DETERMINATION OF STEERING WHEEL ANGLES DURING CAR ALIGNMENT BY IMAGE ANALYSIS METHODS
Keywords: Image analysis, image matching, quality assessment, industrial application
Abstract. Optical systems for automatic visual inspections are of increasing importance in the field of automation in the industrial domain. A new application is the determination of steering wheel angles during wheel track setting of the final inspection of car manufacturing. The camera has to be positioned outside the car to avoid interruptions of the processes and therefore, oblique images of the steering wheel must be acquired. Three different approaches of computer vision are considered in this paper, i.e. a 2D shape-based matching (by means of a plane to plane rectification of the oblique images and detection of a shape model with a particular rotation), a 3D shape-based matching approach (by means of a series of different perspectives of the spatial shape of the steering wheel derived from a CAD design model) and a point-to-point matching (by means of the extraction of significant elements (e.g. multifunctional buttons) of a steering wheel and a pairwise connection of these points to straight lines). The HALCON system (HALCON, 2016) was used for all software developments and necessary adaptions. As reference a mechanical balance with an accuracy of 0.1° was used. The quality assessment was based on two different approaches, a laboratory test and a test during production process. In the laboratory a standard deviation of ±0.035° (2D shape-based matching), ±0.12° (3D approach) and ±0.029° (point-to-point matching) could be obtained. The field test of 291 measurements (27 cars with varying poses and angles of the steering wheel) results in a detection rate of 100% and ±0.48° (2D matching) and ±0.24° (point-to-point matching). Both methods also fulfil the request of real time processing (three measurements per second).