Basic Laboratory Procedure


Unlike many areas of computer science, computer vision is a laboratory science. Computer vision researchers frequently assemble and manipulate experimental hardware, take physical measurements, and collect and analyze experimental data.


Because it is hard to hurt yourself with a computer, computer scientists do not usually have to pay much attention to safety. One major exception, however, concerns robots and robot arms. Minor failures in control hardware can cause normally reliable commercial robots (e.g. Unimation PUMA arms) to move suddenly in a random direction, even if no one has commanded any motion. This happens more frequently with old robots and robots under development. Many robots can deliver very large forces, enough to cause serious injury or even death. At full speed, robot arms may move very fast, faster than you can react.

Do not ever go into a robot's workspace when it is powered on.

Taking Notes

Many computer science students have little experience taking scientific notes. This can cause problems when they embark on projects with a substantial experimental component, for which well-organized notes are essential. Useful advice from a field with much more experience in this area can be found in

Analyzing Data

When the experiment is finished, it will be necessary to analyze your experimental data. Some basic references on scientific data analysis are:


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