Friday, June 04, 2010

Car Steered With Eyes

Following on from the previous post on the automated car being closer to reality, this is a slightly different take - using the power of 'giving the eye'!

The eyeDriver software is a prototype application for steering the research vehicle Spirit of Berlin using eye movements. The software was designed by computer scientists at Freie Universit├Ąt Berlin in collaboration with the company, SMI (SensoMotoric Instruments). The eye movements of the driver are collected and converted into control signals for the steering wheel. The application uses a converted bicycle helmet equipped with two cameras and an infrared LED, as well as a laptop computer with special software. One of the cameras is pointed to the front in the same direction as the person wearing the helmet (scene camera), while the other camera films one eye of the wearer (eye camera)...
In the "free ride" mode the viewing positions are linked directly with the steering wheel motor. That means that the x-coordinates of the viewing position are used to calculate the desired position of the steering wheel. The further the driver looks to the left or right, the further the steering wheel is turned in that direction. The speed of the vehicle is set in advance and kept constant, as long as the position of the gaze is recognized. In case it is not possible to detect which direction the driver is looking in, for example, if the driver's eyes are closed, the vehicle brakes automatically.


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