Method and apparatus for intelligent ranging via image subtraction

  • US 6,711,280 B2
  • Filed: 05/25/2001
  • Issued: 03/23/2004
  • Est. Priority Date: 05/25/2001
  • Status: Expired due to Fees
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First Claim
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1. An apparatus for ranging an object comprising:

  • an illuminator to illuminate a field of view potentially including the object;

    an imager to capture a first image having reflected signals from the field of view when the field of view is illuminated by the illuminator and a second image having reflected signals from the field of view when the field of view is not illuminated by the illuminator;

    a circuit coupled to said imager to synchronously control said illuminator and said imager, and to generate a subtraction image of the field of view as the pixel difference between the first image and the second image; and

    wherein the imager captures one of the first image and second image while the other one of the second image and first image is still captured in the imager; and

    wherein said imager comprises an imaging pixel array in which said pixels of said array are organized into a two dimensional array comprising pixel lines forming a first and a second group of pixel lines, said first group of pixel lines being unmasked and said second group of pixel lines being masked to prevent loading of imaged data therein, and wherein a first exposure of said pixel array said circuit loads said first group of pixel lines with a first set of image data associated with the one of the first image and the second image, then shifts said first set of image data into said second group of pixel lines, and wherein a second exposure of said pixel array said circuit loads said first group of pixel lines with a second set of image data associated with the other one of the second image and the first image, and then shifts said second set of image data into said second group of pixel lines, said second set of pixel lines then storing said first and second set sets of image data.

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