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Proceedings Paper

Analog VLSI motion projects at Caltech
Author(s): Joerg Kramer; Giacomo Indiveri; Christof Koch
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Paper Abstract

We present different compact analog VLSI motion sensors that compute the 1-D velocity of optical stimuli over a large range and are suitable for integration in focal plane arrays. They have been extensively tested and optimized for robust performance under varying light conditions. Since their output signals are only weakly dependent on contrast, they directly extract optical flow data from an image. Focal plane arrays of such sensors are particularly interesting for application in single-chip systems that perform navigation tasks for moving robots or vehicles, where light weight, low power consumption, and real-time processing are crucial. Several monolithic motion-processing systems based on such velocity sensors have been built and tested. We describe here three chips, designed for the determination of the focus of expansion, the estimation of the time to contact, and the detection of motion discontinuities respectively. The first two systems have been specifically designed for vehicle navigation tasks. The choice of this application domain allows us to make a priori assumptions about the optical flow field that simplifies the structure of the systems and improves their overall performance. The motion-discontinuity-detection system can be more generally used to segment images based on the velocities of its different domains with respect to the camera. It is particularly useful for background-foreground segregation in the case of ego-motion of an autonomous system in a static environment. Tests results of the three systems are presented and their performance is evaluated.

Paper Details

Date Published: 19 December 1996
PDF: 14 pages
Proc. SPIE 2950, Advanced Focal Plane Arrays and Electronic Cameras, (19 December 1996); doi: 10.1117/12.262542
Show Author Affiliations
Joerg Kramer, Univ. of Zurich (Switzerland)
Giacomo Indiveri, Univ. of Zurich (Switzerland)
Christof Koch, California Institute of Technology (United States)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 2950:
Advanced Focal Plane Arrays and Electronic Cameras
Thierry M. Bernard, Editor(s)

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