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Optical Rangefinding
Allen Radcliff

The principle behind this project is the electronic simulation of the human visual system and its capability of distance measurement. This system is implemented with a Sony Hi8 video camcorder, a Macintosh IIci computer, and two software algorithms. 

The first algorithm is a camera calibration program, in which the focal length of the camera is calculated for use in the second algorithm. A standardized test image and a controlled setup is required prior to using this procedure. 

The second algorithm utilizes a pair of previously stored stereo images with known translation distance. Initially, the user selects a template from one image of the stereo pair. The algorithm then extracts pixel location and feature information. Following this, the second image of the stereo pair is scanned for a match of the user-selected template. Once a match is found (in actuality the best match of a correlation algorithm), pixel location is then extracted from the second image. Finally, from pixel location information of both images, the previously calculated camera focal length, and the previously measured translation distance, mathematical formulas are then applied to calculate the spatial information of the selected object.  

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