Until now, considerable progress has been made in the application of range finding techanique performing direct 3-D measurement from the object. However, ther are few use of the method in the area of the application of material handing. We present a range finding vision system consisting of static and dynamic range finders to automate a reclaimer used for material handling. A static range finder detects range data of the front part of the piles of material, and a height map is obtained from the proposed image processing algorithm. The height map is used to calculate the optimal job path as features for required information for material handling function. A dynamic range finder attached on the side of the arm of the reclaimer detects the change of the local properties of the material with the handling function, which is used for avoiding collision and detecting the ending point for changing direction. the developed vision systm was applied to a 1/20 simulator and the results of test show that it is appropriate to use for automating the material handling.
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