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Proceedings Paper

Visual servo system based on a biologically inspired scanning sensor
Author(s): Stephane Viollet; Nicolas H. Franceschini
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Paper Abstract

In the framework of our biologically inspired robotics approach, we describe a visually-guided demonstration model aircraft, the attitude of which is stabilized in yaw by means of a novel, non-emissive optical sensor having a small visual field. This aircraft incorporates a miniature scanning sensor consisting of tow photoreceptors with adjacent visual axes, driving a Local Motion Detector (LMD), which are made to perform a low-amplitude scanning at a varying angular speed. Under these conditions, the signal output from the motion detector varies gradually with the angular position of a contrasting object placed in its visual field, actually making the complete system a non- emissive optical 'position sensor'. Its output, remarkably, (i) varies quasi-linearly with the angular position of the contrasting object, and (ii) remains largely invariant with response to the distance to the object, and its degree of contrast. We built a miniature, twin-engine, twin-propeller aircraft equipped with this visual position sensor. After incorporating the sensor into a visuomotor feedback loop enhanced by an inertial sensor, we established that the 'sighted aircraft' can fixate and track a dark edge placed in its visual field, thus opening the way for the development of visually-guided system for controlling the attitude of micro-air vehicles, of the kind observed in insects such as hover-flies.

Paper Details

Date Published: 26 August 1999
PDF: 12 pages
Proc. SPIE 3839, Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems II, (26 August 1999); doi: 10.1117/12.360334
Show Author Affiliations
Stephane Viollet, CNRS (France)
Nicolas H. Franceschini, CNRS (France)

Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 3839:
Sensor Fusion and Decentralized Control in Robotic Systems II
Gerard T. McKee; Paul S. Schenker, Editor(s)

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