Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Vegetable Scales With A Mind Of Their Own

Date:
August 19, 2008
Source:
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft
Summary:
What was the number you were supposed to enter for the chili-pepper on the self-service scales? Was it 67 or 76? And the number for the bananas? The latest self-service scales automatically recognize what the customer has placed on them.

The intelligent self-service scales automatically recognize which type of fruit or vegetable has been placed on them.
Credit: Copyright Fraunhofer IITB

What was the number you were supposed to enter for the chili-pepper on the self-service scales? Was it 67 or 76? And the number for the bananas? The latest self-service scales automatically recognize what the customer has placed on them.

A quick stop at the supermarket: Balancing bananas, peppers and tomatoes in your arms, you rush from the vegetable counter to the self-service scales in order to print out the respective price label. But what was that number again, the one you had to enter for the tomatoes?

There will soon be an end to this constant running back and forth between the vegetable counter and the scales. Working on behalf of the industrial weighing company Mettler-Toledo, researchers at the Fraunhofer Institute for Information and Data Processing IITB in Karlsruhe have developed a webcam module for self-service scales. “The scales automatically recognize which fruit or vegetables are to be weighed and ask the customer to choose between only those icons that are relevant – such as tomatoes, vine-ripened tomatoes and beefsteak tomatoes,” states IITB scientist Sascha Voth. Customers can confirm the correct variety on a touch screen.

But how do the scales know whether the customer has placed a pepper, a tomato or a kiwi fruit on them? “The goods are registered by a camera integrated in the scales. An image evaluation algorithm compares the image with stored data and thus automatically recognizes which type of fruit this is,” says Voth. Even the cloudy plastic bags in which the fruit may be packaged at the counter are no problem for the scales – the image evaluation system recognizes the various types of fruit and vegetable anyway.

However, though this initially sounds straightforward, it actually involves a number of challenges: Many types of fruit are a different color depending how ripe they are. Bananas, for instance, range from a uniform green to yellow or even spotted brown. Other types of fruit such as apples and pears come in numerous varieties that can likewise vary widely in color. “The new scales are very tolerant to fluctuations in color and brightness. The module can be employed under many different kinds of illumination and with different kinds of camera. Supermarket employees can of course extend the selection of fruit recognized by the scales to make it include new varieties,” says Voth. The scales are currently being tested in about 300 supermarkets across Europe.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Vegetable Scales With A Mind Of Their Own." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 19 August 2008. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814091057.htm>.
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. (2008, August 19). Vegetable Scales With A Mind Of Their Own. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 17, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814091057.htm
Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. "Vegetable Scales With A Mind Of Their Own." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2008/08/080814091057.htm (accessed September 17, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

Some Tobacco Farmers Thrive Amid Challenges

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) The South's tobacco country is surviving, and even thriving in some cases, as demand overseas keeps growers in the fields of one of America's oldest cash crops. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

Scientists Given Rare Glimpse of 350-Kilo Colossal Squid

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Scientists say a female colossal squid weighing an estimated 350 kilograms (770 lbs) and thought to be only the second intact specimen ever found was carrying eggs when discovered in the Antarctic. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

Raw: Scientists Examine Colossal Squid

AP (Sep. 16, 2014) Squid experts in New Zealand thawed and examined an unusual catch on Tuesday: a colossal squid. It was captured in Antarctica's remote Ross Sea in December last year and has been frozen for eight months. (Sept. 16) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

Ivorians Abandon Monkey Pets in Fear Over Ebola Virus

AFP (Sep. 16, 2014) Since the arrival of Ebola in Ivory Coast, Ivorians have been abandoning their pets, particularly monkeys, in the fear that they may transmit the virus. Duration: 00:47 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

    Technology News



    Save/Print:
    Share:

    Free Subscriptions


    Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

    Get Social & Mobile


    Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

    Have Feedback?


    Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
    Mobile: iPhone Android Web
    Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
    Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
    Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins