Integrated CMOS Optic flow sensor for Micro Air Vehicles (MAVs) - Optical flow motion sensing, MAST project
As a part of the Micro Autonomous Systems Technology (MAST) project, our partners and we are focusing on developing a bio-inspired micro air vehicle (MAV) whose autonomous navigation algorithm is borrowed from an insect's visual system. Because of the simple nature of information processing in the insect's visual system, which consists of multiple motion sensors to generate surrounding optic flows, this approach is one of the attractive candidates for low-power and low-payload autonomous navigation solutions. Our group is especially working on implementing a CMOS optic flow sensor to provide surrounding motion information that is accurate enough in order for the MAVs to autonomously and successfully control in both indoor and outdoor environments, while consuming extremely low power to satisfy severe MAV's power budget.
Figure 1. Optic flow maps generated by an insect's eye. Patterns of optic flow encode relative speed and relative proximity, which provide information for MAV's autonomous navigation.