VORTECS: VLSI Object Recognition Triainable Embedded CMOS System
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>> Project Summary (Abstract)

The purpose of this project is to create a system for three-dimensional machine vision. A novel method is proposed to generate curves and vector lines in two- and three-dimensional space rather than the use of a large depth map. Thus, scene complexity dictates size of the stored object, and resolution is very high. Without the use of a controlled environment, features are stereoscopically matched in extremely small search space for an output of three-dimensional faces and curved surfaces. By implementation of this onto a Xilinx Spartan 3 FPGA in VHDL, existing and newly created algorithms are modified for real-time performance; many capable of running at the same speed as the incoming video, with a system clock of 50MHz. Digital cameras are modified for a high resolution color input. Raw data and sync signals are taken directly from the CCD processing chip within each camera. This Bayer coded data is interpolated into RGB and YUV, averaged with recent data, then presented to the filtering algorithms, which find object edges, represent the edges as curves, find the possible match space, stereoscopically generate the three-dimensional output, and present to a multilayer neural network. This network is implemented in two mediums: a MATLAB computer simulation and design of an analog VLSI CMOS 0.35um chip using the TSMC process. Design uses FGMOSFETs as synapses to store and update weights. Data representation by angles and distances as well as connections allows for built-in invariance to rotation and translation in three-dimensional space.


>> VSF 2005 Project Information

Grade Grouping: 10
Team Size: 1
Subject Area: Computer Science
Project Type: Descriptive
Project Format: Traditional

Software Tools:

  • Website:
    • Macromedia Dreamweaver MX 2004
    • Macromedia Flash MX 2004
    • Apple Final Cut Pro HD 4.0
    • Adobe Photoshop CS
    • Adobe Acrobat 6 Professional
    • Microsoft Office X 2004
  • Project:
    • Visual Basic 6.0
    • MATLAB mathematical software
    • VHDL (Very-high-speed-integrated-circuit Hardware Definition Language) Xilinx IDE
    • Access to Cadence Virtuoso for integrated circuit design, layout, and simulation
    • Cadence OrCad Capture for schematic design
    • Cadence OrCad Layout for printed circuit board design

Special Skills:

  • Website:
    • HTML
    • Flash ActionScript
    • JavaScript
  • Project:
    • Knowledge of programming languages used
    • Circuit Design
    • Printed Circuit Board Layout
    • Soldering
    • Circuit Troubleshooting
    • Software Debugging
    • Programmable logic system design
    • CMOS integrated circuit design
    • Algorithm Design and Testing
    • Love of Coffee :)

Hardware Tools:

  • Website:
    • Power Macintosh G4 with Mac OS X 10.4 Tiger
    • PC with Windows XP
    • PC with SuSE Linux 9.1
  • Project:
    • PC with Windows 2000
    • Programming Cables for Xilinx Spartan 3 chips
    • Xilinx Spartan 3 starter boards (with Ball Grid Array package pre-soldered and access to many I/O)
    • 30MHz Oscilloscope
    • Multimeters
    • Logic Probe
    • 100MHz 18 Channel Logic Analyzer
    • Power Supply

Source of Idea:
I started on projects in the field of robot vision about 3 years ago, starting with microcontroller-based edge detection, and expanding to some other image processing algorithms (not in real-time) again using microcontrollers. My last project also included the testing of three-dimensional accuracy calculations on the computer, with goals to extend this to object recognition. This project is the fulfillment of those goals, with an implementation of real-time image processing algorithms in programmable logic, algorithms for fast three-dimensional search space limitation and matching, and neural invariance allowing object recognition with invariance to object rotation and translation.


Awards Recieved:

  • Calgary Youth Science Fair (March 2005)
    • Gold Medal
    • Noel Bourget (Auto-trol) Award
    • Nortel Networks Technology and Innovation Award (for seconday project)
  • Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (Phoenix, Arizona, May 2005)
    • Place on Team Canada awarded by Youth Science Foundation Canada (fair has not yet taken place)

Website: http://www.alumni.ca/~stag5m0 - posted on Virtual Science Fair website at http://www.virtualsciencefair.com.

Copyright © Malcolm Stagg 2005. All Rights Reserved.
Website: http://www.alumni.ca/~stag5m0. E-mail: malcolmst@shaw.ca.