The use of visual information is a very well known input from different kinds of sensors. However, most of the perception problems are individually modeled and tackled. It is necessary to provide a general imaging model that allows us to parametrize different input systems as well as their problems and possible solutions. In this paper, we present an active vision model considering the imaging system as a whole (including camera, lighting system, object to be perceived) in order to propose solutions to automated visual systems that present problems that we perceive. As a concrete case study, we instantiate the model in a real application and still challenging problem: automated visual inspection. It is one of the most used quality control systems to detect defects on manufactured objects. However, it presents problems for specular products. We model these perception problems taking into account environmental conditions and camera parameters that allow a system to properly perceive the specific object characteristics to determine defects on surfaces. The validation of the model has been carried out using simulations providing an efficient way to perform a large set of tests (different environment conditions and camera parameters) as a previous step of experimentation in real manufacturing environments, which more complex in terms of instrumentation and more expensive. Results prove the success of the model application adjusting scale, viewpoint and lighting conditions to detect structural and color defects on specular surfaces.
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