A Novel Hyperacute Gimbal Eye to Implement Precise Hovering and Target Tracking on a Quadrotor

  • Manecy Augustin
  • Diperi Julien
  • Boyron Marc
  • Marchand Nicolas
  • Viollet Stéphane


This paper presents a new minimalist bio-inspired artificial eye of only 24 pixels, able to locate accurately a target placed in its small field of view (+/- 10 degrees). The eye is mounted on a very light custom-made gimbal system which makes the eye able to track faithfully a moving target. We have shown, that our gimbal eye can be embedded on a small quadrotor to achieve accurate hovering with respect to a target placed onto the ground. Our aiborne eye was enhanced with a bio-inspired reflex in charge of locking efficiently the robot's gaze onto a target and compensate for the robot's rotations and disturbances. The use of very few pixels allowed to implement a visual processing algorithm at a refresh rate of 400 Hz. This high refresh rate coupled to a very fast control of the eye's orientation allowed the robot to track a target moving at a speed up to 200 degrees.s(-1).