Vision Chip Architecture for Detecting Line of Sight Including Saccade

Junichi AKITA
Hiroaki TAKAGI
Masashi TODA

IEICE TRANSACTIONS on Electronics   Vol.E89-C    No.11    pp.1605-1611
Publication Date: 2006/11/01
Online ISSN: 1745-1353
DOI: 10.1093/ietele/e89-c.11.1605
Print ISSN: 0916-8516
Type of Manuscript: Special Section PAPER (Special Section on Novel Device Architectures and System Integration Technologies)
vision chip,  line of sight,  saccade,  pixel parallel processing,  automata,  

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Rapid eye motion, or so called saccade, is a very quick eye motion which always occurs regardless of our intention. Although the line of sight (LOS) with saccade tracking is expected to be used for a new type of computer-human interface, it is impossible to track it using the conventional video camera, because of its speed which is often up to 600 degrees per second. Vision Chip is an intelligent image sensor which has the photo receptor and the image processing circuitry on a single chip, which can process the acquired image information by keeping its spatial parallelism. It has also the ability of implementing the very compact integrated vision system. In this paper, we describe the vision chip architecture which has the capability of detecting the line of sight from infrared eye image, with the processing speed supporting the saccade tracking. The vision chip described here has the pixel parallel processing architecture, with the node automata for each pixel as image processing. The acquired image is digitized to two flags indicating the Purkinje's image and the pupil by comparators at first. The digitized images are then shrunk, followed by several steps of expanding by node automata located at each pixel. The shrinking process is kept executed until all the pixels disappear, and the pixel disappearing at last indicates the center of the Purkinje's image and the pupil. This disappearing step is detected by the projection circuitry in pixel circuit for fast operation, and the coordinates of the center of the Purkinje's image and the pupil are generated by the simple encoders. We describe the whole architecture of this vision chip, as well as the pixel architecture. We also describe the evaluation of proposed algorithm with numerical simulation, as well as processing speed using FPGA, and improvement in resolution using column parallel architecture.