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Title:
SYSTEM AND METHOD TO APPLY A CAMERA ON A TOOL
Document Type and Number:
WIPO Patent Application WO/2020/039441
Kind Code:
A1
Abstract:
A magnification apparatus to magnify the image of small or delicate objects or the visual details of a work area. The magnification apparatus comprises an image pickup unit, a display unit, and a processor. The processor is in active communication with the image pickup unit and with the display unit. Attaching means is attached to the image pickup unit and adapted to firmly attach it to a selected work tool. The attaching means is an adjustable connecting arm connecting the display to the image pickup unit. The connecting arm enables setting the direction to which the face of the display is aiming with respect to image pickup unit.

Inventors:
SHALEV PINCHAS (IL)
Application Number:
IL2019/050940
Publication Date:
February 27, 2020
Filing Date:
August 21, 2019
Export Citation:
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Assignee:
SHALEV PINCHAS (IL)
International Classes:
A61B1/05; A45D26/00; A61B1/06
Domestic Patent References:
WO2018109749A12018-06-21
Foreign References:
KR200484466Y12017-09-11
CN206080846U2017-04-12
CN204600604U2015-09-02
CN204951318U2016-01-13
CN207384334U2018-05-22
CN204636701U2015-09-16
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARKAI, Yosi et al. (IL)
Download PDF:
Claims:
CLAIMS

What is claimed is:

1. A magnification apparatus (100) comprising:

an image pickup unit (IPU) (102) comprising:

an optical sensor (102 A); and

an operation control unit (102D),

a display unit (106);

a processor (104) in active communication with the IPU and the display unit;

and

attaching means (108) attached to the IPU and adapted to firmly attach the IPU to a selected tool.

2. The magnification apparatus of claim 1 , further comprising:

an adjustable connecting arm (106A), to connect display 106 to IPU 102, the connecting arm is adapted to enable setting the direction to which the face of the display is aiming with respect to IPU 102.

3. The magnification apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the IPU is further comprising:

light source 102B, adapted to illuminate an optical region of interest of the optical unit.

4. The magnification apparatus of claim 1 , wherein the IPU is further comprising:

a spatial orientation unit (SOU) (102C) adapted to provide signals indicative of linear and rotational movements of IPU (102).

5. The magnification apparatus of claim 4, wherein the processor is adapted to process image of an object or area as taken by the optical sensor and to provide image data of the object or area to the display unit magnified by a selected magnification factor.

6. The magnification apparatus of claim 5, wherein the processor is adapted to provide to the display, in response to selected mode of operation by the user, image data representing the object or area imaged by the optical sensor magnified and rotated by user-selected factors.

7. The magnification apparatus of claim 1 wherein the image pickup unit (IPU) (102) further comprising an additional optical sensor (202 A2).

8. The magnification apparatus of claim 7 wherein the line of sight (LOS) of the additional optical sensor (202A2) is aimed parallel to the LOS of the first optical sensor.

9. The magnification apparatus of claim 1 wherein display unit is part of a portable computing unit being one of a smartphone and a tablet.

10. The magnification apparatus of claim 9 wherein the processing unit is part of the portable computing unit.

11. A method of providing a magnified image of an object, the method comprising:

attaching a magnification apparatus (100) to a selected tool, the apparatus comprising:

an image pickup unit (IPU) (102), comprising:

an optical sensor (102A); and

an operation control unit (102D),

a display unit (106);

a processor (104) in active communication with the IPU and the display unit; and

attaching means (108) attached to the IPU and adapted to firmly attach the IPU to a selected tool;

receiving an image data of an object by the optical sensor;

providing the optical data to the processor;

processing the image data to produce a processed image data; and

providing the processed image data to the display for displaying.

12. The method of claim 11 , wherein the step of receiving an image data is accompanied by a step of illuminating the imaged object by a light source.

Description:
SYSTEM AND METHOD TO APPLY A CAMERA ON A TOOL

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[001] A large amount of applications and uses involve the need of precise treatment. These applications consist, among other applications, delicate cosmetic treatments such as eyebrows and ear hairs tweezing, makeup lining (eyeliner, lip lining, nail polish, etc.), manicure and pedicure and the like. Other precise applications are from the realm of artisans: delicate treatment of parts, soldering small components, installation of small parts one into the other and other“clockwork” operations. Other applications are health related: professional and non-professional dental care uses such as teeth cleaning, drilling and curing, surgery needs such as precise cutting, blood veins treatment etc.

[002] Currently in most cases, the users attending these applications work with a large magnifying glass and in some cases wear magnifying glasses on them, along with strong lighting elements to ease the view.

[003] In other cases - such as in the world of personal cosmetics - the precise work has to be done in hard-to-reach areas using a mirror (such as ears, back of the legs, underarms, back of the head and neck). The most common method for getting these tasks (and more) done is by using at least two mirrors set in the right orientation in order to visualize the area. In these cases, precise work is nearly impossible due to the requirement to hold the mirror and the tool simultaneously. On top of that - while using two mirrors the operation of the tool is more difficult as the orientation of the tool becomes tricky (right to left, close to far, etc.).

[004] Current products connected cameras to existing tools in order to offer a solution for the required viewing magnification. However, these solutions do not provide an acceptable solution for the cases where the object orientation is flipped when working with mirrors and magnification lenses.

[005] There is a need for a magnifying solution that will enable turning substantially any tool usable for delicate operations, where tiny details need to be noticeable, into a tool with as high as needed magnification without giving up the original ease and simplicity of use of respective tool.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[006] A magnification apparatus is provided comprising an image pickup unit, a display unit, a processor in active communication with the IPU and the display unit and attaching means attached to the IPU and adapted to firmly attach the IPU to a selected tool.

[007] In some embodiments the magnification apparatus further comprises an adjustable connecting arm to connect the display to the IPU. The connecting arm is adapted to enable setting the direction to which the face of the display is aiming with respect to IPU.

[008] In some embodiments the IPU further comprising a light source adapted to illuminate an optical region of interest of the optical unit.

[009] In some embodiments the IPU further comprising a spatial orientation unit (SOU) adapted to provide signals indicative of linear and rotational movements of IPU.

[0010] In some embodiments the processor is adapted to process image of an object or area as taken by the optical sensor and to provide image data of the object or area to the display unit magnified by a selected magnification factor.

[0011] In some embodiments the processor is adapted to provide to the display, in response to selected mode of operation by the user, image data representing the object or area imaged by the optical sensor magnified and rotated by user-selected factors.

[0012] In some embodiments the image pickup unit (IPU) further comprising an additional optical sensor.

[0013] In some embodiments the line of sight (LOS) of the additional optical sensor is aimed parallel to the LOS of the first optical sensor.

[0014] In some embodiments the display unit is part of a portable computing unit being one of a smartphone and a tablet.

[0015] In some embodiments wherein the processing unit is part of the portable computing unit.

[0016] A method of providing a magnified image of an object handled by a tool is provided. The method comprising attaching a magnification apparatus (100) to a selected tool, receiving an image data of an object by the optical sensor, providing the optical data to the processor, processing the image data to produce a processed image data and providing the processed image data to the display for displaying. The image pickup unit (IPU) comprising an optical sensor and an operation control unit. [0017] In some embodiments the step of receiving an image data is accompanied by a step of illuminating the imaged object by a light source.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0018] The subject matter regarded as the invention is particularly pointed out and distinctly claimed in the concluding portion of the specification. The invention, however, both as to organization and method of operation, together with objects, features, and advantages thereof, may best be understood by reference to the following detailed description when read with the accompanying drawings in which:

[0019] Fig. 1 depicts a schematic illustration of a magnification system according to embodiments of the present invention;

[0020] Fig. 2 depicts a schematic illustration of a stereoscopic magnification system, according to embodiments of the present invention; and

[0021] Fig. 3 is a flow diagram depicting a method of use of a magnification system, according to embodiments of the present invention.

[0022] It will be appreciated that for simplicity and clarity of illustration, elements shown in the figures have not necessarily been drawn to scale. For example, the dimensions of some of the elements may be exaggerated relative to other elements for clarity. Further, where considered appropriate, reference numerals may be repeated among the figures to indicate corresponding or analogous elements.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PRESENT INVENTION

[0023] In the following detailed description, numerous specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of the invention. However, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that the present invention may be practiced without these specific details. In other instances, well- known methods, procedures, and components have not been described in detail so as not to obscure the present invention.

[0024] In some embodiments of the present invention, a camera and light source may be attached to the working tool. The camera may be connected, by wire or wirelessly, to a display (such as a monitor, a smart phone or any other device with a screen). Such solution may eliminate the use of an actual/physical magnifying glass/mirror. For example, magnification of the imaged view may be achieved by means of computed magnification of the image, at the selection of the user. In some embodiments the image may be flipped in at least one of the two main directions of the image - left/right and up/down and rely on the magnification of the camera attached to the tool. This may provide both ease and comfort along with precision. The camera may be installed / positioned / aimed to exactly image the work area of interest.

[0025] Reference is made now to Fig. 1, which is a schematic illustration of a magnification system/apparatus 100, according to embodiments of the present invention. System 100 may comprise image pickup unit P02, image processing unit 104, image display unit 106 and optionally attaching means 108. Image pickup unit (IPU) 102 may comprise at least one camera/optical sensor 102A, optionally light source 102B and spatial orientation unit (SOU) (such as gyro/accelerometer unit) 102C. Power for the operation of IPU 102 may be received from a battery, a rechargeable battery, from an external power source and the like. Camera 102A may be any camera that is adapted by its size, weight, optical resolution, angle of field of view (FOV), F number, and the like for the respective intended use. For example, typically enhanced resolution and enhanced frame rate performance contradict low weight and low volume/size requirements. Accordingly. An optimal selection of camera 102A should address the optimal combination of the camera’s features. Camera 102A may have spatial FOV beam l02Ab. In some embodiments the camera can be a camera such as used in endoscopes.

[0026] Optional light source 102B may be any suitable kind of light source, and typically high power / small dimension LED illuminator will suffice. Light source 102B may have spatial illumination beam l02Bb. Light source 102B may be of any suitable wavelength and intensity. In some embodiments the actual intensity may be controllable. In some embodiments light source 102B may comprise more than one illuminating unit, as is known in the art, or may be adapted to change the wavelength of the light beam in response to a control signal. Use of illumination of different wavelengths may be beneficial, for example when system 100 is used to view objects/materials that have different light response to varying light wavelengths. Typically, and preferably light source 102B is fixedly attached to camera 102A, in order to ensure that the coverage of the FOV of the camera best coincides with the coverage by the light beam of light source 102B. Flowever, in some embodiments the direction the light beam of light source 102B with respect to the direction of the FOV of camera 102A may be adjustable. In some embodiments light source 102B may be turned on and off per demand and can be in a fixed orientation or an adjustable orientation to the camera that can be controlled by the end user. In some embodiments light source 102B may be set to provide focused light or more scattered light on the area of interest. In some embodiments UV light may be used in order to enlighten blackheads under the skin. [0027] SOU 102C may be, or may comprise, one or more spatial orientation sensors, such as gyro or accelerometer, that may provide signals indicative of spatial state and/or spatial change of state, as is known in the art. SOU 102C shall preferably be attached to camera 102 A, thereby the signals provided by SOU 102C may be referred to as indicative of the spatial state/change of state/orientation of camera 102 A.

[0028] SOU 102C may send location information in all three-axes of a Cartesian reference frame - vertical (x), horizontal (y) & depth (z). This three-axes based omni view is critical in order to achieve good hand-eye coordination, without experiencing loss of orientation, and eliminating the need for reference images/objects/guidelines.

[0029] The user can select whether to activate the SOU 102C and an image orientation software translating and adjusting of the images taken, or to not activate it and thus choose, for example, between“mirrored” display and“as-is” display. This feature allows the user various work modes fitting his exact need and personal preference.

[0030] IPU 102 may further comprise control and operation unit (COU) 102D, adapted to enable a user of apparatus 100 to control its operation. In one embodiment COU 102D may comprise merely an ON/OFF switch enabling turning apparatus 100 ON or OFF, respectively. In other embodiments, COU 102D may further comprise dimming control to control the intensity of the illumination of light source 102B. In yet other embodiments, COU 102D may comprise camera operation control means, enabling a user to control the digital zoom the pan and the digital inclination of the line of sight (LOS) of the camera/optical sensor. In some embodiments the control of the parameters described above may be carried out locally within IPU 102, or control signals may be provided to processor 104 and operational signals to effect the change may be provided by processor 104 to camera 102 A and / or to light source 102B. In yet other or additional embodiments, COU 102D may comprise display operation control means, enabling a user to control the manner at which the image taken by the optical sensor is displayed on display unit 106. For example setting the magnification factor and/or setting the orientation at which the object is displayed on the display.

[0031] IPU 102 may be attached, or attachable, to tool/instrument 100A, for example in a way that will place the operative ends of the tool (e.g. picking tips of a tweezer) substantially in the center of the field of view l02Ab of camera 102A. for example, IPU 102 may be provided with strong enough magnet unit (not shown) that may provide strong enough attachment to tool 100A made of magnet- attractive material. In some embodiments the attachment to tool 100A may be done using vacuum cap, or the like. [0032] Image processing unit 104 may be any suitable processor, controller, central processing unit (CPU) disposed with the required memory, storage unit, I/O interface unit and the like, as is known in the art. Image processing unit 104 may be adapted to receive image frame signals, adapted for processing and displaying still pictures and/or video feeds representing the images captured by camera 102A. Image processing unit 104 may further be configured to receive signals from SOU 102C indicative of the momentary spatial state/orientation/change of state of camera 102 A. In some embodiments image processing unit 104 may comprise software that when executed enables a user to control / change operative parameters of IPU 102, such as magnifying factor, zoom, pan and the like. Image processing unit 104 may be embodied as a separate unit or may be embodied as part of IPU 102. When image processing unit 104 is not embodied in a single unit with IPU 102, wire and/or wireless channels are provided between IPU 102 and image processing unit 104 to support communicating image signals, spatial state signals, illumination control signals, optionally power line (in case where the power source for IPU 102 is located in image processing unit 104).

[0033] Spatial state data that is processed by image processing unit 104 based on spatial state signals received from SOU 102C may be used for manipulating the image received from camera 102A and processed by unit 104. For example, the image 100C’ of the captured object 100C may be rotated in order to keep its orientation in the display steady when the tool 100A and the IPU 102 are moved or rotated.

[0034] Image display unit 106 may be in active communication with image processing unit 104, in order to receive image data from the processing unit and to present it on the display screen. In some embodiments IPU 102, processing unit 104 and display unit 106 may be embodied in a single device. In other embodiments display unit 106 may be detached from the other units and may communicate with image processing unit via wired or wireless channel(s) as is known in the art. In some embodiments display 106 may also operate as an input unit, for example by employing a touch screen. User control commands, operation profile selection and the like may be carried out via the input means of display unit 106.

[0035] Display unit 106 may be connected physically to IPU 102 by means of an adjustable connecting arm 106 A, allowing aiming the face of the display 106 to a large range of spatial angles with respect to IPU 102. Connecting arm 106 A may be a deformable helical tube, a semi-flexible with weak shape memory arm, and the like. Accordingly, arm 106 A may be maneuvered so as to set the direction to which the face of display 106 is aiming to meet the need or convenience of the user. [0036] The display screen can be any screen capable of connect to the processing unit using standard connection types such as USB, LAN, D-Type, RJ-45, HDMI. The camera can also connect to the display screen in wireless methods such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, LTE or any other wireless protocol.

[0037] System/apparatus 100 may further comprise attaching means 108, adapted to conveniently attach IPU 102 to a selected tool, in order to enable magnification of object/objects or a processing area with respect to which the selected tool is intended to be operated. The attaching may rely on a small and strong piece of magnet to enable strong attachment to a magnetic materials and/or elastic strips or sticky pads, and the like.

[0038] Reference is made now to Fig. 2 which is a schematic illustration of a stereoscopic magnification system 200, according to embodiments of the present invention. System 200 may be very similar to system 100 that was described above, with similarity of the operation and structural relations of like elements (e.g. camera 102A - cameras 202A1, 202A2, processing unit 104 - processing unit 204, etc.) with one noticeable difference- system 200 may comprise two cameras 202A1 and 202A2. Cameras 202A1 and 202a@ may be disposed with their lines of sight parallel to each other and their objective lenses lie in a common plane, thereby forming stereoscopic image picking array. The selection of the specific cameras and the specific installation details of the cameras may take into account the size of the objects to be imaged and the expected distance of the object form the cameras. IPU 202 may therefore provide stereoscopic images that may be utilized for creation of 3D images of the object or area being treated.

[0039] In some embodiments display unit may be the screen of a portable computing unit 230, such a smartphone, a tablet or the like. The active communication channel between processing unit 104, 204 and display 106, 206 may be carried out by a USB type cable or via wireless channel such as Bluetooth wireless communication or the like. In some embodiments portable computing unit 230 may further be utilized for controlling the operation of IPU 102 for example by executing a dedicated control application running on the portable computing unit. In some embodiments the functions of processing unit 104, 204 may be performed by dedicated application/s executable by portable computing unit 230, as depicted by configuration 240 (Fig. 2). In such embodiments IPU 102, 202 may be connected directly to portable computing unit 230 using universal signal and communication standard as is known in the art or using a proprietary link. In other embodiments processing unit 104 may be embodied as part of IPU 102, 202, as depicted by configuration 250 (Fig. 2). Processed image signals may be sent to portable computing unit 230 for displaying on its screen, and control signals processed by a dedicated control application running on portable computing unit 230 may be provided by portable computing unit 230 to IPU 102, 202.

[0040] Reference is made now to Fig. 3, which is a flow diagram depicting a method of use of a magnification system, according to embodiments of the present invention. A magnification system, such as system 100 or 200 is provided and is attached (or otherwise being fixedly associated with) a working tool (step 302). The magnification system is activated, i.e. turned on and aimed to a region or object of interest (step 304). Images and orientation info are obtained (step 306) and the info is processed and displayed (step 308). At each of the steps mode of operation or operation parameters may be set or selected (step 310). The display screen can be a monitor, a laptop computer, a smart phone or any other device that is able to present the cameras’ image.

[0041] It would be apparent to those skilled in the art, that the systems and method described above may be practiced with various tools and be a solution for various needs and uses, while preserving the essence of the invention.

[0042] While certain features of the invention have been illustrated and described herein, many modifications, substitutions, changes, and equivalents will now occur to those of ordinary skill in the art. It is, therefore, to be understood that the appended claims are intended to cover all such modifications and changes as fall within the true spirit of the invention.