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Suppose, I have 10 pieces of PVC squares. Each PVC square has a number printed on it.

I want to create a robot who identifies the number printed on a square. Can anybody give any ideas? I mean is there any pre-built device or something that I can use?

What I have tried?

I have thought of sticking barcodes. But these squares will be used by human beings, so that these barcode stickers might come off due to wet hands or something ike that. So, I think its a bad idea.

Another Idea is to cut out the numbers from each square. Now, put the square between two circuits. 1st cuircuit will have LED's and the 2nd circuit will have Photo diodes to detect from where the light has passed and thus detect numbers. But this idea will be much expensive if I will have 10000 such squares as I have to cut numbers on each square. And my real project has 10000 squares.

If you have any ideas then please share.....

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    \$\begingroup\$ camera and computer recognition software. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jun 29 '15 at 21:26
  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you please elaborate? I mean computers makes lot of mistakes in identifying numbers. BTW I am a programmer, but I have never programmed such a program. \$\endgroup\$
    – Vishal
    Jun 29 '15 at 21:28
  • \$\begingroup\$ Character recognition in hardware is a bigger challenge. Face facts dude. \$\endgroup\$
    – Andy aka
    Jun 29 '15 at 22:02
  • \$\begingroup\$ If your numbers are all the same size, use the same font, and have good contrast, you should be able to get recognition rates. \$\endgroup\$ Jun 29 '15 at 22:11
  • \$\begingroup\$ Are you printing the number on, or do you have to handle some other person's printing? There is old bank technology en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnetic_ink_character_recognition \$\endgroup\$
    – pjc50
    Jun 29 '15 at 22:31
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The first thing that comes to my mind is Optical Character Recognition. Your robot would need a camera to take photos of the object, and then some OCR software that would turn the characters in the photo into text that you could use afterwards.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_character_recognition

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  • \$\begingroup\$ Thank you for answering. Why should I make the computer as middleman? Because my goal is to recognize the number and rotate a motor accordingly as asked in this question electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/176283/… \$\endgroup\$
    – Vishal
    Jun 30 '15 at 5:21
  • \$\begingroup\$ Because image recognition is hard. If you can hardwire very specific large shapes then you might be able to do it with photodiodes like your linked question. But one of the sub-$50 single board computers should be able to do a much better job. \$\endgroup\$
    – pjc50
    Jun 30 '15 at 8:57
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Vishal I would recommend you look into "raspberry pi", it is a 25€ computer and I think it is powerfull enough for your job. \$\endgroup\$
    – Golaž
    Jun 30 '15 at 9:59
  • \$\begingroup\$ @Golaž Is there any arduino board equivalent to the you mentioned? "the raspberry pi"? \$\endgroup\$
    – Vishal
    Jun 30 '15 at 10:04
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Vishal I've never worked with them before. Just buy one from digikey/mouser/farnell... And follow their instructions. But I would recommend you first read about image processing and try to write a program and test it with your PC. You can look into "openCV". It is an open-source library for image-proccessing. \$\endgroup\$
    – Golaž
    Jun 30 '15 at 10:17

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