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JRM Vol.13 No.6 pp. 567-568
doi: 10.20965/jrm.2001.p0567
(2001)

Editorial:

Special Issue on Vision and Mechatronics

Masanori Idesawa

Graduate School of Information Systems, University of Electro-Communications, 1-5-1 Chofu-ga-oka, Chofu-shi, Tokyo 1828585,Japan

Published:
December 20, 2001

The amount of information human beings obtain from the external world through their visual senses exceeds 80% of the total amount of information they take in. Robots and similar automatons must thus be provided with visual functions equivalent to those of human beings, enabling them to grasp external conditions accurately and to move appropriately based on such conditions. Computer and machine vision systems technologically and practically realize such visual functions, and studies of these vision systems have drawn attention and research since the 1970s. Studies on the human and other biological visual systems have progressed steadily under the stimulus of rapid advances in the brai sciences field. Such studies have brought to light new types of useful information related to biological vision systems and such information has been used to promote studies of artificial visual senses. In separate developments based on the progress of integrated circuit systems, visual sensors imitating the sensing of the human retina and the eyes of insects and animals have been developed and efforts made to apply such sensors to a variety of control systems. Human beings fuse information obtained through the visual and other senses with information collected by interacting positively with the external world to form in the brain necessary images (models) related to the external world. Based on such images and models, human beings make decisions and plan for appropriate action to take under specific circumstances. In such cases, the human senses, including the visual sense, interact mutually rather than independently. When a visual stimulus differing from ordinary stimuli is perceived, the effect of such a stimulus is recognized both by the sensory organs and sometimes by the motor organs. Human beings fuse information obtained through the visual and other senses with information collected by interacting positively with the external world to form in the brain necessary images (models) related to the external world. Based on such images and models, human beings make decisions and plan for appropriate action to take under specific circumstances. In such cases, the human senses, including the visual sense, interact mutually rather than independently. When a visual stimulus differing from ordinary stimuli is perceived, the effect of such a stimulus is recognized both by the sensory organs and sometimes by the motor organs. In the present natural environment, where numerous conditions artificially produced by numerous automation and visual systems are present simultaneously, it becomes important to study the interference and interaction among the sensory, motor, and physiological organs. The human visual function gradually develops with maturation and declines with age, following a downward curve with the years. Simple deviations in the focusing range due to myopia or hyperopia can be corrected almost completely using ordinary glasses for near-sightedness or far-sightedness. Stenosis in the focusing range, however, caused by aging and a decline in the elasticity of the eye lens cannot be corrected by the use of ordinary glasses. Such correction requires either the use of 2 types of glasses, i.e., those for near-sightedness and those for far-sightedness, alternately depending on the distance between the glasses user and the object viewed. Bifocals may also be used. The use of double lenses, however, may cause problems for the user, who must change from one pair of glasses to the other and vice versa. Biofocal lenses present problems related to the need to shift the gaze unnaturally, the presence of an unnaturally deformed whole-vision field, and the undesirable occurrence of sensations such as nausea required in attempts to adjust to changed visual fields. Take the case of fine soldering work at very close range and parts handling done at a medium range simultaneously, for example. This presents both far-sighted and near-sighted personnel with difficulties in the use of glasses. Symptoms of hyperopia generally begin to appear in those aged 40 to 45 years old. With society rapidly aging and the number of children – successors to the aging – the working population is also aging, making it vital from a social viewpoint to mechatronically solve the many problems related to hyperopia and other vision-related developments. It is with great pleasure that we present a number of articles in this special edition that should prove both informative and interesting to researchers in the fields of robotic engineering and mechatronics. These articles offer new insights into studies on welfare and human engineering and are sure to make important contributions to the progress of related R&D.

Cite this article as:
Masanori Idesawa, “Special Issue on Vision and Mechatronics,” J. Robot. Mechatron., Vol.13, No.6, pp. 567-568, 2001.
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