System for Reading Braille Embossed on Beverage Can Lids for Authentication

  • Trine Kirkhus
  • Jens T Thielemann
  • Britta Fismen
  • Henrik Schumann-Olsen
  • Ronald Sivertsen
  • Mats Carlin
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 4179)


The paper describes a system for reading embossed Braille patterns on used aluminum beverage container lids. The intent of the system is to check whether the used containers are entitled to a refund. The lids have strong specular reflections. The reflections are avoided by a novel method that illuminates the lid alternating from two angles, and acquires two separate images. This illumination method is more compact than existing methods. We use the extended maxima algorithm to detect the Braille dots, and a cluster-based pattern point matching algorithm to recognize a pre-defined Braille pattern. The algorithms are customized to increase speed using a priori information. The system was evaluated on a test set containing 225 images. The median time used for analyzing one beverage can was 1 second, and the recognition rate was 94 percent.


Recognition Rate Affine Transformation Reference Pattern Illumination Source Image Acquisition System 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    SEARS Report, New York, Bottle bill study (February 2004)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Hentzschel, T.W., Blenkhorn, P.: An optical reading system for embossed braille characters using a twin shadows approach. Journal of Microcomputer Applications 18(4), 341–354 (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Falcón, N., Travieso, C.M., Alonso, J.B., Ferrer, M.A.: Image Processing Techniques for Braille Writing Recognition. In: Moreno Díaz, R., Pichler, F., Quesada Arencibia, A. (eds.) EUROCAST 2005. LNCS, vol. 3643, pp. 379–385. Springer, Heidelberg (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Antonacopoulos, A., Bridson, D.: A Robust Braille Recognition System. In: Marinai, S., Dengel, A.R. (eds.) DAS 2004. LNCS, vol. 3163, pp. 533–545. Springer, Heidelberg (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Batchelor, B.G.: Lighting and viewing techniques. In: Batchelor, B.G., Hill, D.A., Hodgson, D.C. (eds.) Automated Visual Inspection. IFS Publications, North-Holland (1985)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Sivertsen, R., Carlin, M., Fismen, B.G., Johansen, I.-R.: Device for recognising containers. WO 2004/003830 (September 15, 2005)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Halíř, R., Flusser, J.: Numerically Stable Direct Least Squares Fitting of Ellipses. In: Proc. of the 6th Int’l. Conf. in Central Europe on Computer Graphics and Visualization, WSCG 1998, pp. 125–132 (1998)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Davis, E.R.: Machine Vision: Theory, Algorithms, Practicalities, pp. 269–271. Academic Press, London (1990)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Pratt, W.K.: Digital Image Processing, 2nd edn. John Wiley & Sons Inc., New York (1991)MATHGoogle Scholar
  10. 10.
    Sollie, P.: Morphological Image Analysis: Principles and Applications, ch. 6.3.4, 2nd edn. Springer, Heidelberg (2003)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Haralick, R.M., Shapiro, L.G.: Computer and Robot Vision, vol. I, pp. 28–48. Addison-Wesley, Reading (1992)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Yanowitz, S.D., Bruckstein, A.M.: A new method for image segmentation. In: 9th Int’l. Conf. on Pattern Recognition, vol. 1, pp. 270–275 (1988)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Li, B., Meng, Q., Holstein, H.: Point pattern matching and applications – a review. In: Proc. Int’l. Conf. Systems, Man and Cybernetics, pp. 729–736 (2003)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2006

Authors and Affiliations

  • Trine Kirkhus
    • 1
  • Jens T Thielemann
    • 1
  • Britta Fismen
    • 1
  • Henrik Schumann-Olsen
    • 1
  • Ronald Sivertsen
    • 2
  • Mats Carlin
    • 3
  1. 1.SINTEFBlindern, OsloNorway
  2. 2.Tomra Systems ASAAsker
  3. 3.Carlin’s Algorithm FactoryGjettum

Personalised recommendations