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wiki:v2:pixy_lego_block

Pixy2 LEGO Block

This page describes the LEGO Pixy2 block, which is used in the LEGO Mindstorms EV3 Software. Check out the Pixy2 LEGO Quick Start page for info on how to install the Pixy2 module in Mindstorms.

The Pixy2 block has three main modes of operation:

  • Color connected components: detecting and tracking objects based on color.
  • Line tracking: line following intersection detection, barcode detection.
  • RGB sensing: reading the red, green and blue values of a given pixel given its location within Pixy2's image sensor.

You can bring up the Pixy2 block from the Sensor palette in the EV3 Mindstorms environment:

Color Connected Components Mode

Pixy2 uses a color-based filtering algorithm to detect objects called the Color Connected Components (CCC) algorithm. Color-based filtering methods are popular because they are fast, efficient, and relatively robust. Most of us are familiar with RGB (red, green, and blue) to represent colors. Pixy2 calculates the color (hue) and saturation of each RGB pixel from the image sensor and uses these as the primary filtering parameters. The hue of an object remains largely unchanged with changes in lighting and exposure. Changes in lighting and exposure can have a frustrating effect on color filtering algorithms, causing them to break. Pixy2’s filtering algorithm is robust when it comes to lighting and exposure changes. Additionally, Pixy2 uses a connected components algorithm to determine where one object begins and another ends. Pixy2 then compiles the sizes and locations of each object and reports the largest object to your LEGO program.

Selecting color connected components mode is done by clicking on Pixy2's mode selector and then selecting Measure➜Color connected components.

Refer to the Pixy2 LEGO Quickstart, which describes how to run a simple CCC demo.

The Pixy2 CCC block is shown below, with labels showing the different inputs and outputs.

Parameters

  1. Port Selector: use this to select the sensor port 1 through 4 that Pixy2 is plugged into on your controller brick.
  2. Mode Selector: selects between measure and compare modes.
  3. Lamp: turns the lamp on or off.
  4. Signature: selects the signature or color code you'd like Pixy2 to search for.
  5. Signature Output: outputs the number of blocks that match the signature or color code you specified in the Signature input. Or it outputs the signature number of the detected object if in General Mode (see the description of modes below).
  6. X centroid: outputs the X location of the center of the largest object that Pixy2 has found. The number returned ranges from 0 to 255, with 0 being the rightmost pixel if facing the camera lens.
  7. Y centroid: outputs the Y location of the center of the largest object that Pixy2 found. The number returned is from 0 to 199, with 0 being the topmost pixel.
  8. Width: outputs the width of the largest block that Pixy2 has found. The number returned is from 1 to 256.
  9. Height: outputs the height of the largest block that Pixy2 has found. The number returned is from 1 to 256.
  10. Angle: is the angle (in degrees) of the largest object that Pixy2 has found. Angle information is only available for color codes, otherwise the value is 0.

Color Connected Components Sub-modes

Color connected components mode has two sub-modes of operation: General and Signature.

General Sub-mode

General Sub-mode is selected by setting a 0 for the Signature input. (The Signature input is indicated by the number 3 in the block picture above.) In General Sub-mode, Pixy2 will report the largest object that it has detected, regardless of which signature or color code describes the object. And the Signature Output tells you the signature or the color code number of the object.

As a simple (somewhat contrived!) example, if you wanted to detect both green and purple dinosaurs, you could train signature 1 on the purple dinosaur and signature 2 on the green dinosaur. General Sub-mode will then tell you if either types of dinosaurs are present. The Signature Output will be 1 if a purple dinosaur is present and is larger in the image than other green dinosaurs in the image. The Signature Output will be 2 if the if a green dinosaur is present and is larger in the image than other purple dinosaurs in the image. In either case, the X, Y, Width and Height outputs will report the location and size of the largest detected dinosaur. Note, that the dinosaurs may be the same physical size, but because one dinosaur is closer to the camera, it will appear larger in the image, and it will be the object that is reported.

Signature Sub-mode

In Signature sub-mode, Pixy2 will report the largest object that matches the signature number or color code set in the Signature input (3 in the block diagram above). And the Signature Output tells you how many objects Pixy2 has detected that match the specified signature or color code.

Similar to the example above, if you had two types of dinosaurs, purple and green, and you trained signature 1 on the purple dinosaur and signature 2 on the green dinosaur, you could restrict detection to only purple dinosaurs by setting the Signature input to 1. And similarly, you could restrict detection to only green dinosaurs by setting the Signature input to 2.

Note that the Signature input can be connected to another output within your program, so you can change the detected signature or color code number during runtime, and Pixy2 will change what it reports accordingly.

Line Tracking Mode

Pixy2 has the ability to detect and track lines. Line-following is a popular robotics demo/application because it is relatively simple to implement and gives a robot simple navigation abilities. Most line-following robots use discrete photosensors to distinguish between the line and the background. This method can be effective, but it tends to work best with only thick lines, and the sensing is localized making it difficult for the robot to predict the direction of the line or deal with intersections.

Pixy2 attempts to solve the more general problem of line-following by using its image (array) sensor. When driving a car, your eyes take in lots of information about the road, the direction of the road (is there a sharp curve coming up?) and if there is an intersection ahead. This information is important! Similarly, each of Pixy2's camera frames takes in information about the line being followed, its direction, other lines, and any intersections that these lines may form. Pixy2's algorithms take care of the rest. Pixy2 can also read simple barcodes, which can inform your robot what it should do – turn left, turn right, slow down, etc. Pixy2 does all of this at 60 frames-per-second.

Selecting Line Tracking mode is done by clicking on Pixy2's mode selector and then selecting Measure➜Line Tracking.

Refer to the LEGO Line Tracking Test, which describes how to run a simple Line Tracking demo.

The Pixy2 Line Tracking block is shown below, with labels showing the different inputs and outputs. Please refer to the Line Tracking Overview for a description of the terms used below like Vector, barcode and intersection.

Parameters

  1. Port Selector: use this to select the sensor port 1 through 4 that Pixy2 is plugged into on your controller brick.
  2. Mode Selector: selects between measure and compare modes.
  3. Turn Angle: sets the turn angle (in degrees) for when intersections are encountered. Turn angle values can range between -180 and 180. See the section on turn angles below.
  4. Reverse: setting this to false to true or true to false will cause Pixy2 to reverse the current Vector.
  5. Lamp: turns the lamp on or off.
  6. Vector: outputs the X coordinate of the head of the Vector. The value ranges between 0 (far left of the image) to 128 (far right of the image). If no Vector is detected, the value will be -1. Refer here for a description of the Vector.
  7. Vector Reversed: outputs true if the Vector is pointing down instead of up. This usually indicates that your robot needs to reverse its direction in order to follow the Vector.
  8. Barcode: outputs the numerical value of a detected barcode (0 through 15). If no barcodes are detected, the value will be -1. If more than one barcode is detected in the image, the value of the barcode closest to the bottom of the image will be returned. Refer here for examples of barcodes, and here to download barcode images.
  9. Intersection: outputs the number branches in a detected intersection (3 through 6) – note, a “T” intersection is the minimum number of branches an intersection can have (3). If no intersection is detected, the value will be -1. Refer here for examples of barcodes.

Turn Angles

Upon encountering an intersection, Pixy2 will find the path (branch) in the intersection that matches the turn angle most closely and the Vector will then become that branch. Turn angles are specified in degrees, with 0 being straight ahead, left being 90 and right being -90 (for example), although any valid angle value can be used. Valid angles are between -180 and 180.

For example, if you wanted your robot to always turn left at intersections, you could set the Turn Angle to 90. Or you could set the Turn Angle programmatically, based on what your program decides. The Turn Angle is 0 by default, which corresponds to the straightest path upon encountering an intersection.

Angle coordinates from Pixy2's perspective.

RGB Sensing Mode

We noticed that several Pixy1 users were using Pixy to just sense color values, but using the color connected components algorithm to do so. To make these kinds of color sensing applications easier (we're talking to you, Rubik's cube solvers!), we've added the “RGB sensing” functionality, which allows your LEGO program to retrieve the RGB values of any pixel in Pixy2's image.

Selecting RGB sensing mode is done by clicking on Pixy2's mode selector and then selecting Measure➜RGB Sensing.

Refer to the LEGO RGB Sensing Test, which describes how to run a simple RGB sensing demo.

The Pixy2 RGB sensing is shown below, with labels showing the different inputs and outputs.

Parameters

  1. Port Selector: use this to select the sensor port 1 through 4 that Pixy2 is plugged into on your controller brick.
  2. Mode Selector: selects between measure and compare modes.
  3. X: X location input, can range between 0 and 255 (see coordinate diagram below).
  4. Y: Y location input, can range between 0 and 255 (see coordinate diagram below).
  5. Lamp: turns the lamp on or off.
  6. Saturation: if true, Pixy will “saturate” the colors so they are easier to distinguish (reds are redder, blues are bluer, etc.) If false, the raw RGB values will returned.
  7. Red: outputs the red value of the pixel at the specified image location. Value can range between 0 to 255.
  8. Green: outputs the green value of the pixel at the specified image location. Value can range between 0 to 255.
  9. Blue: outputs the blue value of the pixel at the specified image location. Value can range between 0 to 255.

[RGB sensing coordinates

Color Connected Components Conditional Blocks

There are several ways to use conditions based on what Pixy2 detects in your program. Below we describe the different blocks that use “Pixy2 conditionals”.

Compare Signature

This block available by selecting Compare in the Mode Selector as shown below:

Here is what the Compare Signature block looks like:

Parameters

  • Signature: selects the signature or color code you'd like Pixy2 to search for.
  • Compare Type: selects the comare operation you would like to use.
  • Threshold Value: the value you wish to compare against the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.
  • Compare Result: outputs the result of the compare operation.
  • Number of Blocks: outputs the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.

Compare Signature mode compares the number of detected objects to the Threshold Value (3) using the selected Compare Type (2). The True/False result is output in Compare Result (4), and the number of signatures is output in Number of Blocks (5) output.

Color Connected Components Wait Blocks

These blocks is available through the Wait block, which is one of the Flow Control blocks. There are two options available: Wait Signature Compare and Wait Signature Change.

Wait Signature Compare

This block is available by selecting Compare then Signature as shown below:

Here is what the Wait Signature Compare block looks like:

Parameters

  • Signature: selects the signature or color code you'd like Pixy2 to search for.
  • Compare Type: selects the compare operation you would like to use.
  • Threshold Value: the value you wish to compare against the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.
  • Number of Blocks: outputs the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.

The Wait Signature Compare block compares the number of detected objects to the Threshold Value (3) using the selected Compare Type (2). If the result is false, the program will be paused. If the result is true, the program will resume execution, and the number of detected objects is output in Number of Blocks (4).

Wait Signature Change

This block is available by selecting Change then Signature as shown below:

Here is what the Wait Signature Change block looks like:

Parameters

  • Signature: selects the signature or color code you'd like Pixy2 to search for.
  • Amount: selects the amount of change in the number of objects detected.
  • Number of Blocks: outputs the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.

The Wait Change Signature block waits for a change in the number of specified objects detected by Pixy2. If the number of objects that match the signature specified in the Signature input (1) changes by the number indicated in the Amount (2) input, the block returns, and the number of detected objects is output in Number of Blocks (3).

Loop Pixy2 Compare

This block is available through the Loop block, which is one of the Flow Control blocks. Bring it up by selecting Pixy Camera then Signature in the Loop block Mode Selection.

Here is what the Loop Pixy2 Compare block looks like:

Parameters

  • Signature: selects the signature or color code you'd like Pixy2 to search for.
  • Compare Type: selects the compare operation you would like to use.
  • Threshold Value: the value you wish to compare against the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.

The Loop Pixy2 Compare block compares the number of detected objects to the Threshold Value (3) using the selected Compare Type (2). If the result is false, the loop will be continue looping. If the result is true, the loop will exit.

Switch Pixy2 Compare

This block is available by selecting the Switch block which is one of the Flow Control blocks. Bring it up by selecting Pixy2 Camera, the Compare then Signature in the Switch block Mode Selection.

Here is what the Switch Pixy2 Compare block looks like:

Parameters

  • Signature: selects the signature or color code you'd like Pixy2 to search for.
  • Compare Type: selects the compare operation you would like to use.
  • Threshold Value: the value you wish to compare against the number of detected objects that match the specified signature.

The Switch Pixy2 Compare block compares the number of detected objects to the Threshold Value (3) using the selected Compare Type (2). If the result is false, the false case is executed. If the result is true, the true case is executed.

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wiki/v2/pixy_lego_block.txt · Last modified: 2019/08/23 21:04 by pixycam