AI News, Superfast Robotic Camera Mimics Human Eye

Superfast Robotic Camera Mimics Human Eye

German researchers have developed a robotic camera that mimics the motion of real eyes and even moves at superhuman speeds.

The camera system can point in any direction and is also capable of imitating the fastest human eye movements, which can reach speeds of 500 degrees per second.

sometimes they just can't follow a person's fast eye movements, and sometimes they provide ambiguous gaze information.

The system, propped on a person's head, uses a custom made eye-tracker to monitor the person's eye movements.

It then precisely reproduces those movements using a superfast actuator-driven mechanism with yaw, pitch, and roll rotation, like a human eyeball.

The piezos transmit their movement to a prismatic joint, which in turns drives small push rods attached to the camera frame.

The rods have spherical joints on either end, and this kind of mechanism is known as a PSS, or prismatic, spherical, spherical, chain.

The advantage is that it can reach high speeds and accelerations with small actuators, which remain on a stationary base, so they don't add to the inertial mass of the moving parts.

Villgrattner describes the device's mechanical design and kinematics and dynamics analysis in a paper titled 'Optimization and Dynamic Simulation of a Parallel Three Degree-of-Freedom Camera Orientation System,' presented at last month's IEEE/RSJ International Conference on Intelligent Robots and Systems.

The system, Villgrattner tells me, was mainly designed for a 'head-mounted gaze-driven camera system,' but he adds that it could also be used 'for remote eye trackers, for eye related 'Wizard of Oz' tests, and as artificial eyes for humanoid robots.'

HMI uses human eye to control robot-mounted cameras

The system uses advanced eye-tracking technology combined with fast piezoelectric actuators connected to an ‘artificial eye’.

The current project stems from work done in 2008, where the team created a head-mounted eye-tracking system that feeds into and instructs the direction of a centre-mounted camera.

Information from the eye tracking is then processed and fed into a camera that is controlled by piezo actuators that contain a special ceramic composite that changes shape upon an electric current.

of just 10ms, creating a true point-of-view perspective.This has various applications in vision and cognition research, as well as more practical scenarios such as teaching surgical students where they should be looking during an operation.

Presenting their latest work at the Hannover Messe in Germany, the researchers unveiled a wireless adaptation of the system whereby an operator can sit at a computer screen wearing the headset, which communicates remotely with the piezo-controlled cameras on a robot, giving a real-time video feedback.

Robotic Cameras Get Human-Like Eye Muscle

Imagine this: Every time you wanted to focus on something in your peripheral vision, you had to turn your whole head and torso instead of just moving your eyes.

The implications are vast, including safer and more effective MRI-guided surgery, robotic rehabilitation for eye damage and more advanced military and surveillance applications.

By using electric pulses to move muscle-like components, Schultz and Ueda have found a way around the slow, loud and inefficient servo motors being used in most robotic cameras.

“The fine degree of control of the camera is impressive on its own, but the potentially greater impact is the demonstration of this muscle-like actuator as a general driving force,”

For example, doctors often detect tumors during an MRI and want to operate, but due to the magnetic fields created by the machine, they are prevented from using certain exploratory equipment.

Robot vision: Muscle-like action allows camera to mimic human eye movement

Key to the new control system is a piezoelectric cellular actuator that uses a novel biologically inspired technology that will allow a robot eye to move more like a real eye.

The Georgia Tech team has developed a lightweight, high speed approach that includes a single-degree of freedom camera positioner that can be used to illustrate and understand the performance and control of biologically inspired actuator technology.

Some measure of flexibility could be used in software with traditional actuators, but it depended largely on having a continuously variable control signal and it could not show how flexibility could be maintained with quantized actuation corresponding to neural recruitment phenomena.

'Unlike traditional actuators, piezoelectric cellular actuators are governed by the working principles of muscles - namely, motion results by discretely activating, or recruiting, sets of active fibers, called motor units.

'Future work in this area will involve implantation of this technology on a multi-degree of freedom device, applying open and closed loop control algorithms for positioning and analysis of co-contraction phenomena.'

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