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Taha Mohamed1, Zalhan Mohd Zin2,
Section of Industrial Automation, Universiti Kuala Lumpur-MFI, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603-89262022, Fax: +603-89258845, E-mail: email@example.com Section of Industrial Automation, Universiti Kuala Lumpur-MFI, Bandar Baru Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia Tel: +603-89262022, Fax: +603-89258845, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Abstract Digital image processing techniques (DIP) have been widely used in various types of application recently. Classification and recognition of a specific object using vision system require some challenging tasks in the field of image processing and artificial intelligence. The ability and efficiency of vision system to capture and process the images is very important for any intelligent system such as autonomous robot. This paper gives attention to the development of a vision system that could contribute later in building an automated vision based lawn mower robot. Image processing techniques such as Sobel, RGB conversion, greyscale conversion and edge detection have been applied in the development of the system. The works mainly involved the implementation of DIP techniques to detect and classify the different types of grass on a football field. The project was emphasized on the study on different types of the grass, the development of vision based grass classification system which include the proposed classification algorithm of different types of grasses and also the evaluation of the system’s performance through several experimental works. The experimental results have shown that the developed system was able to classify the grass according to its category of long grass or trimmed grass with the rate of 81.3% of correct classifications. Keywords: Grass classification, Image Processing, Image Filtering, Image Enhancements, Vision System Introduction A lawn mower is a machine that is used to cut a lawn at an even length. Many different designs have been made to suit to particular purposes. Some of these designs are suitable to be used in small area such as residential lawns and gardens. On the other hand, there are also machines that have been designed for usage in bigger area such as in golf courses and municipal parks. However, it is remarked that human intervention and effort are still required to operate all types of these lawnmower machines. Nowadays, with the progress of robotics and vision system technology, designing lawn mower robot could benefit a lot from it. An autonomous lawnmower with vision system capability could be designed to reduce dependency on human intervention and efforts. This vision system can determine the trajectory, navigation or even decision of this autonomous lawn mower by itself. This paper discusses the methods used to develop a vision-based grass classification system for autonomous lawnmower robot. The works focused on the study on various image processing techniques; exploration of two different types of grass that have been used as input images, development of a pseudo-code that classify different types of grass and the experimental works of the proposed system. The finished-prototype of the system could be later applied in the development of an automated lawnmower robot where it could be considered as an important module for the decision of the robot on its direction, navigation or movement. The scope of this works however was limited to the grass types that exist at UniKL MFI football field. Relevant Works Image processing techniques have been successfully applied to lawn mower robot. Usually, the images are captured by using the camera that has been mounted on the robot. Image processing techniques can be then used to further process the data from the image it had received . In , a Vision-Based Obstacle Detection and Avoidance system is an
plate number. Meanwhile. The method uses two thresholds. the focus was given to the development of a vision based system that should become the eye of an automated lawn mower robot. The system development has been done by using mathematical software. and 84% of frames containing boundary lines. edge detection technique had been applied on the grass images and the study was done to differentiate between the different between the images of long grass and the trimmed grass. Each of them has value from 0 to 255 at each pixel point. Matlab. An overview of the system is shown in Fig. and there are probably more algorithms in the literature for enhancing and detecting edges than any other single subject . Therefore. changes in material properties and variations in scene illumination. the paper has investigated the usage of grayscale and binary texture extraction via image convolution and statistical processes to identify grass for robot navigation. Like any other vision based system. Edge detection was then applied on this greyscale image in order to count the outer line of the image. In addition to that. The paper had introduced the idea of using the visual property of texture to design an autonomous lawnmower robot that mows a lawn that should be similar to how a human would in some type of pattern. An overview of texture segmentation and the wavelet transform had also been discussed in . each pixel consists of value of the combination of three basic colours. The Sobel method finds edges using the Sobel approximation to the derivative and it returns edges at those points where the gradient of I is maximum. CWRU Cutter had correctly identified the obstacles in 89% of frames containing fence. With this ability. in edge detection. real-time vision-based obstacle detection system during the ION competition. The gradient is calculated using the derivative of a Gaussian filter. green and blue. The reason for this is that edges form the outline of an object. and indicates the boundary between overlapping objects. In this format. The object of interests has been limited to the grass types that are usually found in our institution’s football field. perimeter. ball etc. Since computer vision involves the identification and classification of objects in an image. the author in  has explained on the usage of image processing techniques that they had used to classify the region of grass by using texture segmentation. texture analysis had been accomplished by using wavelet transform. The purpose of detecting sharp changes in image brightness is to capture important events and changes in properties of the image. to detect strong and weak edges. the Canny method had also been used to find edges by looking for local maxima of the gradient of I. This method is therefore less likely than the others to be fooled by noise. classify or recognize the objects of interest such as face. 78% of frames containing flowerbeds. all of the objects can be located and basic properties such as area. It is considered as one of the most commonly used operations in image analysis. Image processing techniques become important tools that could be used for these challenges. the colour was represented in black and white in the range from 0 to 255. Using this system. This means that if the edges in an image can be identified accurately. pedestrian. Firstly. An edge is the boundary between an object and the background. The current state and future research of this project were also presented. 1. By default. In this paper. the grass image was captured and has been saved in RGB combination colour format. The example of Grass Image Input Image Processing Classification Process Grass Classified Result Figure 1: Generic Framework of Grass Classification System 2 . In this paper too. Methodology and System Development The main image processing technique that had been applied to classify the grass types was the edge detection. red. edge detections is an essential tools. The paper has investigated the use of image hue and intensity to create a robust. the robot can later make decisions as required in  where the focus was given to the detection of the obstacles. vehicle. the goal of this paper is to develop a vision based grass classification system using image processing techniques. The greyscale image format consisted only white and black colours. In . discontinuities in surface orientation. the main challenges are to efficiently detect. and shape can be measured.Autonomous Lawnmower that had been developed at Case Western Reserve University (CWRU). The system was developed for the annual Institute of Navigation (ION) Autonomous Lawnmower Competition. The first step taken was to convert this colour image into a greyscale image. In our case. Data abstraction methods have been used to process incoming images for easy combination of information from multiple sensors is also discussed. At each pixel point. Sobel method is usually used to detect edges . It can be shown that under rather general assumptions for an image formation model. and includes the weak edges in the output only if they are connected to strong edges. discontinuities in image brightness are likely to correspond to discontinuities in depth. and more likely to detect true weak edges.
The results of the total number of ‘1’ for all 120 images have been plotted as shown in Fig. These images were then processed according to the sequences of image processing techniques mentioned in previous section. This grass_limit was pixel value and was determined as the middle value between the lowest value of white pixels in trimmed grass images and the highest value of white pixels in long grass images. which automatically defined our pseudo-code as the following: • If the value of ‘1’ of the image is more than 130434 then image is trimmed grass. the total value of ‘1’ which indicates white pixels was counted. In addition to that. the value of grass_limit had been determined to be equalled to 130434. Through this processes. A fix number of images of long grass and trimmed grass have been captured and compared using the grayscale conversion and edge detection techniques. The higher the value of ‘1’ has indicated the higher number of white pixels was present in the image which directly means that the grass was trimmed or cut. Figure 3: Uncut grass image-Original image on the left while edge detection had been applied in right image • If the value of ‘1’ of the image is less than 130434 then image is long grass. the lower number of ‘1’ meant that the grass was long or uncut. From this figure. Figure 6: The prototype of the system 3 . The hardware components of the system are shown in Fig. In these figures too. In our case.this conversion process is shown in Fig. 4 show the examples of the captured images. Half of them were long grass images while the other halves were trimmed grass images. in order for us to classify between the two grass types. This pseudo-code has used the value named grass_limit as the value that has separated the two grass types. 6. In fact. The next step in the development of our system was to study and analyze the different types of grass in order to build a pseudo-code that should be able to classify them. some fine-tune processes have also been applied such as the variation of the threshold values where the best threshold value found in our case was 0. Fig. The system has finally been programmed using the above pseudo-code to determine the category of grass. 2. Grayscale and Edge Detection Grass Image Figure 5: The number of white pixel value ‘1’present in long and trimmed grass mages. 3 and Fig.46. In contradictory. Figure 2: RGB. a pseudo-code has been proposed as our system’s classifier. the two categories of grass images seem to be found quite separated one from each other. a Graphical User Interface (GUI) has also been developed to assist user in using this system . Figure 4: Cut Grass Image-Original image on the left while edge detection had been applied in right image There were in total 120 images that have been captured for this purpose. 5. it can be observed that the total of white pixel values (1) is lesser in long grass compared to its values in trimmed grass image. Therefore.
the input images have provided some confusion even for human eye to distinguish between the long grass and trimmed grass. 8 where it can be noticed that the system has been able to classify correctly thirteen out of sixteen test images of grasses. In these cases. The platform used in this system development was Matlab software. greyscale conversion and edge detection have been applied into the system. Hughes. there is a possibility that the grass classification system could be done in real time image in moving condition. There were in total sixteen images that had consisted of eight long grasses and eight trimmed grasses that have been used in the experiments. The performance of the system was determined based on the number of correct classification of grass types. However.Experimental Works and Results The experimental works have consisted of testing and classifying the grass according to its two different types which are long grass and trimmed grass. The experimental results have shown that the system was able to classify the grass types with 81. 7. Frank L. USA Figure 7: The performance of system’s grass type classification Correct classification Incorrect classification Figure 8: The Percentage of Correct and Incorrect classification The overall performance of the system is shown in Fig.3% of correct classifications. Bradley E. RGB conversion. the three images that have been wrongly classified as long grass images were actually trimmed grass images. the reliability of the system can also be improved so that it can operate in bad weather condition such as in rainy or cloudy days. Besides that. Some artificial intelligence techniques such as fuzzy logic or neural network could also be implemented into the framework of the system in particular in its algorithm for better decision. Vision-Based Obstacle Detection and Avoidance for the CWRU Cutter Autonomous Lawn Mower. This has represented 81. which can be considered as a reasonable performance. Various image processing techniques such as image filtering. The values of white pixels ‘1’ in these images seem to be lesser than the value of grass limit used in our algorithm. The prototype could be later used as the platform for a development of a vision based system for automated lawn mower robot. 4 . In fact. Alexander Schepelmann. the system has successfully classified them. Woburn. Merat.3% of correct classification rate. testing and fine-tuning processes have been performed using these image processing techniques in order to develop an algorithm or pseudo-code that should be able to classify the grass types. the system works very well in other images. our works will focus specifically into more efficient and stable grass classification that can be done by increasing the size of our training database grass images. The results of this experiment are shown in Fig. On the other hand. image processing techniques for grass classification could be improved to become more robust. For the next step. IEEE International Conference on Technologies for Practical Robot Applications (TePRA 2009). Snow. These images were taken during a normal day. Actually. References . This could influence the decision to be made by our algorithm. In this case. Henry H. The study. Conclusions and Future Works The purpose of this paper was to develop a prototype of a vision based system that should be able to classify the different types of grass that exist on a football field. for other images where we can see obviously the different between long grass and trimmed grass. The system has been tested to classify the two different grass types. However. It can be considered as the limitation or non-flexibility of the system when dealing with boundary issues. there is still some incorrect classification especially when the system tried to deal with boundary cases where the different types of grass didn’t look obviously different.
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