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Project, development and assembly of a prototype of an eye tracking system embedded in a first person view goggles for drone control customized for paraplegic people


In according to the demographic census from IBGE, in 2010 approximately 7% of the Brazil's population (13.357.420 people) have some disability. Those people most of the time are dependent for having difficulties to move about by themselves, mainly because of the lack of infrastructure adapted to their needs. In addition, there is a great barrier in the social integration of this public, making the socialization and job insertion a hard task. The news site IDGnow projects that the drone market in Brazil can generate up to 5 thousand Jobs, including sales, pilot training and services. Considering this rising market and the need of people with disabilities, specially the quadriplegic, to find jobs, the opportunity to develop an innovative technology to control drones only with the eye's movement using first person view (FPV) goggles for visualization and a set of infrared (IR) cameras to capture the image of the eyes and a computer for processing and control the drone appears to be essential. This project also aims to contribute in other aspects such as: entertainment, advances in controlling robotic devices through eye tracking and studies on the recovery of patients with brain lesions using the eye movement as a way of exercise. Such technology can be used by anyone, from normal to disabled people. The software to be developed will focus on the more severe types (quadriplegia), all the tests for validation of the concept will be applied in this public alongside with experienced professionals in the field. Despite all of that, there the other portion of the market that should not be rejected, since the control of the drone by eye tracking enables the user to use his hands for other purposes, such as control of a tool on the drone or perform more complex commands. The use of drones with cameras embedded on the FPV goggles enables the disabled person to explore environments, communicate and interact with others providing benefits to his welfare, besides the possibility to enter in the drone market with a job. Although, for this technology to become accessible, it is necessary a methodology to entirely control de drone through the FPV goggles. This is a field of research that is under development, observing the recent publications of scientific papers related. In addition, there are no FPV goggles with eye tracking technology embedded in the market currently, creating a great opportunity of business in this industry. Considering all of that, this research proposal aims the project, development and assembly of a prototype of FPV goggles with IR cameras enabling the image processing through software in an external computer and the ability to completely control the drone remotely. The main result expected in a system of eye tracking sensors that can be adapted to any model of FPV goggles and a software to control the drones specially developed for quadriplegic people, enabling in the future a bigger social integration of this public. (AU)

Articles published in Pesquisa FAPESP Magazine about the research grant:
Las máquinas que todo lo ven 
The machines that see everything 
Articles published in Pesquisa para Inovação FAPESP about research grant:
An electronic vision system wants to control everything from drones to automated guided vehicles 
Articles published in Agência FAPESP Newsletter about the research grant:
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