New technologies for CSI: chicken scene investigation
Scientists at the Instrumentation and Sensing Laboratory
(ISL) of the US Agricultural Research Service are designing a range of
portable inspection gadgets for poultry operations.
range includes a hardhat with a small camera and a
flashlight that gives off specially filtered light, as well as safety glasses
that include a wearable miniature computer monitor that displays data from a
miniature computer on the inspector's belt. The data tells the inspector whether
there is any faecal matter on the processing equipment.
Also in the range is a pair of binoculars with lenses
that filter special bands of light to check for disease, defects, or faecal
matter on the meat, produce, or equipment.
There's also a hand-held device that shines filtered
light to do a sanitation check of the processing plant. The device has a camera
that sends images to another eyewear-mounted computer display. White specks on
the image reveal faecal matter.
The design team is led by Yud-Ren Chen and includes
biophysicist Moon Kim, agricultural engineer Kuanglin Chao, and visiting
scientists from around the globe.
Chen, Chao, and visiting scientist Chun-Chieh Yang have
finished work on a high-speed on-line imaging system for chicken inspection.
They are turning over a prototype to industry as part of a cooperative research
and development agreement with Stork-Gamco
of Gainesville, Georgia, a major manufacturer of
Because all these systems use optically filtered light
and opto-electronics to â€œsee,â€ they are called â€œmachine visionâ€ or â€œoptical
sensingâ€ systems. At the heart of these machine vision systems is a digital
multispectral camera that can take photos at different wavelengths
simultaneously and can even detect light invisible to the naked eye. The systems
include the latest, fastest cameras of this type. All the systems rely on two or
three wavelengths chosen to do the best job of seeing special features.
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