Open Access

Design of a Vision-Based Sensor for Autonomous Pig House Cleaning

  • Ian Braithwaite1Email author,
  • Mogens Blanke1,
  • Guo-Qiang Zhang2 and
  • Jens Michael Carstensen3
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:473479

Received: 24 February 2004

Published: 15 August 2005


Current pig house cleaning procedures are hazardous to the health of farm workers, and yet necessary if the spread of disease between batches of animals is to be satisfactorily controlled. Autonomous cleaning using robot technology offers salient benefits. This paper addresses the feasibility of designing a vision-based system to locate dirty areas and subsequently direct a cleaning robot to remove dirt. Novel results include the characterisation of the spectral properties of real surfaces and dirt in a pig house and the design of illumination to obtain discrimination of clean from dirty areas with a low probability of misclassification. A Bayesian discriminator is shown to be efficient in this context and implementation of a prototype tool demonstrates the feasibility of designing a low-cost vision-based sensor for autonomous cleaning.

Keywords and phrases

computer vision spectral characterisation Jeffreys-Matusita Bayesian discriminant analysis robotic cleaning

Authors’ Affiliations

Automation Section, Ørsted.DTU, Technical University of Denmark
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Research Centre Bygholm
Informatics and Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark


© Ian Braithwaite et al. 2005

This article is published under license to BioMed Central Ltd. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.