This past semester I took a Computer Vision course. According to Wikipedia, Computer Vision is “a field that includes methods for acquiring, processing, analyzing, and understanding images and, in general, high-dimensional data from the real world in order to produce numerical or symbolic information”. Basically, gaining/recognizing some information from images. A very popular Computer Vision application most people are familiar with is face recognition. A lot of camera use this where you will see a little box around the faces the camera sees in the image.

For my Computer Vision class we had to do a semester project. I partnered with someone from my research group, Brandon, and we decided to do a project combining Computer Vision with Robotics. In our research lab there is a really cool robot named BAXTER and of course we wanted to take this opportunity to play around with BAXTER and get him to do some neat tricks.

The first task we gave BAXTER was to find a ball on a table and then dunk it in a hoop. BAXTER is equipped with cameras on his head as well as on both of his hands. These cameras allow him to see the ball and the hoop. We used color-detection to allow BAXTER to recognize the objects (the ball, the hoop). The color-detection works by taking an image, specifying what color we are looking for (ex. orange), then muting out all other colors besides the color we want. The area left with the largest amount of color is where our object is. This works pretty well as long as there is only one object with the right color in BAXTER’s vision. Anyways, after BAXTER found the ball and the hoop, we calculated the distance to the hoop and then slam dunk! Here is an awesome video my partner made to demo the project:

BAXTER’s next task was to sort multiple balls in to multiple buckets based on color (pink ball in pink bucket). This process works pretty much the same way as the hoop, except BAXTER looks for more colors and repeats the process until all of the balls are sorted.

BAXTER the robot getting ready to sort some balls

BAXTER the robot getting ready to sort some balls

And of course… another awesome video…! 🙂

This was a really fun project to work on! I hope to have more opportunities to code with BAXTER in the future.

Next, step…get BAXTER to clean up my room? 🙂


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