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Two-Directional 1-g Visual Motion Sensor Inspired by the Fly's Eye

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4 Author(s)
Frédéric L. Roubieu ; CNRS, Institute of Movement Science, Biorobotics Department UMR7287, Aix-Marseille University, Marseille, France ; Fabien Expert ; Guillaume Sabiron ; Franck Ruffier

Optic flow-based autopilots for Micro-Aerial Vehicles (MAVs) need lightweight, low-power sensors to be able to fly safely through unknown environments. The new tiny 6-pixel visual motion sensor presented here meets these demanding requirements in terms of its mass, size, and power consumption. This 1-gram, low-power, fly-inspired sensor accurately gauges the visual motion using only this 6-pixel array with two different panoramas and illuminance conditions. The new visual motion sensor's output results from a smart combination of the information collected by several 2-pixel Local Motion Sensors (LMSs), on the basis of the “time of travel” scheme originally inspired by the common housefly's Elementary Motion Detector (EMD) neurons. The proposed sensory fusion method enables the new visual sensor to measure the visual angular speed and determine the main direction of the visual motion without any prior knowledge. Through computing the median value of the output from several LMSs, we also end up with a more robust, more accurate, and more frequently refreshed measurement of the one-dimensional angular speed.

Published in:

IEEE Sensors Journal  (Volume:13 ,  Issue: 3 )