The main focus of this completed project was the real time visual inspection of ceramic tiles. This is an interesting and challenging domain for the following reasons:
- Ceramic tile workpieces (typically 40 to 70 cm square) need to be inspected at a high rate, up to 4 per second.
- To obtain adequate resolution at high speed, 2048x2048 pixel images are acquired, using a monochrome time-delay integration line-scan camera.
- Being natural materials, there is a tradition of inspecting tiles according to subjective judgements and intuitions. These are difficult to understand and specify in algorithmic form.
- There are a large number of potential faults and quality categories, so any automated system must have comprehensive competence.
Analysis of Speckle Patterns in Birds' Eggs
I have worked with Andrew Gosler of the Zoology Department of Oxford University on a project to analyze the speckle pattern in birds’ eggs. The pigment variation can give important information about eggshell strength and function. However, measuring this variation manually is a tedious, time-consuming, and invasive procedure. Our part of the project was to develop novel image processing methods to automatically measure and characterise speckle patterns.