system based on pixel variations of CCD images 4.1. Hardware design for realizing the proposed distance measuring system To obtain the distances h1 and h2 , images captured by the camera at photographing distances h1 and h2 can be stored in a memory card for off-line processing in a computer. N (h1 ) and N (h2 ) are then calculated via image processing software based on the selected reference points Pa and Pb . This approach, though workable, is very inconvenient for practical implementation. In this paper, we will propose a hardware design for incorporation into a digital camera to measure distance and display measured results on CCD panel of the digital camera in addition to full camera functionalities. Fig. 4 shows the functional block of an added-on circuit for incorporation into a digital camera to measure and display distance. The original video signal is disconnected from the camera and fed

Fig. 5. Schematic diagram of the added-on circuit for incorporation into a digital camera to measure and display distance. Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005

ARTICLE IN PRESS
C.-C. Hsu et al. / ISA Transactions ( ) 5

Fig. 7. Timing sequence of signals from the comparators and OR gate.

300.83cm

330.83cm

l = 50cm, h2 = 300cm

l = 50cm, h1 = 330cm

Fig. 8. Images showing the measured distance on the CCD panel of the digital camera via the proposed method.

With reference to Fig. 5, Vfc is the clock signal for the video signal of the digital camera. As a result, the output from the Pixel Counter, Np = 0 Nmax , is synchronized with the video signal. The frequency of the input clock to the Left and Right Cursor Line Counters, Vfm , is far smaller than Vfc to the Pixel Counter. By adjusting switches SL and SR of the Left and Right Cursor Line Counters, clock counts ML and MR from the Left and Right Cursor Line Counters can be accurately set in such a way that pressing UP increases the count, pressing DN decreases the count, and pressing ST stops the count, respectively. The output from the Pixel Counter, Np , starts counting from 0 in the beginning of every scan line and ends up with NP = Nmax . Assume that the Left Cursor Line Counter has a clock count ML , Right Cursor Line Counter has a clock count MR and the Pixel Counter repeatedly scans from 0 to Nmax . When NP = ML and NP = MR , outputs from comparators A and B activate high, i.e., VEQ 1 = High and VEQ 2 = High , respectively. That is, output signal from the OR gate GA , Vdk = High , whenever the Left Cursor Line Counter outputs ML or Right Cursor Line Counter outputs MR for all scan lines. The positive pulses Vdk after level conversion are added into the original video signal. Therefore, a tiny spot of high intensity is generated on the CCD panel of the digital camera for each scan line at horizontal positions ML and MR . The aggregation of the tiny spots for all scan lines at horizontal positions ML and MR will then generate two vertical fine lines with highlighted intensity on the CCD panel, perpendicular to the highlighted horizontal line on the kth scan line, as demonstrated in Fig. 7. When the digital camera is moved forwards along the photographing direction and touches a position switch, the interrupt pin INT0 of the microprocessor in Fig. 5 is activated, triggering an interrupt subroutine to read MR (h2 ) ML (h2 ) = N (h2 ) from the subtractor into the microprocessor via I/O port A. When the digital camera is moved backward along the photographing direction and

touches another position switch, interrupt pin INT1 of the microprocessor is activated, triggering the interrupt subroutine to read MR (h1 ) ML (h1 ) = N (h1 ) from the subtractor into the microprocessor. When both N (h1 ) and N (h2 ) become available, the microprocessor can calculate the photographing distances h1 and h2 via Eqs. (5) and (6). For an NTSC system, MR ML can be obtained in every 1/60 s. Thus, photographing distances h1 and h2 can be promptly calculated. To simultaneously display the measurement on the CCD panel of the digital camera, a Character Storage Memory is used to store the measured results as bitmapped characters. In the beginning of every scan line, contents in the Character Storage Memory are read out according to the synchronization clock frequency Vfc . Because the Character Storage Memory has a fixed scanning interval corresponding onto the CCD panel, characters representing the measurement results will appear on the same positions of the CCD panel, as will be shown in Figs. 8 and 9. 5. Experimental results In this section, we present experimental results to demonstrate the effectiveness of the proposed measuring system based on pixel number variation of CCD images. A CCD camera with a resolution of 2048 1536 pixels is used to conduct the experiment. The critical parameter between the optical origin and the front end of the camera for the CCD camera is hs = 2.5 cm, which is experimentally obtained by the proposed mechanism in Fig. 3 using different sets of Dm1 , Dm2 , Hm1 and Hm2 to obtain a reliable parameter for hs . Displacement of camera movement, h = 30 cm, is adopted for all the experiments. Experiments are conducted adapting to practical situations in the use of digital cameras. Different reference points are chosen depending on photographing the ranges under consideration, because a broader range is covered

Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005

ARTICLE IN PRESS
6 C.-C. Hsu et al. / ISA Transactions ( )

547.81cm

577.81cm

l = 150cm, h2 = 540cm

l = 150cm, h1 = 570cm

Fig. 9. Images showing the measured distance on the CCD panel of the digital camera via the proposed method. Table 1 Distance measurement at various photographing distances. Measured distance (h2 ) N (h2 ) N (h1 ) Estimated distance (cm) (proposed method) Error % (proposed method) Estimated distance (cm) (ultrasonic rangefinder) Error % (ultrasonic rangefinder) Note: Distance between Pa and Pb is 50 cm. Table 2 Distance measurement at various photographing distances. Measured distance (h2 ) N (h2 ) N (h1 ) Estimated distance (cm) (proposed method) Error % (proposed method) Estimated distance (cm) (ultrasonic rangefinder) Error % (ultrasonic rangefinder) Note: Distance between Pa and Pb is 100 cm. Table 3 Distance measurement at various photographing distances. Measured distance (h2 ) N (h2 ) N (h1 ) Estimated distance (cm) (proposed method) Error % (proposed method) Estimated distance (cm) (ultrasonic rangefinder) Error % (ultrasonic rangefinder) Note: Distance between Pa and Pb is 150 cm. 360 cm 925 855 363.93 1.09 356 1.11 420 cm 794 742 425.58 1.33 414 1.43 480 cm 695 655 476.77 0.67 474 1.25 540 cm 619 587 547.81 1.45 534 1.11 600 cm 557 531 610.19 1.69 594 1.00 660 cm 508 486 660.23 0.03 654 0.91 720 cm 468 449 706.45 1.89 714 0.83 780 cm 431 415 775.63 0.56 772 1.03 300 cm 754 690 305.56 1.85 298 0.67 360 cm 632 584 362.5 0.69 356 1.11 420 cm 542 506 419.17 0.20 414 1.43 480 cm 475 447 476.43 0.74 474 1.25 540 cm 423 401 544.32 0.8 534 1.11 600 cm 380 362 600.83 0.14 594 1.00 660 cm 348 333 663.5 0.53 654 0.91 720 cm 318 305 701.35 2.59 714 0.83 120 cm 993 797 119.49 0.43 122 1.67 180 cm 667 573 180.37 0.21 178 1.11 240 cm 502 447 241.32 0.55 238 0.83 300 cm 400 364 300.83 0.28 298 0.67 360 cm 334 309 368.3 2.31 356 1.11 420 cm 287 268 420.66 0.16 414 1.43 480 cm 252 237 471.5 1.77 474 1.25 540 cm 225 213 530 1.85 534 1.11

when shooting at a longer distance while it is narrower when shooting at a shorter distance. The rationale is that we choose suitable reference points to allow easier identification of the objects in the image frames. Table 1 shows measurement results at different photographing distances h2 ranging from 120 cm to 540 cm using the proposed method by moving the camera forward with a displacement h = 30 cm. The actual distance between the reference points, PA and PB , is 50 cm. The first row of the table is the measured distance using a ruler and the fourth row of the table shows the estimated distance via the proposed measuring method. N (h1 ) and N (h2 ) are the pixel counts between the reference points at photographing distances h1 and h2 , respectively. As a comparison, measurement results using an ultrasonic rangefinder are also shown in this table. As shown in Table 1, the measuring errors for various photographing distances fall within 2.31% via the proposed method, which are comparative to 1.67% via the ultrasonic rangefinder. Laser projectors, which were essential in the IBDMS [1822,29], are no longer required via

the proposed measuring method. Disadvantages of conventional measuring methods which required prior knowledge of camera parameters, such as focus of the camera and horizontal and vertical view angles, are also avoided. Furthermore, problems due to poor reflection surfaces when using traditional laser- and ultrasonicbased techniques are prevented via the proposed measuring method. As the measuring distances increase, suitable reference points, PA and PB , need to be selected. Tables 2 and 3 show the measurement results at larger photographing distances ranging from 300 cm to 780 cm, with an actual distance of 100 cm and 150, respectively, between the reference points. As the photographing distance increases, differentiality on variation of pixel counts between reference points reduces due to the resolution of the CCD camera. As a result, the measurement error becomes larger for long-distance measurements. Generally speaking, the proposed method is suitable for applications with short-distance measurements, such as obstacle avoidance or localization in robotic applications. As evidence to show the advantage of the proposed method to merge measurement results into the video

Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005

ARTICLE IN PRESS
C.-C. Hsu et al. / ISA Transactions ( ) 7

image for displaying on the CCD panel, images measuring distances of 300 cm and 540 cm in practice are demonstrated in Figs. 8 and 9, respectively. 6. Conclusions In this paper, a measuring system based on pixel number variation of CCD images is presented, equipping digital cameras with distance measurement functions while recording images. Because of the design of the added-on circuits, which generate cursor lines on the CCD panel for adjustment to calculate the distance under measurement, the proposed method is capable of measuring distance and displaying the measured results simultaneously on the CCD panel without changing the original processing circuits of the digital camera. To provide better accuracy for distance measurement, the distance between the optical origin and the front end of the CCD camera is also determined by a proposed mechanism for taking into consideration during the measurement. As a result, any CCD cameras can be used to establish the proposed measuring system. Experimental results have shown that the measurement accuracy using the proposed method is comparable to that of an ultrasonic rangefinder for short-distance measurement, overcoming the problems and difficulties encountered in conventional imagebased distance measuring methods. As shown in the paper, the proposed measuring system has demonstrated itself as a simple way in measuring distances while simultaneously recording images for applications which require short-distance measurement. Acknowledgements The authors wish to express their gratitude to the anonymous reviewers for their valuable recommendations and comments to improve this manuscript. This work was partially supported by the National Science Council, Taiwan, under Grant NSC 94-2218E-129-002. References
[1] Yasuda A, Kuwashima S, Kanai Y. A shipborne-type wave-height meter for oceangoing vessels, using microwave Doppler radar. IEEE Journal of Oceanic Engineering 1985;10(2):13843. [2] Carullo A, Parvis M. An ultrasonic sensor for distance measurement in automotive applications. IEEE Sensors Journal 2001;1:1437. [3] Carullo A, Ferraris F, Graziani S. Ultrasonic distance sensor improvement using a two-level neural network. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement 1966;45:66782. [4] Song KT, Tang WH. Environment perception for a mobile robot using double ultrasonic sensor and a CCD camera. IEEE Transactions on Industrial Electronics 1996;43:3729. [5] KlimKov YM. A laser polarmetric sensor for measuring angular displacement of objects. In: Conference on lasers and electro-optics Europe. CLEO/Europe. 1996. p. 190. [6] Svirdov SA, Sterlyagov MS. Sea surface slope statistics measured by laser sensor. In: Proceedings of oceans engineering for todays technology and tomorrows preservation. vol. 1. 1994. p. 9005.

[7] Shin HT. Vehicles crashproof laser radar. M.S. thesis. Taiwan: Optical Science Center, Nation Central Univ.; 2000. [8] Peng CC. A compact digital image sensing distance and angle measuring device. M.S. thesis. Taoyuan County (Taiwan): Optical Science Center, Nation Central Univ.; 2001. [9] Chavand F, Colle E, Chekar Y, Ni FC. 3D measurements using a video camera and a ranger finder. IEEE Transactions on Instrumentation and Measurement 1997;46:122935. [10] Tiedeke J, Schable P, Rille E. Vehicle distance sensor using a segmented IR laser beam. In: IEEE 40th vehicular technology conference. CH2846-4. 1990. p. 10712. [11] Culshaw B, Pierce G, Pan J. Non-contact measurement of the mechanical properties of materials using an all-optical technique. IEEE Sensors Journal 2003;3:6270. [12] Miwa M, Ishii M, Koike Y, Sato M. Screen projection camera for ranging far away objects. In: Proceedings of 15th international conference on pattern recognition. 2000. p. 47447. [13] Egami T, Oe S, Terada K, Kashiwagi T. Three dimensional measurement using color image and movable CCD system. In: The 27th annual conference of the IEEE industrial electronic society. 2001. p. 19326. [14] Cano-Garcia A, Lazaro JL, Fernaindez PR. Simplified method for radiometric calibration of an array camera. In: Proceedings of the IEEE international symposium on intelligent signal processing. 2007. p. 15. [15] Mataix C, Lazaro JL, Gardel A, Mateos R. Sensor for environment wide capture with linear response. In: Emerging technologies and factory automation, 7th IEEE international conference. 1999. p. 5718. [16] Kanade T, Kano H, Kimuram S. Development of a video-rate stereo machine. In: Proc. 1995 IEEE/RSJ int. conf. on intelligent robots and systems. vol. 3. 1995. p. 95100. [17] Tanaka Y, Gofuku A, Nagai I, Mohamed A. Development of a compact videorate range finder and its application. In: Proc. 3rd int. conf. on advanced mechatronics. 1998. p. 97102. [18] Mertzios BG, Tsirikolias K. Applications of coordinate logic filters in image analysis and pattern recognition. In: Proc. int. symp. image and signal processing and analysis. 2001. p. 12530. [19] Hong Y. Image analysis for digital media applications. IEEE Computer Graphics and Applications 2001;21:1826. [20] Cucchiara R, Piccardi M, Mello P. Image analysis and rule-based reasoning for a traffic monitoring system. IEEE Transactions on Intelligent Transportation Systems 2000;1:11930. [21] Paschalakis S, Lee P. Pattern recognition in grey level images using moment based invariant features. In: International conference on image processing and its applications. vol. 1, 465. 1999. p. 2459. [22] Katsoulas D, Werber A. Edge detection in range images of piled box-like objects. In: Proceedings of the 7th international conference on pattern recognition. vol. 2. 2004. p. 804. [23] Garcia MA, Solanas A. Estimation of distance to planar surfaces and type of material with infrared sensors. In: Proceedings of the 7th international conference on pattern recognition. vol. 1. 2004. p. 7458. [24] Lu MC, Wang WY, Lan HH. Image-based height measuring systems for liquid or particles in tanks. In: IEEE International conference on networking, sensing and control. 2004. p. 249. [25] Lu MC, Wang WW, Chu CY. Optical-based distance measuring system (ODMS). In: The eighth international conference on automation technology. 2005. p. 2823. [26] Lu MC, Hsu YT, Tu JF. Automobile SSD alert system. In: Proceedings of the ninth international conference on distributed multimedia systems. 2003. p. 8069. [27] Lu MC. Image-based height measuring system for liquid or particles in tanks. ROC patent of invention; 2004. Patent number 201536. [28] Lu MC. BUNDESREPUBLIK DEUTSCHLAND, Vorrichtung zum Messen des Fullstands von Lagergut. Nr.203 19 293.1, IPC: G01F 23/292, 12.03.2003, TW 92105320. [29] Lu MC, Wang WY, Chu CY. Image-based distance and area measuring systems. IEEE Sensors Journal 2006;6:495503.

Please cite this article in press as: Hsu C-C, et al. Distance measurement based on pixel variation of CCD images. ISA Transactions (2009), doi:10.1016/j.isatra.2009.05.005