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(11)    Patent No :    AP 2096    (73) Applicant(s)       
(21)    Application No :    AP/P/2007/004009    DE BEERS CONSOLIDATED MINES LIMITED, 36 Stockdale       
            Street, Kimberley, Northern Cape,       
                   
(22)    Filing Date :    17.11.2005    South Africa       
(24)    Date of Grant &    29.01.2010           
                   
(45)    Publication :

(30)  Priority Data    (72) Inventors

    (33) Country    (31) Number    (32) Date        LABOTSKI Alexeii Ucamel, South Africa   
    ZA    2004/9204    17.11.2004        HILL Graeme John, South Africa   
                       
                    DIRKER Jaco Sapphire, South Africa   
                    et al       
                    (74) Representative   
(84)    Designated State               
                       
    BW                FISHER CORMACK & BOTHA   
                   
(51)    International    Classification    G01N21/87 (2006.01)    B07C5/342 (2006.01)   
            G01N15/02    (2006.01)       

(54)    Title

An apparatus for and method of sorting objects using reflectance spectroscopy

(45)    Abstract

An apparatus for and method of identifying and sorting target particles using reflectance spectroscopy in the visible (VIS) to the near infrared (NIR) spectral range, are disclosed. In one version, a hyperspectral imaging apparatus (10) is used to identify and sort target particles within a batch of particles, the apparatus comprising a tray (12) for supporting the batch of particles, leveling means for leveling the batch of particles into substantially a monolayer, a hyperspectral scanning system (14) for scanning the batch of particles, to produce a hyperspectral image of the batch of particles, a classifier for determining the pixel coordinates of target particles in the hyperspectral image, converter means for converting the pixel coordinates to world coordinates of the target particles on the tray (12), and target particle extraction means (16) for picking the target particles based on the calculated world coordinates and for transferring the picked target particles to a storage arrangement (18).

(56)    Documents Cited :    WO 9406092 A   US 5 351 117 A

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