Blood Detector for Egg Grading

A bit of a departure from our usual fare: a low cost, high speed sensor for detecting blood spots in eggs using spectral differencing. I'm going to be doing the firmware as well as the optics and electronics, and this will be the first actual client work for our newly qualified PCB designer, Magdalen.

Competing devices use xenon flashtubes and very expensive photodiodes, but still need a lot of calibration and tweaking. That makes it a good candidate for our signature technique: A really careful photon budget followed by a design that actually reaches the theoretical optimum performance.

Egg grading is a good example of a measurement dominated by nuisance data: normal variations between samples that have to be distinguished from the thing you're looking for. Big eggs, small eggs, white eggs, brown eggs, thick and thin shells, double yolks, mottling, you name it.

High speed egg-grading machines can inspect and pack as many as 250,000 eggs per hour; running two shifts a day, that's enough to keep up with about 4 million hens!

Update: Design and prototyping completed, 12/2014; productizing underway at a contract engineering firm in the Czech Republic.