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Colour sensors have a better resolution than the human eye

11 November, 2011

Micro-Epsilon has launched a range of colour recognition sensors which, it claims, provide a resolution up to 20 times better than conventional colour recognition sensors, and offer more stable, reliable colour measurements, even on shiny or reflective surfaces. The sensors, which have a colour resolution better than the human eye, can also recognise small variations in colour along targets such as wood veneers and vehicle interiors.

The colorSensor devices incorporate a “teach-in” function that allows them to adapt to an application using samples of the correct colour. The sensor compares the colour of a target to the samples it has been taught.

The range includes a series of sensors that use optical fibres to link them to the target. This allows colour detection to take place close to the object, reducing any environmental effects that could adversely affect measurements. More than 2,000 different types of fibre optic cable are available, as well as various types of lenses.

The fibre optic versions – known as colorSensor LT – have measuring distances from 2–100mm and provide up to 255 colour memory locations. Using LED light sources, the fibre-linked sensors can be mounted up to 2m from the target.

Another series – called colorSensor OT – uses fixed optical systems and can recognise the colour of objects at distances of 2–800mm. Various models are available to suit different surfaces and materials.

The colours sensors are suitable for tasks such as grading coloured objects and materials, monitoring the positions of coloured objects, and observing variables such as the ripeness of fruit or the changing shades of coffee beans as they roast.

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