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  • Research Article
  • Open Access

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

  • 1Email author,
  • 1,
  • 2 and
  • 3
EURASIP Journal on Advances in Signal Processing20052005:473479

  • Received: 24 February 2004
  • Published:


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, Kongens Lyngby, 2800, Denmark
Danish Institute of Agricultural Sciences, Research Centre Bygholm, P.O. Box 536, Horsens, 8700, Denmark
Informatics and Mathematical Modelling, Technical University of Denmark, Kongens Lyngby, 2800, 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.